Lecture 10 – Personality.docx

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24 Apr 2012
Lecture 10 Personality 3/20/2012 5:55:00 AM
Are conditioning models helpful in understanding personality?
1-Emotional Reactions, attitudes preferences
2-Emergence & dissolution of action tendencies
-Personality theorists began to reconsider the usefulness of studying
laboratory animals
-acknowledgement that humans are social creatures
acceptance is a powerful reinforcement
attention is important to us as children & grownups humans do
not like to be dismissed, we like to be attended to by other humans
o sheer acknowledgement has a very strong rewarding property
-social reinforcers do not act on terms of physical means
concept of social reinforcement began to include the idea of self
reinforcement two definitions
o albert bandura if I study for 6 consecutive hours I will
reward myself with a martini
o react to you own actions with approval or disapproval just as
you react to the actions of others
o powerful for explaining the maintenance of behaviours in the
absence of a reinforcer or punishment - you don’t need to
have you harsh critical father around to make you feel lousy
Conditioning model
-people have vicarious experiences
one that is experiences indirectly through somebody else
it represents a second way in which human learning is social
o why? Because it involves at least 2 peoples
one type of V.E
o 1-vicarious emotional arousal
empathy as a personality trait looks like a normal
if emotion cannot be experienced personally V.E.A
creates for classical conditioning --- big possibilities for
vicarious reinforcement simple idea very powerful implications
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o if you observe someone being reinforced for a behaviour you
become more likely to behave that way
vicarious punishment same idea
o important process in human memory
o a lot of trial & error learning that takes place vicariously
through watching other people being punished or reinforced
second hand learning
Kanfer had subjects sit on a table across from each
other take turns saying two syllable words every time
the light goes on every time the confederate utters a
certain word type kanfer would say ‘um hmm’ ---
influenced the answer of the participant ---- extremely
powerful processes
Julian Rotter
-claimed that the choices that we make can be analyzed mathematically
According to him your behavioural decisions are not just
determined by the presence or size of the rewards in the env but
also by your belief of the results of you behaviour are likely to be
Humans engage in probabilistic reasoning
-BP=Expectancy X reinforcement value
BP=behaviour potential = probability that at any given situation
you will behave a certain way
o Vary with situation
o In most situation a person can act a number of ways & some
beh are more likely that others according to him the person
will exhibit the behavior
o Subjective probability estimate about how likely it is that a
beh will result in a beneficial way
Said the objective odds of success matter less to us than what we
o We can overestimate/underestimate the likelihood of success
this is problematic
-social cognitive theories are important in an indirect way
-the subjective probability measured shape behaviour
-he said that ppl have 2 types of expectancy
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