⚡ Behaviourist Theory Watson
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Behaviorism and Mind: John B. Watson
For example, a smell might remind us of a time when we were a kid. If you went to a new cafe with the same smell as your elementary cafeteria, it might evoke the feelings you had when you were in school. Or a song on the radio might remind you of a memorable evening you spent with your first true love. New situations may bring about an old response because the two have become connected. Attachments form in this way. When you try to quit, everything that was associated with smoking makes you crave a cigarette. Ivan Pavlov — was a Russian physiologist interested in studying digestion. As he recorded the amount of salivation his laboratory dogs produced as they ate, he noticed that they actually began to salivate before the food arrived as the researcher walked down the hall and toward the cage.
Of course, what happened is that the dogs knew that the food was coming because they had learned to associate the footsteps with the food. He began to ring a bell, for instance, prior to introducing the food. Sure enough, after making this connection several times, the dogs could be made to salivate to the sound of a bell. Once the bell had become an event to which the dogs had learned to salivate, it was called a conditioned stimulus. Notice that the response, salivation, is the same whether it is conditioned or unconditioned unlearned or natural.
What changed is the stimulus to which the dog salivates. One is natural unconditioned and one is learned conditioned. Figure 2. Before conditioning, an unconditioned stimulus food produces an unconditioned response salivation , and a neutral stimulus bell does not produce a response. During conditioning, the unconditioned stimulus food is presented repeatedly just after the presentation of the neutral stimulus bell. After conditioning, the neutral stimulus alone produces a conditioned response salivation , thus becoming a conditioned stimulus. One of the most widespread applications of classical conditioning principles was brought to us by the psychologist, John B.
He established the psychological school of behaviorism, after doing research on animal behavior. This school was extremely influential in the middle of the 20th century when B. Skinner developed it further. Watson believed that most of our fears and other emotional responses are classically conditioned. He gained a good deal of popularity in the s with his expert advice on parenting offered to the public. But Albert remained curious and reached for all of these things. After hearing the loud noise several times paired with the rat, Albert soon came to fear the rat and began to cry when it was introduced. Watson filmed this experiment for posterity and used it to demonstrate that he could help parents achieve any outcomes they desired if they would only follow his advice.
Watson wrote columns in newspapers and in magazines and gained a lot of popularity among parents eager to apply science to household order. Parenting advice was not the legacy Watson left us, however; where he really made his impact was in advertising. After Watson left academia, he went into the world of business and showed companies how to tie something that brings about a natural positive feeling to their products to enhance sales.
Thus the union of sex and advertising! In the experiment with Little Albert, check to see if you can identify the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli and responses: identify the unconditioned stimulus, the unconditioned response, and, after conditioning, the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response. Now we turn to the second type of associative learning, operant conditioning. In operant conditioning , organisms learn to associate a behavior and its consequence Table 1.
A pleasant consequence makes that behavior more likely to be repeated in the future. For example, Spirit, a dolphin at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, does a flip in the air when her trainer blows a whistle. The consequence is that she gets a fish. Psychologist B. He proposed a theory about how such behaviors come about. Skinner believed that behavior is motivated by the consequences we receive for the behavior: the reinforcements and punishments. His idea that learning is the result of consequences is based on the law of effect , which was first proposed by psychologist Edward Thorndike.
According to the law of effect, behaviors that are followed by consequences that are satisfying to the organism are more likely to be repeated, and behaviors that are followed by unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated Thorndike, Essentially, if an organism does something that brings about a desired result, the organism is more likely to do it again. If an organism does something that does not bring about a desired result, the organism is less likely to do it again.
An example of the law of effect is in employment. One of the reasons and often the main reason we show up for work is because we get paid to do so. If we stop getting paid, we will likely stop showing up—even if we love our job. A Skinner box contains a lever for rats or disk for pigeons that the animal can press or peck for a food reward via the dispenser.
Speakers and lights can be associated with certain behaviors. A recorder counts the number of responses made by the animal. Figure 3. Skinner developed operant conditioning for the systematic study of how behaviors are strengthened or weakened according to their consequences. Skinner believed that we learn best when our actions are reinforced. For example, a child who cleans his room and is reinforced rewarded with a big hug and words of praise is more likely to clean it again than a child whose deed goes unnoticed. Skinner believed that almost anything could be reinforcing. A reinforcer is anything following a behavior that makes it more likely to occur again.
It can be something intrinsically rewarding called intrinsic or primary reinforcers , such as food or praise, or it can be something that is rewarding because it can be exchanged for what one really wants such as receiving money and using it buy a cookie. Such reinforcers are referred to as secondary reinforcers. Watch the following clip to learn more about operant conditioning and to watch an interview with Skinner as he talks about conditioning pigeons. Figure 4. Children observing a social model an experienced chess player to learn the rules and strategies of the game of chess.
The theory proposes that learning occurs in a social context. It takes into consideration the dynamic and reciprocal interaction of the person, environment, and their own behavior. Not all forms of learning are accounted for entirely by classical and operant conditioning. Imagine a child walking up to a group of children playing a game on the playground. The game looks fun, but it is new and unfamiliar. Rather than joining the game immediately, the child opts to sit back and watch the other children play a round or two. Observing the others, the child takes note of the ways in which they behave while playing the game.
This type of conditioning involves involuntary responses. In another experiment that showed the classical conditioning of emotions in humans, the psychologist J. Later, however, Albert was allowed to play with a white lab rat. Watson and Rayner then made a loud sound with a hammer, which frightened Albert and made him cry. After repeating this several times, Albert became very distressed when he was presented with only the white rat. This showed that he had learned to associate his response becoming afraid and crying to another stimulus that had not frightened him before. Psychologist B. Skinner placed a hungry rat in a box containing a lever. As the rat moved around the box, it would occasionally press the lever, consequently discovering that food would drop when the lever was pressed.
After some time, the rat began running straight toward the lever when it was placed inside the box, suggesting that the rat had figured out that the lever meant it would get food. In a similar experiment, a rat was placed inside a Skinner box with an electrified floor, causing the rat discomfort. The rat found out that pressing the lever stopped the electric current. After some time, the rat figured out that the lever would mean that it would no longer be subject to an electric current, and the rat began running straight toward the lever when it was placed inside the box.
The Skinner box experiment demonstrates operant conditioning , in which an animal or human learns a behavior e. The three types of reinforcement are as follows:. Behaviorism can still be seen in the modern-day classroom , where operant conditioning is used to reinforce behaviors. For example, a teacher may give a prize to students who perform well on a test or punish a student who misbehaves by giving them time in detention. Though behaviorism was once the dominant trend in psychology in the midth century, it has since lost traction to cognitive psychology, which compares the mind to an information processing system, like a computer.
Share Flipboard Email. Learning and Complex Behavior. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Nye, Robert D. Sapolsky, Robert M. Four audio cassettes and one page manual. Todd, James T. Modern Perspectives on B. Skinner and Contemporary Behaviorism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Modern Perspectives on John B. Watson and Classical Behaviorism. Westen, Drew. Is Anyone Really Normal? Four audio cassettes and one page booklet.Read More. Gender identity behaviourist theory watson develops in behaviourist theory watson Around age two: Children become conscious of the physical behaviourist theory watson between boys and girls. Westen, Drew. By Behaviourist theory watson.