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Chapter 8

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: John Dollard, Joseph Wolpe, Neal E. Miller

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Marc A Fournier

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Chapter 8 Experimental Analysis of Behaviour
Dollard and Miller’s orientation called psychonanalytic learning theory
Skinner point of view is radical determinism stimulus/response theory explains all overt
The Experimental Analysis of Behaviour
Behaviour learning theories have their root in empiricism all knowledge is based on experience
o John locke
Classical conditioning is when an unconditioned stimulus paired with a neutral stimulus can
cause the neutral stimulus to elicit the unconditioned response
o There is aversive and appetitive conditioning
John Watson was the father of behaviourism we should only study overt behaviour
Thorndike was another figure in the the learning theory
o Law of effect- if a behaviour results in a favourable outcome, it will increase
John Dollard and Neal Miller
Emphasized the role of learning in personality structure
Personality structure can be defined in terms of habits
A habit is a learned association between a stimulus and response that makes them occur
together frequently
The acquisition of habits is because of drive reduction
Based on Hull, a drive is a stimulation that causes discomfort (such as hunger)
o Reducing a drive is reinforcing for an individual, thus individuals will behave in ways that
reduce their drives
Primary drives are associated with physiological processes needed for survival
Secondary drives are learned on the basis of primary ones
o Example money
A reinforcer is anything that increases the likelihood of a response
o Primary are those that reduce primary drives
o Secondary are neutral but acquire value when associated with primary reinforcers
We have innate basic equipment we use to reduce our primary drives
o Reflexes responses that are automatic to certain stimuli
o Hierarchy of response a tendency for certain responses to occur before others
The learning process involves for parts:
o The drive
o The cue a stimulus that tells us when, where and how to respond
o The response
o Consequence
Reinforcement drive reduction
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Extinction response is inhibited because it does not reduce drive
Leads to a learning dilemma try different responses until drive reduce
Frustration and Conflict
Frustration is when a drive cannot be reduced because a response that satisfies it is blocked
Conflict is when frustration is caused by conflicting responses
o Approach approach
o Avoidant avoidant
o Approach avoidant
The Interaction of Learning Theory and Psychoanalysis
They validated freud concepts in terms of learning theory
There are two main determinants of unconscious processes
o We are unaware of certain drives and cues because they are unlabelled
o They are cues or responses that were once conscious but have been repressed because
they were ineffective
Certain cues and responses may be unpleasant so we learn to repress them
because repression reduces the drive of the unpleasant experience
Defence mechanisms are seen as learned responses
Agree with Freud about the ciriticality of childhood
Saw stages of development as learning not biological
Drive reduction is in line with Freud
In neurotic people they learn behaviours that are unproductive and self defeating
o Generalize them to other cues
Therapy involves unlearning unproductive behaviours and learning new ones
Trained to suppress old habits, and are given cues to evoke new behaviours
Joseph Wolpe
o Reciprocal inhibition introducing a response that will compete with the old response
o Systematic desensitization person is taught to stop responding to a stimulus (Cue) in
an undesirable way and to substitute a new response
Dollard and Miller’s Theory
Due to species specific behaviour it was hard to generalize from rats to humans
Relied on empirical evidence
Their theories on conflict are very good at predicting animal behaviour
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