PSYC 1010 Lecture, November 15, 2013
1. Study Tips for Test 2 have been posted on moodle.
2. Undergraduate PsychologyAssociation. Benefits include free tutoring
3. URPP Dec. 23 to get credits for the fall term.
Remember from last time…
Positive reinforcement is adding something to encourage a behavior and negative reinforcement
is taking something away to encourage a behavior. Negative does NOT mean ‘bad’, it means
something is being taken away.
Negative reinforcement: Something unpleasant is removed. This will increase the probability of
Examples: 1. In order to have more students come to class, a professor cuts 30 minutes
worth of material out of her lecture.
2. To stop the sound of the annoying beep your car makes when you don’t wear you seat
belt, you put your seat belt on.
Positive punishment: Something unpleasant is added in order to stop a behavior from
Examples: 1.Apolice officer gives you a speeding ticket to stop you from speeding in the
2. Achild swears so the parent puts soap put in his mouth so he will not swear again.
Negative punishment: Something pleasant is removed in order to stop a behavior from
Examples: 1.Achild who is misbehaving is told to sit in his room by himself (removing
interactions with others) in order to stop the child from misbehaving.
2. Ahigh school student who vandalizes school property is banned from the prom. Many researchers have found that punishment often does not help people to learn to behave in a
more pro-social away. Instead, people might learn to not perform certain behaviors in front of
certain people but still perform this in other contexts.
Example: 1. a child who is spanked by his mom when at home will behave when around
his mom but act out when he is at school.
2. Aworker who gets suspended for yelling at his boss might yell at his partner when he
is home instead.
1. Punishment should be immediate.
2. Punishment should be consistent.
3. Modeling behavior is very important. If you are a parent and tell your child not to hit or
yell at others, but you hit and yell at your child, she will learn from observing you that
hitting or yelling is the best way to deal with conflict. (Think of actions speaking louder
4. Harsh punishment usually does not work.
1. Reinforcement. Reinforcement is more powerful than punishment.
Example: Praising a toddler when he uses the potty is more effective than yelling at
him if he pees in his pants.
2. Ignore the unwanted behavior. Sometimes it is best not to react to behaviors. Sometimes
getting any type of a reaction or attention is reinforcing to a child.
Example: Ignoring your child if they throw a temper tantrum in a store when they
can’t get a chocolate bar.
* Remember, there are examples on Moodle that you check out!
Social Behaviour and Social Psychology
Studying behaviour within the context of a group (2 or more people interacting)
Social Cognition: The study of how we perceive and evaluate others. Example include: • How we make attributions: trying to determine the cause of other people’s behavior.
• Romantic relationships
• Prejudice, stereotypes
Today, we are talking about…
Social influence: how we influence each other’s behaviours and attitudes.
Compliance: You are complying to a request.
Obedience: Doing what an authority figure tells you to do.
Conformity: Adjusting your behaviour or thinking to coincide with a group standard.
Milgram’s Obedience Studies
Milgram was baffled over how people could obey Hitler’s orders during World War II. What lead
Germans to obey Hitler?
For his study, Milgram got volunteers for a study on “learning” (as he told the participants). The
“teacher” (the person who was volunteering) was brought out into a room and was instructed to
deliver a list of words to the learner. The teacher was told by the researcher that if the learner
screwed up, we would have to shock to the learner. Every time the learner screwed up, the
teacher was told to deliver a higher voltage shock. The researcher told the teacher that they
absolutely had to comply to comply, and continue to shock the learner. The researcher told the
learner that the volts would be very painful, but would not deliver tissue damage.
What the teacher didn’t know, was that the learner wasn’t getting shocked, and was actually an
First condition: in one room the learner would not speak or scream, but would pound on the wall
when the electricity would increase. 65% of the teachers would listen to the researcher and shock
all of the way.
Second condition: the teacher can hear the learner. The learner screams “stop, I have a heart
condition!” Then, stops speaking at all. Even though this happened, the researcher told the
teacher that they had to shock all the way. 62.5% of the teachers would listen to the researcher
and shock all of the way. Third condition (taking into consideration proximity): in this scenario, the learner was right
beside the teacher. 40% of the teachers shocked all the way.
Fourth condition (taking into consideration touch): in this scenario, the learner and teacher were
touching. 30% of the teachers shocked all the way.
Fifth condition: No contact between teacher and learner whatsoever: 100% of the participants
shocked all of the way.
Sixth condition: When the researcher (the authority figure) was not in the room, 22% of the
teachers shocked al