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1 Intermediate 1 & 2 Psychology Understanding the Individual UNIT 1 Student Workbook 1

2 LEARNING THEORIES 2

3 Learning theories We all learn. Not just humans, but the more advanced non-human organisms, also. Learning theories propose ways in which organisms learn. We are going to look at three theories of learning. The first two follow a behaviourist approach. This means that behaviour is learned from the environment around us. The third theory (SLT) takes an approach very similar to behaviourist. However, Bandura calls SLT a social cognitive theory. 1. Classical conditioning = learning by association = the behaviour which is learned almost seems like an instinct = simple stimulus-response relationship = eg Pavlov, Watson 2. Operant conditioning = learning by consequences = the organism is able to exert choices in order to receive reward = more complex relationship involving reinforcement and/or punishment = eg Skinner 3. Social Learning Theory = learning from others = the organism has some control, but may be unaware of how it is being influenced = complex relationship of learning, imitation and identification = Bandura Pavlov s Dog Food ---> Salivation The dog is hungry, the dog sees the food, and the dog salivates. This is a reflex action which aids digestion, therefore it is unlearned relationship. When we present the food to the hungry dog (and before the dog salivates), we ring a bell. Bell with Food ---> Salivation We repeat this action (food and bell given simultaneously) at several meals, pairing. Every time the dog sees the food, the dog also hears the bell. After a number of pairings: we ring the bell, but we don't show any food. The dog salivates Bell ---> Salivation The bell elicits the same response than the sight of the food. Over repeated trials, the dog has learned to associate the bell with the food and now the bell has the power to produce the same response as the food. Learning has taken place as the dog produces a new behaviour (salivation when at the sound of the bell) 3

4 Conditioning Procedure "Unconditioned": the stimulus and the response are naturally connected. "Conditioned" learned association 1. Present the unconditioned stimulus to ensure that it really elicits the response you're interested in the unconditioned response. UCS = UCR 2. Present the neutral stimulus the stimulus you want to condition - to make sure it doesn't already elicit the UCR. NS = UCR 3. Pairing the neutral stimulus and the UCS. This is where the conditioning takes place, when the neutral stimulus becomes associated with the unconditioned stimulus. NS + UCS = UCR 4. Learning has taken place when the conditioned stimulus produces the conditioned response. Let's review these concepts. CS = CR 1. Unconditioned Stimulus(UCS): a thing that can already elicit a response (food). 2. Unconditioned Response(UCR): a behaviour that is already elicited by a stimulus (salivating). 3. Neutral Stimulus (NS): a thing which is not associated in the unconditioned relationship (bell). 4. Unconditioned Response: an existing stimulus-response connection. 5. Conditioned Stimulus (CS): a new stimulus we deliver the same time we give the old stimulus (the bell) 6. Conditioned Response (CR): behaviour elicited by the Conditioned Stimulus (salivation). 7. Conditioned Relationship: the new stimulus-response relationship we created by associating a new stimulus with an old response 1. Which is the correct pairing part of the classical conditioning procedure? UCS + CS NS + CS NS + UCS UCS + NS 4

5 2. In Pavlov s procedure, what was the CR? research assistant bell salivation food 3. The final step in the classical conditioning procedure is to present the NS alone to see if it: elicits the CR elicits the CS elicits the UCR elicits the UCS Now, let's apply the procedure to Pavlov's experiment. Underline your answers to fill in the blanks. The first one has been done for you 1. Present the food / salivation / bell to confirm that it elicits food / salivation / bell. 2. Present the food / salivation / bell to confirm that it doesn t elicit food / salivation / bell. 3. Present the food / salivation / bell then the food / salivation / bell. 4. Present the food / salivation / bell to test whether it elicits food / salivation / bell. Before conditioning the bell tone is what? And after conditioning? Salivation, when it's elicited by food, is what? And when it follows a tone? EVERYDAY CLASSICAL CONDITIONING This type of influence is extremely common. Classical conditioning works with advertising. For example, many beer and car ads prominently feature attractive young women wearing bikinis. Explain how Classical conditioning is used to prompt people to buy a product. Work it out. Using the terms NS,UCS,UCR,CS and CR explain the following examples 1. A child sneezes when there are flowers about. She often visits her grandmother s house, where there are flowers. Even when there are no flowers about, she still sneezes. 2. A child is afraid of spiders. One day he is in a lift and notices a spider. Now he is afraid of lifts. 5

6 Pavlov s Cat didn t care about the bell. J B Watson Watson was an American psychologist who worked in the early 20 th Century. Watson took Pavlov s ideas and applied them to people. The case of little Albert (Watson & Rayner, 1920) Albert B. s mother was a nurse in a children s hospital. Albert was described as healthy from birth and on the whole stolid and unemotional. When he was about nine months old, his reactions to various stimuli where tested- a white rat, a rabbit, a dog, a monkey, masks with and without hair, cotton wool, burning newspapers and a hammer striking a four-foot steel bar just behind his head. Only the last of these frightened him, so this was designated the UCS (and the fear the UCR). The other stimuli were neutral, because they did not produce fear. When Albert was just eleven months old, the rat and the UCS were presented together: as Albert reached out to stroke the animal, Watson crept behind the baby and brought the hammer crashing down on the steel bar! This occurred seven times in total over the next seven weeks. By this time, the rat (the CS) on its own frightened Albert, and the fear was now a CR. Watson & Rayner had succeeded in deliberately producing in a baby a phobia of rats. The CR transferred spontaneously to the rabbit, the dog, the sealskin fur coat, cotton wool, Watson s hair and a Santa Claus mask. But it did not generalise to Albert s building blocks, or to the hair of two observers (so Albert was showing discrimination). Five days after conditioning, the CR produced by the rat persisted. After ten days it was much less marked, but it was still evident one month later. In this experiment: What was the unconditioned stimulus (UCS)? What was the unconditioned response (UCR)? What was the neutral stimulus (NS)? What was the conditioned stimulus (CS)? What was the conditioned response (CR)? 6

7 Operant conditioning - Learning by consequences Thorndike (1911) conducted an experiment where he put a cat in a cage with a latch on the door and a piece of salmon outside of the cage. After first trying to reach through the cage and then scratching at the bars of the cage, the cat finally hit the latch on the door and the door opened. With the repetition of this experiment, the amount of time and effort spent on the futile activities of reaching and scratching by the cats became less and the releasing of the latch occurred sooner. Thorndike's analysis of this behaviour was that the behaviour that produced the desired effect became dominant and therefore, occurred faster in the next experiments. In Thorndike experiment (1911) How did the cats discover the mechanism to escape from the cage? Why did they repeat the behaviour necessary to open the cage? Did the cats learn by reasoning? Burrhus F. Skinner Skinner was very much influenced by Watson. However, he saw a problem with Watson s work. With classical conditioning, the organism is assumed to be passive: it has no control over the environment. Skinner believed that people and animals also learned as part of a two-way process with their environment. If the organism finds something pleasant, it is likely to repeat the behaviour. Something we find unpleasant, we are less likely to do again. In operant conditioning, behaviour is determined by the consequences of previous behaviour. Reinforcement = This is a consequence that strengthens a behaviour or makes it more likely to be repeated This can be positive reinforcement = reward for behaviour or negative reinforcement = removal of something unpleasant Punishment = This is a consequence that weakens a behaviour or makes it less likely to be repeated. This can be positive punishment = presenting an unpleasant stimulus or negative punishment= removal of a pleasant stimulus. Shaping This is used to teach complex behaviours. A complex behaviour is broken down into a series of simple behaviours. These are taught one by one using reinforcement and punishment and gradually combined to create the desired complex behaviour. Shaping is frequently used to teach tricks to animals. 7

8 Operant Conditioning Skinner called learning from consequences operant conditioning because it is based on how organisms operate on their environment. Essentially, Skinners theory is that the likelihood of future behaviour is determined by the consequences of past behaviour. Like Watson, Skinner was not interested in what went on inside the mind of the subject. He believed that the environment and behaviour were all that was necessary to an understanding of psychology. Fill in the missing letters to complete the word. 1) R Definition: Anything that increases the probability that the response will occur. 2) P R Definition: Occurs when there is a reward for doing something 3) S Definition: Learned behaviour are gradually built up through a process of successive reinforcements for behaviours that are progressively closer to the desired behaviour 4) N R Definition: Occurs when you avoid something unpleasant. 5) P Definition: Anything that decreases the probability of the event preceding it will occur again. Identify the type of reinforcement (positive or negative) or punishment represented by each example: 1. After her teacher yells at her, Lisa s misbehaviour increases. 2. Tom s parents took away his car keys because of his bad grades 3. Lisa is given sweets when she is quiet in church. 4. Dan yelled at his young son when he caught him playing with matches 5. After her finger got infected last month, Dawn quickly took out a splinter today. 8

9 How can operant conditioning be useful in dog training? Why do you think it is more difficult to train cats? Can operant conditioning be used in the classroom? Reinforcement or punishment? For each example decide whether the conditioning has been achieved by using a punishment of reinforcement. a. Billy likes to campout in the backyard. He camped-out on every Friday during the month of June. The last time he camped out, some older kids got into his tent while he was sleeping and threw a bucket of cold water on him. Billy has not camped-out for three weeks. l. What behaviour was changed? 2. Was the behaviour strengthened or weakened? 3. What was the consequence? b. Every time Madge raises her hand in class she is asked to answer the question by her teacher. She raised her hand 3 times during the first class, 3 times in the second and 4 times during the last class. l. What behaviour was changed? 2. Was the behaviour strengthened or weakened? 9

10 3. What was the consequence? BANDURA STORYBOARD Bandura, Ross and Ross (1961) Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models AIM Study was an experiment to investigate whether exposure to a reallife aggressive model increases aggression in children PROCEDURE Bandura et al tested 72 children, 36 males and 36 females between ages of 3 and 5 from Stanford University Nursery School Participants divided into 8 experimental groups of 6 and remaining 24 formed a control group Children in experimental groups watched. An aggressive or non-aggressive model. Of the same or different sex to themselves Children in all groups were matched for physical and verbal aggression. From rating made by the experimenter and a nursery school teacher Child was individually brought into a room by the experimenter model then invited in Model played with toy car for a minute then began to act aggressively towards bobo doll punching, kicking, hitting it with mallet and tossing it in the air Child then taken to an experimental room and allowed to play with a variety of aggressive and nonaggressive toys Child placed in one corner and showed how to design a picture Physical aggression was accompanied by verbal aggression e.g. kick him throw him in the air Child had 20 mins of free-play whilst being observed by 2 observers through a one-way mirror Model was taken to opposite corner containing a able, chair, toy car, mallet and 5ft inflatable bobo doll In non-aggressive condition the model continued to play with toy cars RESULTS Children were rated for imitating aggression and non-imitative aggression Experimenter left the room After 10 mins child was taken to another room and given toys to play with Children exposed to an aggressive role model displayed significantly more direct imitation. Child could only watch the model and overheard the experimenter tell the model that it was their play area and the child had no access to it Which were then taken away. All children were therefore in an equally frustrated mood. Than those exposed to the nonaggressive model or the control group The mallet was used aggressively on objects other than the bobo doll by those in the aggressive (and interestingly the control group) than by those in the nonaggressive group Watching an aggressive role model had a greater effect on boys than girls.. Particularly when observing a same sex model (i.e. boys watching men) Both boys and girls displayed more nonimitative aggression after observing the aggressive role model The effect was stronger after watching a same sex aggressive model 10

11 Social Psychological Explanations of Aggression According to Bandura (1965), aggressive behaviour is learned either through direct experience or by observing others. - Learning by direct experience: For example, a child pushes another and gets what they want. The action is reinforced and is more likely to occur in similar situations in the future. Give an example of a child learning through direct reinforcement: - Learning by vicarious reinforcement (Role models): For example, a child sees a role model doing something and replicates their behaviour. The child is then said to be imitating the behaviour of the model. Give an example of someone learning through vicarious reinforcement: The main methods of SLT are: Attention someone can only learn through observation if they attend to the model s behaviour. Retention To model the behaviour, it needs to be remembered Production the individual needs to be able to reproduce the behaviour. Motivation The modelled behaviour is likely to provide positive reinforcement. Bandura believed aggressive reinforcement by family members was the most prominent source of behaviour modelling. E.g., the boy who watches his father attack his mother is more likely to become and abusive parent and husband (Siegal, 1992). 11

12 Media Violence & Aggression: Huesmann (1988) - children may use television models as a source of scripts that act as a guide for their own behaviour. For example, if they see a movie hero beat up the bad guys that get in his way, this may become a script for any situation in which it might be deemed appropriate. What influences whether behaviour observed in the media is replicated by a viewer? Several things are important here: If the observed violence is thought to be real behaviour compared to if it was considered fictional or fantasy violence. A role model the viewer identifies with is more powerful. Heroes are therefore more powerful models than villains. Unsuccessful aggression, eg the aggressor is punished, is less likely to be replicated. Bandura, Ross and Ross (1963): Bandura divided 66 nursery school children into three groups. All three groups watched a film where an adult model kicked and punched the Bobo doll. There were three different conditions: Condition1: Children saw the adult model being rewarded by a second adult. Condition 2: Children saw a second adult telling off the adult model for the aggressive behaviour. Condition 3: The adult model was neither rewarded or punished. The children were then allowed to play in the room with the Bobo doll whilst experimenters watched through a one-way mirror. Findings: Condition 1: Children behaved the most aggressively Condition 2: Children behaved the least aggressively. The children in Condition 2 did not perform as many aggressive acts until later, when they were offered rewards to do so. When this happened, they quickly showed that they had learned as many aggressive acts as the children in condition 1. 12

13 Evaluation of SLT of Aggressive Behaviour Strengths: It has high reliability. It was mainly carried out in the laboratory where Bandura had complete control over the IV (whether there was positive/negative reinforcement) and the DV (the behaviour shown by the child). This suggests that if the research carried out again then the same results could be achieved. Bandura also found that viewing aggression by cartoon characters produces as much aggression as viewing live or filmed aggressive behaviour by adults. Mead (1935) found The Arapesh is an example of a non-aggressive culture in which aggression is not admired (reinforced) or modelled by adults. The Mundugmor show the opposite pattern, in which status is determined by the amount of aggression shown. This suggests that SLT can be applied universally. Weaknesses: Because the theory is based in research from the laboratory is lacks ecological validity. The research was carried out in an artificial environment. For example, the Bobo doll was designed to be hit so it is no real surprise that it was, and does not mean that children would necessarily hit a real person. This suggests that the findings from this research could not be applied to real life situations. The children experienced demand characteristics. They said that when they were in the experiment they felt they were expected to act aggressively towards the Bobo doll. A final weakness of of Bandura s research are ethical problems. The experiment conducted was unethical because the children were encouraged to be aggressive. Thus, the children did not leave the experiment as they entered it. This suggests that reliable, well controlled research may lead to the exploitation of children 13

14 Social Learning Theory and Gender According to SLT, children learn their gender roles through observing the people around them. Because the child s instinct is to fit in to the society around it, the child is more likely to imitate people of the same sex and those people it perceives as similar to itself. Usually, the child receives reinforcement and/or punishment from the people around it, depending on whether the child s behaviour is appropriate or not. This goes beyond operant conditioning, because it includes the observation of how others are treated. For example, there are three siblings, James (4 years), John (5 years) and Sarah (6 years). Sarah and John play dressing up and both put on dresses. Their dad reinforces Sarah for this, by saying she looks pretty but punishes John by saying he looks silly and boys should not dress that way. In future, Sarah is more likely to wear dresses and John is less likely. James, who has been watching all this, is unlikely to imitate the behaviour of wearing a dress because he has seen his brother (whohe perceives as similar to himself) getting punished for doing it An observational study was carried out by Fagot (1978). She observed children around the age of two years playing at home with their parents, recording the reinforcements (e.g. praise) and punishments (e.g. getting told off) the parents provided. She found that boys and girls were reinforced and punished for different behaviours. Boys were reinforced for playing with gender appropriate toys (e.g. bricks) and punished for playing with dolls. Girls were reinforced for staying close to the parent and punished for rough and tumble play. This finding confirms the hypothesis that boys and girls are reinforced for gender appropriate and punished for gender inappropriate behaviour. This supports the idea that gender role behaviour is learned from the child s environment. A number of other studies have shown that girls and boys are reinforced and punished for different behaviours. For example Dweck et al (1978) found that teachers reinforced boys for getting things right but reinforced girls for working neatly. However, many such studies were conducted in the US in the 1970s, and their findings may not reflect gender socialisation in other times and places. Social learning theory has difficulty explaining how children s understanding of gender changes overtime. It also cannot easily account for how children s preparedness to imitate a gender role behaviour depends more on whether the behaviour is seen as gender appropriate than the sex of the model demonstrating it. These findings suggest that cognitive processes play a greater role in the learning of gender than social learning theory allows for. There is also the issue that some aspects of gender role behaviour appear to be universal to all cultures. For example, men are consistently found to be more aggressive than women, regardless of culture. Similarly, there are cross-cultural similarities in the features women and men find desirable in potential reproductive partners (Buss et al, 1990). These universal features suggest that some aspects of gender role are the result of innate, genetic influences that social learning theory does not take account of. 14

15 Social learning Theory Reflective Activity Two six-year-old boys are playing football. They are both wearing football shirts with the name of their favourite player on the back. A six-year-old girl joins them. She is standing with a football and also wearing a team shirt. At first, she plays with the ball by herself and shows skill in controlling and heading the ball. She asks the boys if she can join them. The boys refuse, saying that girls can t play football. Using your knowledge of social learning theory, explain the boys and girl s understanding of appropriate gender identity (where have the boys picked up their idea? What does wearing the shirt suggest? Why might the girl have a different view?). 15

16 SELF CONCEPT 16

17 A. Describe yourself: B. Is there anything you would like to change about yourself? Please fill in the following box: C. Next, choose a celebrity whom you admire. Describe what you admire about them: 17

18 Reproduced by kind permission of Roland Zumbuehl What does self concept mean? Self-concept = the collection of beliefs and views that we have about ourselves. According to Carl Rogers, there are three parts to the self concept. Self image = the internal picture you have of yourself. Self esteem = the evaluation you make of yourself. Where does the self concept come from? According to Piaget, we all go through four stages of cognitive development. In the first stage (0-2 years old), the infant can do no more than respond to things around it. The infant has no sense of being a separate self. Much later, Lewis & Brooks-Gunn (1979) used a rouge test to show that a baby usually learns to recognise itself in a mirror between the ages of 9 months and two years. The very young baby is said to be egocentric. It has no concept of any feelings or thoughts beyond its own senses. 18

19 Background Hypothesis Method Procedure Result Conclusion The rouge test had already been used by with babies by Amsterdam (1968) and with chimps by Gallup (1970). A child will develop the ability to recognise itself between the ages of 9 months and 2 years Experimental Mothers of babies between 9 and 24 months put a spot of rouge on their baby s nose. The baby was then placed near a mirror and was observed for nose-directed behaviour Babies under one year old were interested in the baby in the mirror, but showed no sign of recognition or of interest in the red spot. Older babies touched the mark. The ability to recognise one s self develops between the first and second years of life What does the self concept cover? Kuhn & McPartland (1954) produced the Twenty Statements Test. The participant will write down 20 statements beginning with the words I am. The researcher will then put the responses into categories: Physical characteristics; Social roles; Personal traits and Existential statements. Younger people will usually describe themselves more in terms of personal traits, whilst older people will more often describe themselves in terms of their social roles. Give it a go! 1. I am 2. I am 3. I am 4. I am 5. I am 6. I am 7. I am 8. I am 9. I am 10. I am 11. I am 19

20 12. I am 13. I am 14. I am 15. I am 16. I am 17. I am 18. I am 19. I am 20. I am Next, mark each answer as either A Physical; B Social; C Personal; D Existential Now look back at your answers to Task C. How similar is your self-description as measured here to your description of your favourite celebrity? 20

21 SOCIAL IDENTITY THEORY Tajfel & Turner (1979) D. Think of someone that you really don t like. In the text box, describe why you don t like them. People develop a sense of their social identity by the groups which they are part of We have a sense of us and them as we divide our world into in-groups and out-groups At times in human history when resources have been scarce, being part of a successful in-group has been a very useful survival tool It is natural for people to seek comfort in the superiority of their group and this can lead towards prejudice and discrimination against others Tajfel & Turner proposed a flow chart Social categorisation We put people into categories Social identification We see ourselves as similar to some and different to others Social comparison We compare the status of different categories The status of the group we see ourselves in can have a big impact on our self esteem. For example, an Ayr United fan who sees their team losing repeatedly becomes aware that they have a lower social status than, for example, a Kilmarnock fan. An Old Firm fan who prides themselves on their team s success may be trying to hide low self-esteem in other parts of their life. Look back at your answer to Task D. Can you put your reasons for disliking the person into groups which might be seen as low status? 21

22 Used with permission tt_pf.jpg?uselang=en-gb Reproduced by kind permission of Ian T. Edwards Maslow s Hierarchy of Needs Reproduced by kind permission of J Finkelstein According to Abraham Maslow, we are driven by needs. We begin with the most basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid: until these needs are satisfied, they will cause us problems which mean that we cannot progress to the higher levels. The ultimate for any person, in Maslow s view, was to become the self-actualised individual. Very few people ever achieve this. Carl Rogers was influenced by Maslow. Rogers believed that everyone has a drive to become self-actualised. This is achieved when the person s self image (how they see themselves) matches their ideal self (what they would ideally like to be). Derrick & Gabriel (2008) found that people with low self esteem see their favourite celebrities as having the qualities that they themselves would like to have. In other words, their celebrity represents their ideal self. A parasocial relationship means that there is little chance of rejection and this can help people with poor self esteem to boost their self esteem. 22

23 Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (1967) The CSEI attempts to measure participants self-esteem There are two versions: adolescent (8-16 year olds) and adult. The adolescent version has 58 statements, to which the participant will tick either like me or unlike me It was validated against a range of variables which Coopersmith thought were linked to selfesteem. For example, people with high self-esteem are more confident; less anxious and are happier. In adolescence, young people with high self-esteem tend to have a closer relationship to their parents Self-esteem is strongly linked to self-efficacy: the higher the self-esteem, the more the person will tend to feel that they are capable of achieving their goals Young people s self-esteem is also linked to that of their parents : if parents have high selfesteem, then their children are more likely to have it also. 23

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