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PSYB45H3 Study Guide - Behaviorism, Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning

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Zachariah Campbell

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PSYB45H3 Y Chapter 1 pg.2
Defining human behaviour
Human behaviour the subject matter of behaviour modification
Behaviour what people do and say; described by verbs
Characteristics of behaviour
Behaviour is what people do/say
has one or more dimensions (frequency, intensity, duration)
can be observed, described, recorded
has an impact on environment (physical or social)
overt/ covert
Behaviour modification the field of psychology concerned w/ analyzing and
modifying behaviour
analyzing – identifying the functional relationship between environmental events and a
particular behaviour to understand the reasons for behaviour/to determine why a person
behaved as they did
modifying – developing and implementing procedures to help people change their
Characteristics of behaviour modification:
focuses on behaviour
based on behavioural principles
emphasis on cur rent environmental events
precise description of procedures
implemented by people in everyday life
measurement of behaviour change
rejection of hypothetical underlying causes of behaviour
Historical roots of behaviour modif ication
Pavlov conducted experiments that uncovered basic processes of respondent conditioning
(e.g. dog + saliva)
Thorndikelaw of effect (a behaviour that produced a favorable effect on the
environment is more likely to be repeated in the future) (e.g. cat + cage)
Watsonasserted that observerable behaviour was the proper subject matter of
psychology; all behaviour was controlled by environmental stimulus (i.e
stimulus-response psychology). Started behaviourism.
Skinner explained the distinction between respondent conditioning and operant
conditioning. His work is the foundation of behaviour modification
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