PSY 233 Exam 3 Study Guide
Chapter 9- Skinner
1. What are the basic assumptions regarding behavior?
a. Behavior is Lawful
b. Behavior can be predicted
c. Behavior can be controlled
d. What is radical behaviorism?
i. Only directly observable events, such as stimuli and responses, should
constitute the subject matter of psychology. Reference to all internal
events can be, and should be, avoided.
e. What is functional analysis of behavior?
i. Measurable Experiences (causes) and Measurable behavior (effect)
2. What are the principles of classical (type S) conditioning, and what are the principles of
operant (type R) conditioning?
a. Classical Conditioning:
i. Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS):
1. Something that requires no learning to trigger a response.
ii. Unconditioned Response (UCR):
1. Non-learned response that occurs naturally
iii. Neutral Stimulus (NS):
1. Stimulus that is Neutral
iv. Conditioned Stimulus (CS):
1. Previously neutral stimulus, after becoming associated with the
UCS, triggers a conditioned response.
v. Conditioned Response (CR):
1. Learned response
vi. US elicits an automatic, natural and predictable response called UR
1. Original Pairing: CS US UR
2. After learning: CS -> CR
vii. Behaviorism based on classical conditioning (Watson)
a. Elicited by sudden and unexpected loud sounds or sudden
loss of support
a. Elicited when movement is constrained or restricted
a. Elicited by stroking the erogenous zones
4. Lab experiment:
a. conditioned an infant to fear a white rat by pairing the
presentation of the rat with a sudden loud noise.
b. Operant Conditioning:
1. If a behavior is reinforced, it is strengthened 2. The process of increasing the likelihood of a particular response
a. i.e.- it increases the likelihood of the behavior happening
1. any stimulus that when presented after a behavior occurs it
increases the likelihood that the behavior will happen again.
Defined by what they do, not by what they are
2. Any event or stimulus that increases the likelihood of a response
iii. Types of Reinforcers:
a. Unconditioned reinforcers related to survival
b. A reinforcer that is inherently rewarding; that is, it relates
to one’s survival
a. Conditioned reinforcers. Originally neutral but acquires
reinforcing qualities through association with primary
c. Give examples of each type of reinforcer
1. food, water, elimination, and sex
1. academic grades, medals, awards, gifts, privileges
d. What is a generalized reinforcer? Example?
i. Generalized reinforcers:
1. secondary reinforcers that are paired with more than one primary
3. What are the differences between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement,
positive punishment, and negative punishment? Examples?
a. Positive Reinforcement:
i. A positive reinforcer is presented (added) following a desired behavior
and the likelihood of behavior increases
b. Negative Reinforcement:
i. A negative reinforcer is removed (subtracted) following a desired
behavior and the likelihood of behavior increases
c. Positive Punishment:
i. A negative reinforcer is presented (added) following an undesired
behavior and the likelihood of behavior decreases.
d. Negative Punishment:
i. A positive reinforcer is removed (subtracted) following an undesired
behavior and the likelihood of behavior decreases
4. What are the shortcomings of punishment?
a. The outcomes are unpredictable
b. It may produce undesirable emotional response c. It indicates only what one should not do and doesn’t give information of what
one should do
d. It justifies inflicting pain on others
5. What is involved in the shaping of behaviors? Examples?
i. To learn a behavior, reinforce it
i. A process in which an organism’s behavior is gradually molded by
successive approximations to the desired behavior
ii. Differential Reinforcement:
1. Some responses are reinforced and others are not
iii. Successive approximations:
1. Responses that are closer and closer to the desired behavior are
required to maintain reinforcement
6. Define generalization, discrimination, extinction, and spontaneous recovery.
i. The tendency to extend a particular behavior pattern from the situation
(cues) in which it was originally learned to other similar situations
i. The tendency to respond differently depending upon the situation (cues);
that is, response that is made under one set of circumstances but not
i. The withdrawal of reinforcement
d. Spontaneous Recovery:
i. The reappearance of the conditioned response after a pause, which
suggests that extinction is actually inhibition rather than elimination of a
7. What are reinforcement schedules?
a. Rules that maintain behaviors
b. Conditioned reinforcement:
i. Every time the desired response occurs, it gets reinforced (100%)
c. Partial Reinforcement Schedules:
i. Only some of the responses are reinforced
1. Time since last reinforcement vs. RATIO or number of responses
1. Set time period or number of responses vs VARIABLE or changing
time period or number of responses
d. Explain continuous reinforcement schedule.
i. Continuous reinforcement is least resistant to exitnction
e. What are the differences between fixed interval schedules, variable interval
schedules, fixed ratio schedules, and variable ratio schedules? Examples?
i. Fixed-Interval Schedules: 1. Reinforcement is given for a response made after a set (specific)
time period has elapsed.
2. Ex- Salaried work, exams
ii. Variable-interval schedules:
1. The interval between reinforcements is randomly varied around a
certain average of time
2. Ex- Pop quizzes, fishing, hunting
iii. Fixed-ratio schedule:
1. Reinforcement is given after a set (specific) number of responses
2. Ex- Piecework, pay, commission
iv. Variable-ratio schedule:
1. The number of responses required for reinforcement is varied
randomly around a ratio that is averaged
2. Ex- slot machines, getting pregnant
3. Produces the highest rate of responding
f. What is the partial reinforcement effect?
i. Increase rate of responding
ii. Increase resistance to extinction
8. What is superstitious behavior according to Skinner?
a. An accidental connection between a reinforcer and a behavior
i. i.e., a reinforer follows a response but it is not dependent on that
b. Why is superstitious behavior an example of non-contingent reinforcement?
i. Reinforcement occurs regardless of what the organism is doing
1. Ex- Rain dances
9. What is our biggest problem?
a. Man’s biggest problem is that his behavior is more easily influenced by small, but
immediate and definite reinforcers than it is by large, but distant and uncertain
b. How did Skinner suggest we deal with our biggest problem? Examples?
i. Abnormal behavior is learned just like normal behavior
ii. Contingency contracting
c. What is contingency contracting?
i. Can be used to design an entire culture
10. What were Skinner’s methods and emphases?
a. Describe Skinner’s version of behavior therapy
i. Token Economies
b. What are token economies?
i. Desirable behavior is reinforced by tokens that can be exchanged for
c. What is Skinner’s argument for cultural engineering?
i. Describe Walden Two: Utopian society based on positive reinforcement.
1. Childrearing should be communal
2. Education should be related to practical situations 3. Work should be productive
4. Leisure time should be ample with activities centered on doing
rather than merely observing
5. Personal relations should be cooperative and intimate
6. Sex roles should be egalitarian
7. The young and old should have active roles in the community life
8. Individuals with psychological disorders should be cared for in
their community with useful roles found for them as much as
9. Government operates best when people behave responsibly
toward each other
d. What are the criticisms and the contributions of Skinner’s Theory?
1. Excessive generalization from animals to humans
2. Radical environmentalism
3. Who controls the controllers?
1. Applied value
a. Programmed instruction
2. Scientifically rigorous
a. Behavior analysis
5. The helping professions
6. Animal training
Chapter 10- Dollard and Miller
1. What are the differences between primary drives and secondary drives?
a. Primary Drives:
i. Biologically determined and directly related to survival – building blocks
ii. A drive associated with a psychological process that is necessary for the
b. Secondary Drives:
i. Crucial component in human motivation
ii. Most behavior reflects the operation of secondary drives.
iii. Replace primary drives by secondary drives that become the reinforcers
of most adult behaviors.
c. Why are primary drives the building blocks of personality?
i. A primary drive can give rise to learned or secondary drive, which can
continue to motivate an organism’s behavior even when the primary
source is no longer present.
d. Describe Miller’s experiment of how fear became an acquired drive.
i. Pain can rise fear which can continue even when the pain is gone. ii. Fear is often learned through classical conditioning,
1. It serves to motivate the instrumental learning of responses that
reduce such fear.
a. Responses are no longer reinforced—that cease to
eliminate a fear-producing stimulus—
i. They will be extinguished and replaced by new
responses that successfully accomplish that goal.
2. What is a habit?
a. Link between a stimulus and a response
b. The basic structure of personality; a learned association between stimulus and
3. What is a response hierarchy?
a. Every cue elicits several responses; tendency for certain responses to occur
b. What is an innate hierarchy if responses?
i. Unconditioned, “unlearned” response
c. What is a resultant hierarchy of responses?
i. Your hierarchy is rearranged.
1. Ex- your normal seat is taken, so you have to sit somewhere else.
d. What is the learning dilemma? Examples?
i. A situation in which existing responses are not reinforced, forcing to learn
ii. Learning depends on failure of known responses
iii. Ex- You have a habit of sitting in the back, but you can’t hear.
1. Something that was working, but no longer does, so you have to
do something else.
4. What is instrumental learning?
a. The rearrangement of a hierarchy of responses
b. Drive? Examples?
i. Energizes behavior
ii. Impels action, so it is motivational (engine)
iii. “want something”
iv. The psychological correlate of a need or stimulus that impels an organism
v. The primary motivation for behavior
c. Cue? Examples?
i. Guides behavior
ii. It indicates the appropriate direction an activity should take
1. I.e., when, where, and how to respond
iii. Discriminant stimulus for learning
iv. “Notice something”
v. A specific stimulus that tells the organism, when, where, and how to
d. Response? i. “Do something”
ii. A behavior that results from stimulus.
iii. One’s reaction to a cue.
iv. Any activity in which an organism engages
1. Instrumental in reducing a drive
1. Cue-producing responses
2. Entail thinking
3. Distinguish reasoning from planning
a. Reasoning: solving an immediate problem
b. Planning: Solution of a future problem
i. Equated with drive reduction
ii. “get something”
5. What are the four critical training situations of childhood?
a. Feeding (oral)
b. Cleanliness (anal)
c. Sex (Phallic)
d. Anger and aggression (no stage)
i. Most neuroses originate in early childhood.
6. How were Freudian constructs studied scientifically?
i. A substitution of one goal for another
ii. Displacement of aggression
b. Displacement? TIP: Describe how they experimentally demonstrated displaced
aggression in the lab with rats.
i. Two rats fighting; one rat is still aggressive from the fight and displaces it
toward another organism or object.
7. What is the frustration-aggression hypothesis?
a. Interference with goal attainment
b. Frustration leads to aggression
c. What is the current conclusion regarding the frustration-aggression hypothesis?
i. The original hypothesis proved far too broad:
1. Aggression is only one possible response to frustration, and
aggression has many causes
ii. The modern view: Frustration leads to a stress reaction, and some
persons cope with stress by engaging in counterproductive behavior.
8. There are two major types of unconscious experience. What are they?
a. Experiences that were never verbalized
b. Repressed experiences
i. Suppression and repression
c. Distinguish suppression from repression
i. Suppression: 1. Conscious effort to stop thoughts that cause anxiety
ii. Repression: anticipatory
1. When potentially painful thoughts are aborted automatically
(before they enter consciousness)
2. Not thinking thoughts that are unpleasant.
9. What are the components of neurosis and symptom formation?
a. The neurotic is stupid and miserable
b. Conflict is at the core of neurotic behavior
i. Conflict is unconscious and learned in childhood
ii. Neurotic conflicts are taught by parents and learned by children
c. The neurotic develops symptoms that are manifestations of repressed conflict
i. Neurotic symptoms are learned because they reduce anxiety
i. A term for a neurosis, which typically originates in childhood due to some
e. Neurotic behavior can be unlearned by bringing conflicts into consciousness,
where fears can be experienced without harmful consequences
i. With lessened fear, repression is not needed, and without reinforcement,
fear gradually extinguishes
f. How does psychotherapy work according to Dollard and Miller?
i. Psychotherapy provides a way to unlearn maladaptive behaviors
1. Teaching behavioral coping
2. Teaching discrimination of cues
3. Teaching relaxation (drive reduction)
ii. Also provides guidance as how best to adjust.
10. Explain the four types of conflict investigated by Dollard and Miller. Examples?
a. Double-approach avoidance
i. Goal 1 (+) Person Goal 2 (+)
1. Shall I fly first class or take a ship to Europe?
2. An individual wants to take a drama class on Tuesday and
Thursday nights and also wants to attend chess club meetings on
i. Goal 1 (-) person Goal 2 (-)
ii. This type of conflict is common and provokes a significant level of stress,
as people vacillate and try to escape.
1. A student knows they must either write a report or perform an
experiment, neither of which they want to do.
i. Person Goal (+)
ii. Person Goal (-)
iii. Ex: 1. Tanya has been with Company X for 12 years. She is offered a job
promotion as vice president of the company. It would pay her
much more than she is currently making (approach). However, if
she accepts this position, she would have to move to a city that is
far away from her beloved extended family (avoidance).
i. Goal 1 (+) Person Goal 2 (+)
ii. Goal 1 (-) Person Goal 2 (-)
1. The electra complex in Freudian theory
2. Choosing between two different cars, each with differing pros and
cons. One car (goal 1) gets great gas mileage and has lots of fancy
stuff (approach) but is very expensive and high maintenance
(avoidance). The other car (goal 2) is cheap and easy to maintain
(approach) but very boring and won’t last long (avoidance).
11. What are the criticisms and contributions of Dollard and Miller’s theory?
i. Unsuccessful synthesis of Hull’s and Freud’s theory
ii. Overgeneralization from animals to humans
iii. Emphasizing simple behaviors, especially in subhuman animals, and
Neglects complex cognitive functions
1. Research suggests that reinforcement often does not produce
iv. Can be applied on only a very limited basis
v. More concerned with the process of learning than with specifying either
stimuli or responses
vi. Holistic theorists believe that the S-R theory’s segmental, atomistic
approach cannot inform a true understanding of human behavior.
i. Synthesis of Hull’s and Freud’s Theory
ii. Emphasis on learning process
iii. Clear description of therapeutic process
iv. Offers a heard-headed, positivist, empirically oriented approach that
embraces a large range of phenomena
v. Has a clear sense of the nature and function of theory in an empirical
vi. Its emphasis on the learning process provides an excellent model for
other theoretical positions.
Chapter 11- Bandura and Mischel
1. Explain cognitive social learning theory.
a. Triangle diagram of behavior (top) , environmental factors (right), and personal
b. Human behavior is largely acquired and maintained. c. Learning principles are sufficient to account for the development and
maintenance of human behavior.
d. Humans think and regulate their own behavior. Humans are not pawns of the
2. What is Bandura’s reciprocal determinism, and what are the 5 cognitive social person
variables described in class and in the text?
a. Reciprocal Determinism:
i. Behavioral, personal and environmental factors constitute a system that
mutually influence one another over time.
ii. The regulation of behavior by an interplay of behavioral, cognitive, and
iii. The continuous reciprocal interaction among the cognitive person, the
person’s behavior and the external environment.
b. Encoding strategies. What are they?
i. How we see (categorize) experience
c. Expectancies. What are they?
i. What we think will happen
ii. Behavior-outcome expectancies:
1. Used when specifics about current situation are unknown, based
on past, similar experiences
2. What should I expect if I act this way?
3. If I act this way, it will have the following result
a. If I study 3 hours, will I get an A?
b. If I run, will I catch the bus?
iii. Stimulus-outcome expectancies:
1. What will happen next?
2. Learned from past experiences
3. I know what to expect from this stimulus
d. Subjective values. What are they?
i. What is worth having or doing
ii. Values are attached to outcomes
e. Self-regulatory systems and plans. What are they?
i. How do we attain our goals?
f. Competencies. What are they?
i. What we know and are capable of doing
ii. “tools” or ways of thinking about life problems and behavioral skills in
executing solutions to them
1. Knowing structure of the physical world
2. Social rules and conventions
3. Rehearsal strategies for learning
3. What are the components of Bandura’s self-system? a. Cognitive structures that underlie the perception, evaluation, and regulation of
behavior. Most behavior is Self-regulated via the establishment of performance
b. Cognitive structures and subfunctions involved in perception,