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  • Google video: Thorndike- Law of effect 2:22.
  • Google: Thorndike behavior & fear conditioning 6:20
  • Founder
  • Social change has not often been a focus- except eugenics
  • Zeitgeist!
  • Is this true?
  • Google: Little Albert 2:07
  • Disliked MC hammer’s music as well. Article makes good case that Skinnerian conditioning might have occurred
  • Farthing 1992: college students- 73% of thinking was talking to themselves.

History ch10 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Chapter 10 Behaviorism: The Beginnings
  • 2. The Psychologist, the Baby, and the Hammer: Description of Little Albert study
  • 3.
    • Steel rod hung behind Albert
    • John Watson struck the rod with a hammer in the presence of the rat, startling the baby who reacted fearfully and cried
    • Rosalie Raynor also was there as an assistant
    • Albert had been chosen because he was “emotionally stable”
  • 4.
    • Prior to the conditioning, Albert showed little fear response to a variety of objects
    • After the conditioning, Albert shows fear in reaction to a variety of stimuli that were similar to the rat is some way (furry, white)
    • Watson and Raynor show that fears can be conditioned, argued that adults’ fears are result of conditioning
  • 5. John B. Watson (1878-1958)
  • 6. Overview
      • Watson credited the work of others as originators of behaviorism
      • saw himself as bringing together the emergent ideas
      • Goal: to found a new school
  • 7. Watson’s life
      • delinquent behavior in youth
      • determined to be a minister to fulfill mother’s wish
        • enrolled at Furman University (S.Carolina): studied philosophy, math, Latin, Greek. Earned master’s degree at Furman
  • 8. Watson
      • 1900: enrolled at the University of Chicago
        • planned to pursue graduate degree in philosophy with Dewey
        • attracted to psychology through work with Angell
        • studied biology and physiology with Loeb
        • 1903: at age 25 earned Psychology PhD from University of Chicago
  • 9. Watson
      • dissertation published
        • neurological and psychological maturation of the white rat
        • not successful at introspection & felt much more of a preference working with animals.
      • 1908: offered professorship at Johns Hopkins University
        • reluctant to leave University of Chicago
        • new job offered promotion, salary raise, and opportunity to direct the psychology laboratory
  • 10. James Mark Baldwin (1861-1934)
        • James Baldwin offered the John Hopkins’s job to Watson
        • a founder with Cattell of Psychological Review
        • 1909: forced by the university president to resign after caught in a police raid on a brothel
        • 11 years later Watson forced to resign by the same president after he had affair with graduate student that led to a scandal
  • 11. John Watson
      • 1909: chair of Hopkins psychology department
      • 1909: editor of Psychological Review
      • 1912: presented ideas for a more objective psychology in lectures at Columbia
      • 1913: “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It” (launched behaviorism)
  • 12.
      • 1914 Book : Behavior: An Introduction to Comparative Psychology
        • argued for acceptance of animal psychology
        • described advantages of animal subjects
        • discussed importance of ridding psychology of the remnants of philosophy
      • desired practical applications
  • 13. Watson
      • 1920: forced resignation from Johns Hopkins University
        • marriage deteriorated and led to divorce due to his infidelities
        • fell in love with Rosalie Rayner, graduate assistant
          • half his age
          • from family of wealthy donors to the university
  • 14.
        • wife found his passionate but rather scientific love letters to Rosalie
        • excerpts published in Baltimore Sun
        • astonished when forced to resign
        • married Rosalie but still banished from academia
        • Titchener one of the few academics who reached out to comfort him
  • 15. Watson
      • second career: applied psychology in advertising
        • mechanistic view of humans
        • proposed experimental (lab) study of consumer behavior
      • Produced positive publicity for psychology in the popular media. Wrote articles in popular magazines, gave public lectures, spoke on radio.
      • 1925: Behaviorism; introduced plan to perfect the social order
  • 16.
      • 1928: Psychological Care of the Infant and Child
        • strong environmentalist position
        • recommended perfect objectivity in child-rearing practices
        • had the greatest impact of all his work
      • 1935: when his wife Rosalie died; he became a recluse
  • 17.
      • 1957: at age 79 awarded APA citation for his vital and fruitful work
        • refused to go inside to receive award
        • Watson afraid that he would show his emotions and cry
        • son accepted it in his place
      • burned all of his papers prior to his death
  • 18.
    • Original Source Material: from “Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It” (1913)
      • the definition and goal of behaviorism
      • criticisms of structuralism and functionalism
      • the role of heredity and habit in adaptation
      • applied psychology is truly scientific
      • importance of standardized or uniform experimental procedures
  • 19. The Reaction to Watson’s Program
  • 20. His major points
      • the science of behavior
      • a purely objective experimental branch of natural science
      • both animal and human behavior are studied
      • discard all mentalistic concepts
      • use only behavior concepts
      • goal: prediction and control of behavior
  • 21. Initial reactions
      • behaviorism was not embraced
      • his 1919 book Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist hastened the movement’s impact
      • Calkins: disputed Watson; adhered to introspection as the sole method for studying some processes
      • Washburn: called Watson an enemy of psychology
  • 22. 1920’s
      • university courses in behaviorism
      • the word “behaviorist” appeared in journals
      • McDougall: issued a public warning against behaviorism
      • Titchener: complained of its force and extent
      • other forms of behaviorism emerging
  • 23. The Methods of Behaviorism
    • Only accepted objective methods
      • observation, with and without instruments
      • testing methods
      • verbal report method
      • conditioned reflex method
    • Test results are samples of behavior, not indices of mental qualities
  • 24.
    • Verbal reports
      • legitimate in psychophysics
      • speech reactions are objectively observable
      • thinking is speaking covertly
      • admitted the lack of precision and limitations
      • limited it to situations where it could be verified
      • came under attack (sounded like introspection)
  • 25.
    • Conditioned reflex method (Pavlov & Bekhterev)
      • adopted in 1915
      • Watson responsible for its widespread use in U.S. research
      • conditioning is stimulus substitution
      • selected because it is an objective method of behavior analysis
  • 26.
      • reflected reductionism and mechanism
      • human subject: the observed rather than the observer
        • designation changed from “observer” to “subject”
        • experimenter became the observer
  • 27. The Subject Matter of Behaviorism
  • 28. Items or elements of behavior
      • goal: understand overall behavior of the total organism
        • Act= more complex behaviors (eating, writing…)
        • response or act accomplishes some result
        • But capable of being reduced to simple, lower-level motor or glandular responses
  • 29. Watson
      • explicit versus implicit responses
        • explicit is overtly observable
        • implicit happen inside organism (ex., glandular secretions)
          • must be potentially observable
          • must be observable through the use of instruments
  • 30.
      • simple versus complex stimuli
        • complex stimulus situation can be reduced to simple, component stimuli
        • example of simple stimuli: light waves striking retina
  • 31. Watson
      • specific laws of behavior
        • identified through analysis of S-R complexes
        • must find elementary S-R units
      • major topics: instinct, emotion, thought
      • all areas of behavior: must use objective S-R terms
  • 32. Instincts
      • 1914: Watson described 11 instincts
      • 1925: eliminated the concept of instinct
        • an extreme environmentalist
        • denied inherited capacities, temperaments, talents
        • children can become anything one desires
        • a factor in his popularity with the American lay public
  • 33. Watson
    • "Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select–doctor, lawyer, artist–regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors"
  • 34.
      • Watson admitted that 100% environmental impact was an exaggeration, but claimed that those believing in hereditary control exaggerated their side.
      • seemingly instinctive behavior is actually a socially conditioned response
      • psychology can only be applied if behavior can be modified, which is not consistent with hereditary control.
  • 35. Emotions
      • Watson defined as bodily responses to specific stimuli, no different than salivating to food.
      • denied conscious perception of emotion or sensations from internal stimuli
      • each emotion = specific configuration of physiological changes, a form of implicit behavior: internal responses are evident in overt physical signs such as blushing
  • 36. Emotions
      • critical of James ’ more complex position involving initial conscious perception , bodily response and later a feeling state
      • Watson: emotions completely described by three things
        • objective stimulus situation
        • overt bodily response
        • internal physiological changes
  • 37. Emotions
      • fear, love, and rage are not learned emotional response patterns to stimuli. Inborn emotions shown by infants:
        • loud noises or sudden lack of support lead to fear
        • restriction of bodily movements leads to rage
        • caressing, rocking, patting lead to love
  • 38. Albert, Peter, and the rabbits
      • Little Albert (8 months old) study demonstrated conditioned (learned) emotional responses
      • Watson: adult fears are learned, do not arise from Freud’s unconscious conflicts.
  • 39. Little Albert Study: Watson & Rayner
    • Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): Loud bang of hammer against metal bar.
    • Unconditioned response (UCR): Natural fear response.
    • Neutral/Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Rat
    • After 7 pairings, previously neutral rat stimulates fear response.
  • 40. Little Albert Experiment
    • Generalization: Fear response to stimuli similar to rat= rabbit, cotton balls.
    • Harris, B. What ever happened to Little Albert?, Amer Psych, 1979, 34(2), 151-160.
    • Many texts have incorrect info or omit info:
    • Not all hairy objects induced fear, some nonwhite objects did induce fear.
    • Watson knew he would not get to treat Albert’s induced fears.
    • Some difficulties in replication.
  • 41. Peter’s Rabbit
        • Mary Cover Jones worked with 3-year Peter who came to her with a rabbit phobia
  • 42. Mary Cover Jones (1896-1987)
        • worked with 3-year Peter who came to her with a rabbit phobia (1924) (little Albert study published 1920)
        • treatment method
          • involve Peter in eating
          • bring in rabbit at a distance that does not produce crying
          • each day, decrease the distance
          • after a few months, Peter could touch the rabbit without exhibiting fear
          • this approach is a forerunner of behavior therapy. (a type of exposure therapy, foreshadowing systematic desensitization)
  • 43.
        • generalized fear responses also eliminated
        • 1968: Jones given G. Stanley Hall award for her outstanding work in developmental psychology
  • 44. Watson: Thought processes
      • traditional view:
        • thinking occurs in the absence of muscle movements
        • not accessible to observation and experimentation
  • 45. Watson’s Behaviorism
        • thinking is implicit sensorimotor behavior
        • involves implicit speech reactions or movements
        • reduced it to potentially measurable subvocal talking
        • same muscular habits as used for overt speech
        • others warn us not to talk aloud to ourselves, so we become unaware of the muscular habits used while thinking
        • thinking = silent talking to oneself
    • Farthing 1992: college students- 73% of thinking was talking to themselves.
  • 46. Behaviorism’s Popular Appeal
  • 47.
    • Watson called for a society based on scientifically shaped and controlled behavior
      • free of myths, customs, and convention
      • The Religion Called Behaviorism (Berman, 1927): read by & influenced Skinner
  • 48. Watson & Behaviorists
    • Emphasis on childhood environment and minimization of heredity
    • Conditioned reflex experiments
      • implied emotional disturbances in adulthood due to conditioned responses during earlier years
      • implies proper childhood conditioning precludes adult disorders
  • 49.
    • Behaviorism:
      • Can be part of a plan to improve society
      • Can be a framework for research
      • Was further elaborated by Skinner
  • 50. An Outbreak of Psychology
    • Product of a public already attentive to and receptive of psychology and Watson’s considerable charm and vision of hope for behavioral change and the betterment of society
  • 51.
    • Exemplified by
      • psychological advice columns
      • Joseph Jastrow’s popularization of psychology through magazine articles, newspaper column “Keeping Mentally Fit,” radio program, and pop psychology book, Piloting Your life: the Psychologist as Helmsman
      • Albert Wiggam’s column “Exploring Your Mind”
  • 52. Criticisms of Watson’s Behaviorism
  • 53. Edwin B. Holt (1873-1946)
      • Received Ph.D. under William James at Harvard
      • After Harvard works at Princeton
      • Consciousness should not be rejected
      • Learning can occur in response to internal needs and drives (precursor to motivation theories)
      • Focused on larger behaviors that had some purpose for the organism (precursor to Tolman)
  • 54. Karl Lashley (1890-1958)
      • student of Watson at Johns Hopkins
      • a physiological psychologist
  • 55. Lashley
      • 1929: Brain Mechanisms and Intelligence. Performed extirpation of brain areas in rats.
        • law of mass action: “The efficiency of learning is a function of the total mass of cortical tissue.” Larger areas of brain used in learning than localizationists would suggest.
        • principle of equipotentiality: “The idea that one part of the cerebral cortex is essentially equal to another in its contribution to learning.” (“searching for the engram”)
  • 56. Lashley
      • Expected his work to support Watson, but instead challenged Watson’s notion of a point-to-point connection in reflexes
        • brain more active in learning than Watson accepted, not a simple/passive switching station between sensory input & behavioral output.
        • disputed the notion that behavior is a mechanical compounding of conditioned reflexes
      • But confirmed the value of objective methods in psychology research
  • 57. William McDougall (1871-1938)
  • 58. McDougall: An Opponent of Watson & Behaviorism
      • English psychologist, affiliated with Harvard and Duke
      • noted for his instinct theory of behavior
        • human behavior results from innate tendencies to thought and action
      • noteworthy book on social psychology spurred that field
      • supported free will, Nordic superiority, psychic research
  • 59.
      • 1924: debate with Watson (McDougall judged as winner by most)
        • agreed data of behavior are a proper focus for psychology
        • argued data of consciousness also necessary
        • questioned Watson’s tenet that human behavior is fully determined, no free will
        • critical of Watson’s use of the verbal report method= speech behavior, without questioning meaning or accuracy of such speech.
        • Watson approach missing daydreams, fantasies, aesthetic experiences.
  • 60. Contributions of Watson’s Behaviorism
    • Made psychology more objective in methods and terminology
    • Stimulated a great deal of research
    • Surmounted earlier positions and schools
    • Objective methods and language became part of the mainstream