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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Cognitive Motivation: Attribution Theory

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2230
Professor
Frank Marchese
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 6 (P. 181) Observational Learning - Social learning theory = social conditions are important determinants of behaviour (Bandura) o Group membership = shared responsibilities, avoid being an outcast, opportunities to learn without having to go through trial/error conditions o Social facilitation effect = in presence of others, we make active contribution to the group (social conditions/presence of others motivate us to act) o Social loafers effect = make very little contribution but attach to the group to gain credits - Vicarious learning = learning by observing others (modeling) o Ex: emotional responses to particular situations occur without either the practicing of a response or reinforcement o Model behaviour, skill sets, emotions o Vicarious reinforcement = observing others have an influence on us to pay attention to the models and to do whatever they are doing (observe others do in which they are rewarded, so we do it too) - Self-reinforcement = reinforce ourselves for appropriate behaviour and punish ourselves for inappropriate behaviour based on how others react o Influenced by what others reinforce us or punish us Primary function of reinforcement 1) Informational = telling us what effects our behaviour has on the environment 2) Motivational = rewards and punishers lead to the development of expectancies that certain behaviour cause certain outcomes o Expectancies = cognitions (also involves memory) o Blend of behaviour (action) and cognition (thoughts) Modeling Proccesses: Attention, Retention, Reproduction - Attention = learn from models with whom we are in frequent contact with o Characteristics of model influence our attention processes. Some models attract our attention so we can’t seem to avoid their influences - Retention = once attended to, process modeled behaviour into memory using verbal and imaginal codes o Sensory memory = very brief (forms an image) o Short term memory = longer, but still brief (active rehearsal to remain info by revisualizing it) o Long term memory = permanent, difficult to retrieve memory (caused by retrieval cues) - Reproduction = although behaviour is learned and stored, we can only imitate if we string together the correct patterned of responses o First attempt at behaviour is usually a rough approximations Modeling Processes: Vicarious Reinforcement - Behaviour is influenced through observing the effects of a model’s behaviour - A model may be reinforced/punished for a particular behaviour. If punished, we will be less likely to perform - We alter our behaviour as a result of observing the consequences of others’ behaviour - Ex: observing someone cheating on exam Learning and Aggression - Evolutionary/ethology: genetic base of aggression - Many of our aggressive behaviours are learned - Classical conditioning: change in aggressive behaviour as a result of prior associations formed through CC o Ex: study – participants were told to administer electric shock to confederate when they made a mistake. In one condition a gun was in the room and in the other condition there was no gun. More intense shocks were given when gun was present. Operant Conditioning and Aggression - If the consequence of an aggressive behaviour is reinforcing, the probability of the behaviour in the future increases o Ex: young child hits playmate and as a result gains access o Cost/benefit analysis = weighs his outcome to see whether he got more rewards/punishments o Ex: delivering shock to another person. One group was praised for aggressive behaviour, one group was not. Group praised was more aggressive Modeled Aggression Example Study: Nursery school children - Group 1: adult models behaving aggressively towards Bobo doll - Group 2: filmed version of adults acting aggressively - Group 3: model in cat suit acting aggressively - Group 4: no exposure to aggressive behaviour - Group 5: adult model act in calm, nonaggressive behaviour - In all 3 groups that saw aggressive behaviours, children modeled what they were exposed to - Among group 1-3, least aggression in group 3 Chapter 11: Cognitive Motivation: Attribution Theory 1. Attribution Theory is the study of decisions we make about the causes of events. Humans are motivated to attribute or assign causes to outcomes. Motivation stems from the need to make sense of events, personal, interpersonal, impersonal. a. Social attribution: People assign (attribute) particular causes to other people’s behaviour. We assign personal causation to other behaviour or we assign situational causation to other’s behaviour. In some sense, assigning causes to other’s behaviour is accounting for the motivations underlying their behaviour. For example, so and so succeeded (or failed) at a task because of: i. Dispositional forces: succeeded/failed because of person’s ability, effort, and the like ii. Situational forces: succeeded/failed because of task difficulty, good (or bad) luck, and the like iii. According to Heider: we are biased toward dispositional attributions
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