PSYC 2230 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Tim Hortons, Ethology, Initial And Terminal Objects

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Published on 11 Oct 2012
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2230
Professor
MOTIVATION
LECTURE 4: OCTOBER 2ND, 2012
TOPIC: CHAPTERS 2 AND 3—INSTINCT THEORY (pp. 36-39) very important
Early Instinct Theory—provided an entree for ethology.
Ethology, Classical Ethology and Modern Ethology, Sex and Aggression Ethology--(pp. 39-57).
Early Instinct Theories--Instinct as explanation for motivated behavior reach popularity
during the later 1800s and early 1900s. Instinct acted as a theoretical bridge between human
and animal. (p. 36)-- definition of instinct can be found.
An instinctual based behavior is inborn, innate, genetically programmed, and it occurs
naturally. This means that it is unlearned. Most vigorous response that occurs without
learning is when the appropriate response is presented, before the critical time or after the
stimulus is weak but during the critical time you react quite vigorously.
Example: you see a bear. A child would be curious while an adult would show fear because
they have already perceived and understood the circumstances as threatening in terms of
their perception. Our reactions to ordinary events can vary from weak to vigorous
responses. Outside of the sensitive/critical period our response is either weak or nonexistent.
We are prepared to respond to a particular stimulus. How many instincts due humans have,
can they be modified by experience and can they be weakened as we develop and progress?
Nominal Fallacy-- Although popular, instincts were found to not be scientifically sound
because merely naming a behavior as this or that instinct does not explain it. Rather, it is
necessary to specify the conditions under which behavior occurs, to arrive at a cause-effect
relationships.
Name cause, introduce cause and see if effect occurs. Examining cause-effect relations can
lead to better reasoning and understanding.
William James-- Instincts are similar to reflexes in that they occur blindly; meaning
automatically without knowledge or end or goal. Since every instinct is an 'impulse', it falls
within the province of motivational psychology.
1) For James, this impulse to action may be inhibited by learned habits, and some instincts are
transitory; only useful during certain developmental periods and eventually become...
Example: bite your tongue, hold your horses → holding back instinct response. Making a
conscious attempt to inhibit and restrain yourself. Holding back your impulse to action in
check. Superego tends to restrain, the ID is an impulsive agency while the Ego is a
reasoning agency and the Superego is the conscious. The ID is unreasonable and irrational
→ part of our personality therefore could be a risk if we are completely ID bound. Example:
think before you speak, look before you leap, think before you act, bite your tongue before
you say something you might regret → we have expressions that when they are generated
they act as an influence that restrains on our action.
2) Instincts provide a base upon which new behaviors may be built.
3) Instincts are adaptive and have come about during course of evolution
Self preservation instinct and species preservation instinct. Survival of individual versus
survival of species. Our capacity to learn, harness, and to control is considerable in
comparison to animals. Animals are more controlled by instincts while our instincts are
modified.
William McDougall-- Psychology must discover and classify various instincts. Each instinct
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Document Summary

Ethology, classical ethology and modern ethology, sex and aggression ethology--(pp. Early instinct theories--instinct as explanation for motivated behavior reach popularity during the later 1800s and early 1900s. Instinct acted as a theoretical bridge between human and animal. (p. 36)-- definition of instinct can be found: an instinctual based behavior is inborn, innate, genetically programmed, and it occurs naturally. Most vigorous response that occurs without learning is when the appropriate response is presented, before the critical time or after the stimulus is weak but during the critical time you react quite vigorously: example: you see a bear. A child would be curious while an adult would show fear because they have already perceived and understood the circumstances as threatening in terms of their perception. Our reactions to ordinary events can vary from weak to vigorous responses. Outside of the sensitive/critical period our response is either weak or nonexistent. We are prepared to respond to a particular stimulus.

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