Learning Test 4 (Tolman-Notes)


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Edward Tolman
one father of cognitive psychology
-Quaker, pacifist, rebel
Tolman vs Watson
-T believed in studying objective behavior like W
-T embraced Gestalt concepts like mind-human beings from cognitive perspective
-Disagreed w/behaviorists: behavior is not just a level of muscle twitches
Tolman studied ____ behavior
Purposive behavior
=molar behavior
i.e. rat making way out of maze
~need to know environment, what organism is doing in response
Lighthearted behavior
-bugged Hull about theory building
-referred to rats as marvelous, pure, delightful
Tolman’s work classified as…
cognitive learning, purposive behaviorism, expectancy theory, sign Gestalt, sign significant, sign learning
invokes notion of awareness of something
important: more abstract than CS, stimulus
“As if”
a phrase that is used a lot: animal does not know they are coming to a solution, but as watch behavior, it’s as if he does
What Tolman looks for
-organized systematic behavior –> goal
NOT secondary reinforcers that control behavior, but WHOLE behavior as if animal is engaging in abstract behavior
example of what Tolman looks for
complex conversation AND picks up chalk to write on board
solution=organic whole
brain –> solution any # of ways, different nerves
brain’s way=holistic, organic, like how we understand brain processes today
Active or passive?
Active b/c notion of purposiveness, word “sign”, cannot be passive w/purpose=very active
Reinforcement to Tolman
a confirmation about a hypotheses that an animal has
i.e. animal in maze, making way through –> create hypothesis about best way to solution, hypothesis will be confirmed or disconfirmed
NOT reduction of probabilities or strengthened bonds
**Reinforcement properties but DOES NOT use word reinforcer
Tolman vs. Skinner, effect of reinforcer
Skinner: increase probability of response
Tolman: cognitive route unlike Skinner
-reinforcers: expectancy is energized and confirmed –> increment to behave in a similar fashion at a later point in time
kind of like increase in probability
hypothesis that an animal might get a reward
means-end readiness
when expectancy is confirmed regularly
–> systematic approach to responses
Blodgett’s experiment
Group 1: always food
Group 2: no food 1-2 days
Group 3: no food 1-6 days
Result of Blodgett’s experiment
when deprived animal is provided with food, rapidly starts making a bee-line to goal arm containing reward
-unlike S-R theorists who thought learning would be the same
Conclusions of Blodgett’s experiment
1. Reinforcers are not necessary for learning
2. In a maze, a rat will establish a cognitive map of that maze, despite nonreinforcement.
Latent learning
learning without knowing that is later translated
What is necessary for learning?
wandering in space/mere contiguity
What is in the hippocampus?
place cells-respond to a particular place without reinforcement
-grid is created about space, spatial relationships without reinforcement
**these ideas about the brain were later confirmed
How does Tolman account for forgetting?
latent extinction
Latent extinction
expectancy is not confirmed –> animal drops hypothesis –> extinguishes behavior
Tolman’s intervening variables
1. Demand
2. Appetite
3. Differentiation
4. Motor Skill
5. Hypothesis
6. Biases
deprivation schedule
appropriateness of of the reward
mechanism by which an organism contrasts stimuli that are presented to it
Motor Skill
kinds of responses an animal is required to execute to acquire reward
systematic, organized behaviors
-assumes behavior is not random
-increases likelihood that animal will behave 1 way or the other
-past experiences produce theories
What the organism brings to the scenario
Endocrine (physical status of organism)

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