Theories of Personality: Chapter 3
(Watson, Pavlov, Skinner)
Example 1: Nike = sports, check mark
Example 2: Car ad with woman sitting on car in business attire vs. car ad with
women in bikinis washing the car
The car s not sexy but the women are
Unconditional stimulus (UCS): Car unconditional response (UCR): sex appeal
Car (neutral stimulus) conditional response
Example of Classical Conditioning:
You want clothing from a movie star’s new line.
Movie star is performing well and you want to be associated with this star.
Person as Trained Animal
Behavioral Psychologist use animals as models of conditioning and learning
Humans are “higher animals”
Behaviorism’s “Birth Announcement”
“Give me a dozen healthy infants…and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and
train him to become any type of specialist I might suggest… regardless of his
talents… tendencies… [or race].” – John Watson
^ radical POV. Believes that everything is from the environment
Personality to a behaviorist – consistent behavior resulting from conditioning
history interacting with situational stimuli
Situational Zone – bridge between bottom up chemical compositionists and top-
WATSON – behavior was always a reaction to a stimulus
Ex: dog learns that food is presented soon after a bell is rung
Stimulus + response dog salivating Bell (neutral) has become a stimulus
MCDOUGALL – behavior was purposive and goal directed
Introspection – the careful examination of one’s subjective thoughts, sensations and
What are the Parts?
Stimulus and response – what shapes personality (Watson)
Stimulus = any object in the environment
Response = anything the animal does
What Makes a Person Go?
Law of contiguity: when a pattern of stimuli is experienced along with a response,
the two will become associated.
Watson’s model of personality has no self, only a “reacting mass”
Associated learning depends on how things are presented
Ex: bell ringing and appearance of food must be presented relatively close together;
some connection of proximity is needed for learning to occur
What Makes a Person Grow?
Development: the cumulative record that experience engraves on the tabula rasa of
Facing the Tough Twins
Testable although Watson claimed theoretical constructs as well.
Is it Useful?
Behavior modification: treatments that use lab-derived “laws of learning” to directly
Radical behaviorism: an explanation of human behavior can be achieved with a
scientific analysis of situational stimuli.
Cognitive behaviorism: seeking to include the cognitive dimensions of b