01:830:338 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Sexual Objectification, Big Five Personality Traits, Honour
ProfessorProfessor Lyra Stein
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Exam 3 Study Guide (Complete)
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How Learning Shapes Behavior
1. How do behaviorists explain personality?
The school of behaviorism emerged in the 1910s, led by John B. Watson. Unlike psychodynamic
theorists, behaviorists study only observable behavior. Their explanations of personality focus on learning.
Skinner, Bandura, and Walter Mischel all proposed important behaviorist theories.
2. What is operant conditioning? (B.F. Skinner)
Operant Conditioning: a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened by a reinforcer or diminished by
-“Radical Behaviorism” (Skinner): behavior is controlled by its consequences
3. What is personality according to the Skinnerian approach?
-Personality is merely a group of responses to the environment
-Skinner: most behavior occurs because it has been rewarded in the past personality
Ex: animal presses bar receives food pellet (reinforcer) increases bar pressing.
4. What are positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement, and negative
POSITIVE REINFORMCENT: presentation of a stimulus after a behavior makes the behavior more likely to
POSITIVE PUNISHMENT: unpleasant stimulus follows behavior decreases probability of behavior
NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT: behavior is made more likely because it is followed by the removal of an
NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT: removal of pleasant stimulus: removal of pleasant stimulus decreases
probability of behavior
5. What is shaping?
Shaping: reinforcing closer and closer approximations of the desired response. (successive approximations)
6. What are continuous and partial reinforcement? Which is more effective for immediate and long-
a. Continuous reinforcement: consequences are the same each time the behavior occurs
b. Partial (intermittent) reinforcement: consequences are given only some of the times the behavior occurs.
Which is more effective???
7. What are fixed-ratio, variable-ratio, fixed-interval, and variable-interval schedules of
reinforcement? Which is the most effective for long-term learning?
Fixed Ratio: reinforcement for a FIXED proportion of responses emitted
Variable-Ratio: REWARD for some percentage of responses, but number of responses required before
reinforcement is unpredictable.
Fixed-Interval: reinforcement for responses after a fixed amount of time
Variable-Interval: reinforcement for responses after an amount of time that is NOT constant.
Which is more effective?
8. How does operant conditioning explain superstitions?
9. What is learned helplessness?
Learned Helplessness: receiving random rewards and punishments belief that nothing the individual does
10. What is social reinforcement? What is self-reinforcement?
Social Reinforcement: acceptance, smiles, hugs, praise, approval, attention
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Self-Reinforcement: react to your own behavior with approval or disapproval
-Internal self-reinforcement and self-punishment
11. How does socialization explain personality?
12. What is Bandura’s social learning theory?
Social Learning Theory: learning and cognitive processes jointly influence behavior
-observational learning: occurs by observing the behavior of others
-modeling: imitating others’ behavior modeling affects delay of gratification choices
-Bandura’s experiment with Bobo doll
13. What is Rotter’s expectancy value theory?
Expectancy Value theory: behavioral decisions are determined by: reinforcement value, beliefs about the
likely results of behavior, expectancy.
What is reinforcement value? Reinforcement Value: degree to which we prefer one
reinforcer over another (we are attracted to is the high reinforcement value it is subjective, it
depends on the person)
What are expectancies? Expectancy: individual’s belief about how likely that the behavior
will attain its goal
-having high or strong expectancies means the individual is confident the behavior will result in
-having low expectancies mean the individual is confident the behavior will result in
-formed based on past experiences and it is subjective
What are specific and generalized expectancies?
Specific expectancies: belief that a certain behavior at a certain time and place will lead to a
Generalized expectancies: belief about whether anything a person does is likely to make a
What is Rotter’s locus of control? What are internal and external loci of control?
Locus of control: generalized expectancy people’s very general, cross-situational beliefs about
what determines or not they get reinforced in life
Internal Locus of control: high generalized expectancies – belief that what one does has an effect
on their outcomes believe that success or failure is due to their own efforts
External locus of control: low generalized expectancies – belief that what one does will NOT
affect their outcomes believe that reinforcers in life are controlled by luck, chance or powerful
others (they see little impact of their own efforts on the amount of reinforcement they receive)
14. What is classical conditioning?
Classical Conditioning (Pavlov): a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a
response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone.
What are the unconditioned response, unconditioned stimulus, conditioned response, and
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): stimulus that automatically elicits response without prior
Unconditioned Response (UCR): innate response to unconditioned stimulus (salivating)
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): previously neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response
through association with an unconditioned stimulus (bell: neutral stimulus bell becomes the CS)
Conditioned Response (CR): learned response to a stimulus that did not originally evoke the response
15. What was Watson and Raynor’s study with Little Albert?
Through classical conditioning, Little Albert generalized that all fury objects scared him this was the basis
of the formation or personality, explains preferences, explains emotional aspects and may explain
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16. What are discrimination, generalization, extinction, and spontaneous recovery?
Discrimination: learned tendency to respond to a restricted range of stimuli or only to stimulus learned
during training (when a CR/salivation is made to one stimulus/high pitched bell but not to another similar
stimulus/lower pitched bell)
Generalization: when a CR has been associated with a particular stimulus, similar stimulus will evoke the
Extinction: CS presented repeatedly without UCS (the decline and eventually disappearance of the
CR/salivation; occurs by repeatedly presenting the CS/bell in the absence of the UCS/food)
Spontaneous Recovery: preservation of original CS-UCS association after extinction training (reappearance
of an extinct CR/salivation after a period of the time with no exposure to the CS/bell)
17. What is counterconditioning? What did Mary Cover Jones demonstrate with Peter and his fear of
Counterconditioning (Mary Cover Jones): a technique employed in animal training, and in the treatment of
phobias and similar conditions in humans, in which behavior incompatible with a habitual undesirable
pattern is induced.
-CS paired with another stimulus that elicits a response incompatible with the unwanted response
-Pair rabbit (CS) with stimulus that produces peasant feelings that are incompatible with fear response
-highly emotional aspect of personality can disappear due to classical conditioning.
18. How does classical conditioning explain neuroticism?
How behavior modification works (p. 223-225)
Using behavior modification on yourself (p. 225-226)
Personality Across the Lifespan
Big 5 Personality:
1. Extraversion-external source of energy (warmth, gregariousness, assertiveness, activity, excitement,
2. Conscientiousness- organization and perseverance (competence, order, dutifulness, achievement, self-
3. Agreeableness-more straightforward and tolerant by nature (trust, straightforwardness, altruism,
compliance, modesty, tender-mindedness)
4. Neuroticism-prone to mod swings and emotional activity (anxiety, angry hostility, depression, self-
consciousness, impulsiveness, vulnerability)
5. Openness to Experience-appreciation of art and beauty, and general reception to novelty (fantasy,
aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values)
19. What are rank order and mean level stability of personality?
Personality development: continuities, consistencies, and stabilities in people over time and the ways in
which people change over time:
-Rank order stability: maintenance of individual position within a group (relative to others)
-Mean level stability: constancy of level of personality (as a group)
20. What are longitudinal and cross-sectional developmental research designs?
Longitudinal study: conducting study over time (can examine stability and change)
Cross-sectional: assessing samples of different ages at one point in time
What is a cohort effect?
Cohort effect: effects due to participants’ time of birth, era, or generation but not to actual age.
21. What is temperament?
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