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PSYC 370 (60)
Robert Ley (46)
Chapter 12

Chapter 12 John Dollard and Neal Miller

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 370
Robert Ley

PSYC 370 – Fall 2012 Book Notes: Chapter 12 – The S-R Theory of John Dollard and Neal Miller John Dollard – Personal History - Born in Menasha, Wisconsin in 1900 - Father died in his teens; mother moved family to Madison - Graduated University of Wisconsin with Phi Beta Kappa Honors - Physicist Max Mason – surrogate father; brought Dollard with him as an assistant ti the University of Chicago - Graduate studies in sociology, MA in 1930, PhD in 1931 - Undertook training analysis in Europe under Karen Horney and Abram Kardiner - Was accomplished at the highest level in sociology, anthropology, and psychology, and was a practicing psychoanalyst - Died in 1980 Neal Miller – Personal History - Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1909 - His father was a professor of educational psychology at Western Washington State College - Graduated 1931 from University of Washington - MA from Stanford University 1932 - PhD from Yale in 1935 - Social Science Research Council travelling fellowship – went to Vienna, learned psychoanalysis - 1937 returned to Yale to accept a position in the Institute of Human Relations – conducted controlled animal experiments on the nature of drives, on fear learning, and on conflict - 1966 left Yale and went to Rockefeller University as director of the Laboratory of Physiological Psychology - 1985 returned to Yale as a research affiliate, and remained active well into the 90s - Died in 2002, at the age of 92 The Principles and Conditions of Learning - Learning Theory – is the study of circumstances under which aa response and a cue stimulus becomes connects - For learning to occur… these must be present and in order o The arousal of a drive – learning requires a motivated human mind o Stimuli or cues that indicate the response to be made and where and when – i.e. cross the street when the walk sign is displayed o The response – a response must occur when drive is aroused in the presence of the relevant cues o A reward – the response must be rewarded The Stimuli of Drives - Primary drives – hunger, thirst, and sexual arousal all produce strong drive stimuli - Secondary drives – approval, for achievement, for affection; learned in the process of socialization o Many will not involve intense physical stimuli, but psychological drive stimuli can be potent enough to impel our behavior The Concept of Habit – a learned association between a stimulus and a response - Responses strengthened by reinforcement become habits - Drive multiplies habit strength - R = f(D x H) Internal Responses - i.e. increases heart rate and force of heart beat that accompany emotional arousal - Emotional responses produce stimuli that they themselves can have the properties of a drive - May also be cues as well as having drive properties Stimulus-Response Personality Theory - “the usual human response to frustration is aggression against the frustrating object (Dollard, 1957) - Neurosis – a paradox o A neurotically troubled person had great difficulty learning that conditions have changed o Fear as a learned drive The Variables in S-R Theory 1. Behavior – the particular response investigated o The process of learning is systematic o Topography of responses – careful description and analysis of actions o Initial hierarchy – a hierarchy that might consist of initial responses or responses that are strongly preferred  i.e. an infant’s sucking or fear of sudden loud noises o Resultant hierarchy – a different set and ordering of responses produced by learning  Learning modifies the initial hierarchy 2. Drive – a strong stimulus that produces action o Primary Drives – hunger, sex, thirst o Acquired Drives or secondary drives – fear, anxiety, love, approval, achievement, dependency  Develop out of association with the reduction of primary drives early in life 3. Reinforcement – by causing a sudden reduction in drive stimuli o The formation of a learned association between a stimulus or cue and a response is determined by the consequence of the response o Responses that are reinforces will tend to be repeated o Learning Dilemma – sometimes none of the responses are reinforced; as a result they drop out of the initial hierarchy to be replaced by other responses  Cause unsuccessful, nonreinforced responses to extinguish and provide opening for new responses to occur o Is the critical event in determining which responses will drop out and which will be strengthened 4. Cues – events (stimuli) that direct or guide our behavior o Cues determine when an individual will respond, where he will respond, and which response he will make (Dollard & Miller, 1950) o Cues enable generalization from one situation to another, helping us recognize some situations that are similar
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