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University of Miami
PSY 110
Luly Casares

November 15, 2012 Chapter 13- The Behavioral/Social Learning Approach • Founder of behaviorism= John B Watson focused on overt behavior (what you can see and can be observed in a lab). He looked at responses of experimental subjects to external stimuli by using natural science approach to psychology (precise, experimental approach) his theory was popular during the 1920s, more popular than psychoanalytic (couldn’t be proved in a lab) • He did not look at conscious or the unconscious because it wasn’t something that could be tested in a lab therefore it had no value, meaning, or use for a science (ex. you can’t perform experiments on internal conditions) therefore, no reference is made to anxiety, defenses, needs, etc. (Skinner didn’t care about this stuff either) • Watson felt that we all arrived into the world as a blank slate all behaviors and fears are learned- ex. Little Albert experiment. Personality is merely an accumulation of learned response to stimuli, sets of overt behaviors or habit systems. B.F. Skinner • His personality theory wasn’t exactly a personality theory b/c he tried to account for everything in factual, descriptive terms (not just personality). He felt that one had to limit investigations solely to the facts exclusive emphasis on overt responses that a subject makes • Said that psychology is the science of behavior of what an organism does. He made no reference to any kind of internal, subjective states to account for behavior. He said that they might exist (ex. defenses, drives) but there’s no use for them in science. He describes human beings as empty organisms  there’s nothing inside of us that can be summoned up to explain for behavior in scientific terms. Skinner was exclusively on the side of the situation (environment instead of nature) • Everyone else we’ve talked about looked at different people (Rogers=healthy college people) Skinner, however, looked at all people experimented on pigeons and rats and applied his findings to all humans • Looked at behavioral responses to stimuli (using animals) admitted that humans were more complex than these animals but the difference was by degrees and the fundamental processes were similar (also, since science starts from the simple or basic and then works its way up, we needed to start with these animals which were simpler organisms than humans) • Created an automated baby attending device • Was to promote teaching devices • With the right social engineering, we can create a new human being. With the right tools, we can predict human behavior. He argued that if you change the environment you can change the individual: Whole chains of behaviors could be built step by step therefore, we could manipulate the environment to produce any behavior we wanted • Looked at operant conditioning • Was born in Pennsylvania, older of two boys brother died at 16 parents were very strict lots of rules was taught to fear God, police, and what other people thought childhood experiences impacted his adult behavior (ex. not stepping on certain stones in cathedral b/c it was bad) adult behaviors were set forth by rewards and punishment he had received as a child • Viewed people as complex systems behaving in lawful waysTherefore, viewed humans as machines liked machines when he was a child built a cannon that would shoot things over the neighbor’s yard as a child also liked animals local county fair there was a flock of performing pigeons invigorated his interest in pigeons majored in English at Hamilton College, wanted to be a novelist was encouraged in college by a favorable comment by Robert Frost built study in his parent’s home to write results were disastrous wanted to see psychiatrist (father said it was a waste of money) had failed at the only thing he has ever wanted to do identity crisis switched cities to try and see if it would help his writing it didn’t had no luck with women finally found an identity that would really soothe him studying human behavior through science rather than fiction went to Harvard to study psychology got PhD in a few years studied behaviorism led him to reject the feelings and emotions that had led him to become a writer in his 40’s he experienced a period of depression (therefore went back to writing and wrote a decent novel “Wall Entombed”) Projected all of his angst onto the protagonist of the book in the book he describes a society where all behaviors are controlled by positive reinforcement would record his daily output of work, average time spent per published work, became a living example of his definition of humans constructed a house which came to be called a Skinner box controlled environment that provided positive reinforcement slept in yellow tank large enough to contain a mattress, book shelves, and tv go to bed at 10, wake up three hours later, write for an hour, go back to bed, wake up at 5 am, etc music used as positive reinforcement in the afternoons pleased by the fact that he was quoted more frequently than Freud • Behavior can be controlled by its consequences (whatever follow the behavior) one could be trained to do just about anything depending on the reinforcement which follows it therefore, whoever controls the reinforce has the power to control human behavior • Distinguished between 2 types of behavior 1. Respondent behavior  Involves a response made to or elicited by a specific stimulus  Reflex= simple type of respondent behavior (ex. knee jerk stimulus=little hammer, response=kick) this is an unlearned behavior which occur automatically and involuntarily)  At a higher level there exists a respondent behavior that is learned conditioning involves a substitution of one stimulus for another this idea originated from Ivan Pavlov (guy with dog) basic research method for behaviorism  Dogs would not respond to the bell unless there was a reward for doing so conditioned response will not occur in the absence of reinforcement no more food leads to extinction (salivary response decreases)  Came up with the fundamental law of learning a conditional response cannot be established in the absence of reinforcement. The act of reinforcing a response strengthens it and increases the likelihood that the response will be repeated.  Stages of classical conditioning 1. Unconditioned stimulus and salivation is unconditioned response 2. Conditioning has occurred neutral stimulus such as a bell occurs alongside or before the unconditioned stimulus therefore, the unconditioned stimulus becomes conditioned stimulus 3. Unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus paired frequently then CS produces CR  Real life at a bar particular drink you like (US) makes you salivary glands go crazy (UR) meanwhile in the background Reggae music is playing (music becomes CS) eventually you will develop salivation response to Reggae music (CR)  Present condition stimulus by itself without the US if the CS alone gets a reaction, then conditioning has taken place  The more frequently you pair the two, the more likely it is to lead to conditioning  If it has a very intense response, conditioning can occur during just one pairing (ex. cancer patient conditioned responses to surroundings such as smell of hospital makes them nauseas 恶恶恶恶恶) • Respondent behavior depends on reinforcement and is in response to a specific stimulus less important to Skinner than Operant behavior not all behavior can be accounted for via respondent b/c some behavior is spontaneous this type of behavior is emitted rather than elicited by a stimulus involves acting in a way that appears to be voluntary 恶恶恶恶恶恶恶 rather than acting involuntarily to a stimulus which you’ve been conditioned to nature and frequency of operant behavior will be determined by the reinforcement which follows the behavior respondent behavior has no effect on the environment ex. salivating dog didn’t change the bell or food operant behavior operates on the environment and therefore changes it to look at operant conditioning we can look at the progress of a rat in a skinner box empty box with lever (when you pull on it, pellet is dropped into environment) rat is not responding to any specific stimulus in its environment food pellet drops into food box rat’s behavior has operated on the environment and now changed the environment (there is now food in it) rat pulls on level more frequently, get more food, more reinforcement now the rat’s behavior is more controlled by the reinforcements behavior becomes more predictable, less spontaneous take rat out of box, let it rest, put it back in the nest day you can control the behavior of the rat via the food (ex. withholding the food extinguishes this operant behavior, same as in respondent behavior) whoever controls the reinforcements controls the subject’s behavior • Skinner believed that most human behavior and conditioning is learned through operant conditioning ex. infant’s display random, spontaneous behaviors as infant grows, the positively enforced behavior will continue existing, others will be extinguished same in skinner box organisms behavior operates on environment, and the environment (via reinforcement) works on the subject Skinner demonstrated how behavior could be modified by varying the rate at which the reinforcement was presented food pellets had to be handmade by him and grad students in the lab, would take hours, needed about 800 pellets 恶恶恶 a day to keep the experiment going realized one day that they were running out alternative occurred what would happen if I rewarded the rat every x times he pulls the lever or every x minutes?  outside a lab, you barely every get reinforced every time you perform an action came up with reinforcement schedule 1. Fixed Interval • Reinforcer is presented following the first response that occurs after a fixed time interval has elapsed • Therefore, has nothing to do with the number of times the rat responds, food will still only be given after a certain amount of time, rat can respond a thousand times in 10 minutes or 1 time (ex. midterm/ final fixed regardless of how much material you cover ex.2. paid at the end of the week regardless of how many coffees you sell) • Shorter the interval between the presentation of the reinforce the greater the response (ex. you want to get paid every week ,not once a year) • How frequently reinforcers appeared could predict how quickly the response could be extinguished恶恶恶恶 • If rat=reinforced intermittingly 恶恶恶恶恶恶恶 rat will keep going for a while, don’t want to stop, may be coming at any minute 2. Fixed Ratio • Given only after subjects has made a specific number of responses • Presentation of reinforce therefore depends on how often the subject responds • Brings about a faster rate of responding that that fixed interval • Ex. if you have a job base on piece-rate (salesman) income depends on number of items sold 3. Variable Interval • Less predictable • Based on time • Could be after 2 hours on first instance, then 10 minutes after the second, etc. • Analogy: Like fishing catch a fish in the first ten minutes, 5 hours pass by without a fish biting again 4. Variable ratio • Based on an average number of responses between reinforcers, but there is great variability around the average • Ex. gambling, horse races, lottery • Very effective for controlling behavior • Variable schedules result in enduring behaviors that then to resist extinction 恶恶. Most everyday learning occurs as a result of variable schedules. Animals and humans demonstrate more complex behavior than just pressing on a bar, so how are the more complex behaviors learned? 1. Successive 恶恶恶 Approximation 恶恶 (or shaping) • Ex. teaching a pigeon to hit a particular spot on the cage At first pigeon was reinforced with food when pigeon turned in desired direction later only when it made some sort of movement towards area later on, only when pigeon touched certain spot in cage took Skinner 2-3 minutes to teach pigeon this • Skinner suggested that successive approximation is how infants learn how to speak parents reinforce via laughter, smiling, etc. • Later, stronger reinforcement is given as babies make sounds that sound like words • Later reinforcement only given for coherent words formulated 2. Superstitious 恶恶恶 behavior • Reinforced accidentally after we have displayed some behavior behavior is then repeated in a similar situation • ex. baseball player with horrible season can’t hit anything. His forgets socks and his roommate lends him socks then he hits a ball, now never takes socks off • Reinforced pigeon every 15 seconds on a fixed interval schedule likely that the pigeon was performing some sort of action (ex. turning head, pecking, etc.) now pigeon turns his head in the same direction if interval between reinforcers is short the superstitious behavior is learned very quickly  connection is unintentional, no functional relation to reinforcers ex. step on a crack, break you mother’s back Behavior is controlled or modified by variables outside of the organisms. Accord
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