Chapter 8 Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

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Describe how behavior and learning theorists study personality experimentally.
Behavior and learning theories explore personality experimentally by studying behavior in the laboratory settings. Their precise methods reflect an empirical(207) point of view and the careful manipulation of variables under specific controlled conditions.
Identify the early contributions of Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike and Hull.
Early behaviorists included Pavlov, who explained the process called classical conditioning; Watson, whose theory recommended an emphasis on overt behavior; Thorndike, who formulated the law of effect(209); and Hull, who clarified the concepts of drive reduction.(210)
Law of Effect
formulated by Thorndike that states that a behavior accompanied by satisfaction tends to increase; a behavior accompanied by frustration tends to decrease
Based on experience and observation
Drive Reduction
A concept formulated by Hull that suggests that learning occurs only if an organism’s response is followed by the reduction of some need or drive.
The psychological correlate of a need or stimulus that impels an organism into acton
Dollard and millers theory — drive is the primary motivation for behavior
Define and give examples of habits, drives and reinforcers.
Dollard and Miller describe the structure of personality terms of habits that may be learned and unlearned. They distinguish between primary and secondary drives and reinforcers as the primary motivating forces of personality.
The basic structure of personality: a learned association between a stimulus and response
Primary drives
A drive associated with a physiological process that is necessary for the organism’s survival
Secondary drives
A drive that is learned or acquired on the basis of a primary drive.
Any event that increases or decreases the likelihood of a particular responce.
Describe the four main conceptual parts of the learning process
Drive, cue, response and reinforcement.
A specific stimulus that tells the organism when, where and how to respond.
Ones reaction to a cue or stimulus.
The process of increasing or decreasing the likelihood of a particular response.
Discuss findings from research into the learning process.
A number of experiments have been conducted on the learning process, especially in the areas of frustration(211) and Conflict(211). Experiments with infrahuman species(212) have been quite successful in predicting the behavior of simple laboratory animals under controlled conditions.
An emotion that occurs when one is unable to satisfy a drive because the response that would satisfy it has been blocked.
Frustration that arises from a situation in which incompatible responses occur at the same time.
Infrahuman species
Species lower then human organisms.
Explain how Dollard and Miller have integrated learning theory and psychoanalysis
Dollars and Miller have adapted many Freudian concepts and integrated them into learning theory. Unconscious processes are reconceived as unlabeled drive and cues. The defense mechanisms and critical stages of development are also reconceived in terms of the learning process. The translation, through inexact, has helped to popularize Freud and stimulate experimental study of his ideas.
Describe Dollard and Miller’s practice of psychotherapy.
Dollard and Miller’s therapy represents a bridge to the more directive and active therapies of other learning theories. Behavior therapy involves unlearning ineffective habits and substituting more adaptive responses.
Evaluate Dollard and Miller’s theory from the viewpoints of philosophy, science and art.
Dollard and Miller’s theory of personality seeks to emulate a scientific model and places a great deal on empirical research.
Explain why Skinner emphasized overt behavior and avoids developing a theory of personality.
Skinner chose to describe variables and forces in the environment that shape overt behavior(218). He believed that the term personality and concepts of internal structure are ultimately superfluous and that behavior is best understood as responses to the environment.
Overt Behavior
Behavior that can be observed by an external observer
Describe the process of operant conditioning, and compare it with classical conditioning.
Operant conditioning involves reinforcing and shaping spontaneous responses. It differs from classical conditioning in the nature of behavior, which is freely made rather than elicited by a stimulus and in the nature of the reinforcement which follows rather than precedes the behavior.
Operant conditioning
In Skinner’s theory a response that acts on the environment and is emitted without a stimulus necessarily being present
In Skinner’s theory, a process by which an organism’s behavior is gradually molded until it approximates the desired behavior.
classical conditioning
A form of learning in which a response becomes associated with a previously neutral stimulus.
Distinguish among different schedules and types of reinforcement, and indicate their effectiveness.
Skinner describes three schedules of reinforcement: Continuous, interval and ratio. Continuous reinforcement is effective for initially developing a behavior. Interval reinforcement and ratio reinforcement are more effective for maintaining the behavior. Skinner describes the effects of generalized conditioned reinforcers and he distinguished among positive reinforcement negative reinforcement and punishment.
Continuous reinforcement
A schedule of reinforcement in which the desired behavior is reinforced every time it occurs
Interval reinforcement
A schedule of reinforcement in which the organism is reinforced after a certain time period has elapsed.
ratio reinforcement
A schedule of reinforcement in which the organism is reinforced after a number of appropriate responses.
generalized conditioned reinforcers
In Skinner’s theory, learned reinforcers that have the power to reinforce a great number of different behaviors.
positive reinforcement
Anything that serves to increase the frequency of a response.
negative reinforcement
Unpleasant or aversive stimuli that can be changed or avoided by certain behavior.
An undesirable consequence that follows a behavior and is designed to stop or change it.
Discuss Skinner’s concept of behavior modification, and explain how it has been successfully employed.
Behavior modification seeks to restructure the environments so that undesired behaviors are eliminated and more desired ones substituted. Skinner’s approach has been successful in situations in which traditional insight methods are inapplicable. His methods have also been used in therapeutic communities, education and industry
Describe Skinner’s concept of a utopian society.
Skinner avoided the development of social utopia, a behaviorally engineered society in which a program of positive reinforcers would shape behavior.
Evaluate Skinner’s theory from the viewpoints of philosophy, science and art.
Skinner’s theory clearly evolved from experimental laboratory investigations and emulates a strictly scientific approach. However, Skinner acknowledged the philosophical assumptions that underlie his theory.
Show how Skinner’s position includes philosophical assumptions as well as scientific statement.
Skinner’s utopian speculations reflect philosophical assumptions as well as scientific generalizations by not allowing for any expectations and by involving values and ethical commitments.

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