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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 - Expermental Analysis of Behaviour

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Marc A Fournier

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 behaviours 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 LEARNED FASTER, AND LASTS LONGER THAN OVERT CONDITIONING 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  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 Psychotherapy  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 Skinner  Believed we should study environmental influen
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