Behaviourism 2011 version


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Themes and Issues in Psychology

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Behaviourism 2011 version

  1. 1. Overview of Behaviourism (Please read Glassman and Hadad 2009 – Chapter 3 – or some equivalent text.)
  2. 2. What is a ‘theoretical approach’? <ul><li>An assumption about the aspects of a person worthy of study … </li></ul><ul><li>… which determines a ‘model’ of what people are like. </li></ul><ul><li>Any model determines: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Views on the nature of development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferred methods of study. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The nature of ‘normality’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The causes of ‘abnormality. </li></ul></ul>(Gross 2003: p313)
  3. 3. An ‘approach’ … <ul><li>… provides a general orientation to a view of humankind. It says, in effect, ‘we see people as operating according to these basic principles and we therefore see explanations of human behaviour as needing to be set within these limits and with these or those principles understood.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Coolican et al 1996 – cited in Gross 2003: p313) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Objectives of this session? <ul><li>To summarise the work and impact of Edward Thorndike, Ivan Pavlov, John Watson and B F Skinner on the history of psychology. </li></ul><ul><li>To illustrate where their views and practices still influence psychology today. </li></ul><ul><li>To encourage you to question and become more aware of ‘historical influence’. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why is this important? <ul><li>‘ Historical influence’ is present and active now . </li></ul><ul><li>If you are aware of it, you can decide if it is relevant and appropriate in your work. </li></ul><ul><li>(Old saying … if we are not aware of the influence of history, we are prisoners of it.) </li></ul>
  6. 6. References <ul><li>Funder, D. (2010) The Personality Puzzle </li></ul><ul><li>Glassman. W. and Hadad, M. (2004). Approaches to Psychology (Fourth Edition). </li></ul><ul><li>Gross, R. (2003). Themes, Issues and Debates in Psychology. </li></ul><ul><li>Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., Vliek, M. (2009). Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Richards, G. (2002). Putting Psychology in its Place. London: Routledge. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Key Components? Funder 2010
  8. 8. Behaviourism <ul><li>Rejected: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unobservable, unverifiable mental events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These events were considered outside the realm of psychology. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>At birth our mind is empty. </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulated experience and association creat our personality. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Funder (2010: p562) and Martin ‘et al’ (2010: p28) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Strong egotistical ‘extremists’ (e.g. Watson and Skinner) who may have distorted behaviourisms potential nature of contribution. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Thorndike Source:
  11. 11. Edward Thorndike (1874 – 1949) <ul><li>Studied the behaviour of animals. </li></ul><ul><li>Studied animals. </li></ul><ul><li>1905: The Law of Effect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Any act which within a given situation produces satisfaction becomes associated with that situation, so that when the situation recurs the act is more likely than before to recur also. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversely, any act which within a given situation produces discomfort becomes dissociated from that situation, so that when the situation recurs the act is less likely than before to recur.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Martin ‘et al’ (2010: p28) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. The Law of Effect <ul><li>Is in the Functionalist Tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>“… the consequences of behaviour act back upon the organism, affecting the likelihood that the behaviour that has just occurred will occur again. (…)” </li></ul><ul><li>The consequences of an action make an action more likely. </li></ul><ul><li>Thorndike’s explanations do include aspects of mental events. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ivan Pavlov Source:
  14. 14. Ivan Pavlov: 1849 - 1936 <ul><li>Physiologist </li></ul><ul><li>Studying digestion in dogs (1905 / 6). </li></ul><ul><li>Noticed hungry dogs salivated at the sight of the person bringing them food. </li></ul><ul><li>Understood that dogs could be trained to salivate at the sight of unrelated stimuli. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Martin ‘et al’ (2010: p29) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Classical Conditioning <ul><li>The study of learning – which involves a reflex response. ( Stimulus – Response). </li></ul><ul><li>It involves forming a connection between two stimuli: pairing a neutral stimulus (NS) e.g. a bell, with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) e.g. food, where the NS becomes conditioned to elicit the same kind of response as the UCS. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Classical Conditioning Before conditioning During conditioning After conditioning NS (Bell) Orienting response UCS (Food in mouth) UCR (Salivation) NS / CS (E.g. tone) UCS (Food in mouth) CR / UCR (Salivation) CS (Tone) CR (Salivation)
  17. 17. John Watson Source:
  18. 18. John B. Watson: 1878 – 1958 <ul><li>Behaviourism as a formal school began with Watson’s publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Watson saw psychology as a natural science. </li></ul><ul><li>Saw “psychology as an objective study of behaviour and the stimuli which produce such behaviour”. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>‘ Explicit’ behaviour: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Observable. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Implicit’ behaviour: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not directly observable, but potentially so. E.g. electrical impulses from nerves. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Classic Watson quote: <ul><li>“ 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 of them at random and train him to become any type of specialist I select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. ‘ Little Albert’ Source:
  22. 22. Overview of Behaviourism <ul><li>John B. Watson 1878 - 1958 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Behaviourism”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially taught courses based on the work of Wundt and James (1909 – John Hopkins University.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Became increasingly critical of ‘introspection’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>He saw it as unreliable and difficult to verify. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1913/5 learnt of Pavlov’s discovery of conditioned reflexes in dogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watson proposed the conditioned reflex could become the basics for a full-scale human psychology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NB Pavlov did NOT view this reflex as psychological! </li></ul></ul></ul>(Gross 2003: p222/3)
  23. 23. Overview of Behaviourism <ul><li>(John Watson continued.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Implication: basing a human ‘psychology’ on our relationship to, and similarity with animals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Behaviour’ is the real psychology – not topics like memory or will. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hunt (2007: p287). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Overview of Behaviourism <ul><li>(John Watson continued.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Important speculation – are ‘statements of theory’ also ‘statements of personality or personal history’? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watson was described as “…insecure, afraid of the dark, emotionally frozen”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No wonder he was the champion of a psychology that rejected introspection and self-revelation, (that) dealt only with external acts and … preferred rats to human beings”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Hunt 2007: p287). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Overview of Behaviourism <ul><li>(John Watson continued.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Behaviourist psychology is an objective natural science. It rejects subjective data and interpretations.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ The theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behaviour.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology is the ‘science of behaviour’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Behaviourist sees no distinction between human being and animals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Human behaviour is an evolved and more complex form of the behaviour of other species.” </li></ul></ul></ul>(Gross 2003: p223)
  26. 26. Overview of Behaviourism <ul><li>(John Watson continued.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Behaviourism was based on the premise that individuals adjust to their environment, and that certain stimuli lead them to make particular responses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I.e. we learn by ‘association’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychology would then study the connection between the stimuli and the responses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hunt (2007: p291). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Behaviourism <ul><li>Reductionist view of psychology! Analysis of responses to stimuli (muscular and glandular) would reveal complex patterns of behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Data is observable behaviour, and environmental stimuli. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Behaviourism <ul><li>The impact of behaviourism is traced to three elements: </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on observable responses and environmental stimuli. </li></ul><ul><li>Rejection of ‘mentalistic concepts’ not grounded in direct observation. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on learning and experience as central to the understanding of behaviour. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Behaviourism <ul><li>In order to study environmental influences … one must be able to rigorously define environmental characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘stimulus’ is any event, situation, object or factor that is measurable and may effect behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore an operational definition of a stimulus and response becomes key. </li></ul>
  30. 30. B.F. Skinner Source: HarvardSquareLibrary
  31. 31. B.F. Skinner: 1904 - 1990 <ul><li>Radical Behaviourism </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on reinforcement. </li></ul><ul><li>Studied animals, e.g. rats and pigeons. </li></ul><ul><li>Certain stimuli produce certain behaviours. </li></ul><ul><li>Animals could be trained to behave certain ways </li></ul>
  32. 32. Instrumental or Operant learning <ul><li>Positive reinforcement (e.g. attention or approval) </li></ul><ul><li>Punishment (e.g. negative stimuli). </li></ul><ul><li>Negative reinforcement (e.g. behaviours which reduced the likelihood of punishment. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Martin ‘et al’ (2010: p30/1) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. “ Operant Conditioning”: What effects results? <ul><li>‘ Contingency’: the relationship between a response and reinforcer. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedules of reinforcement: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous (every event). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partial (not every response). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fixed ratio (defined relationship). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variable ratio. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fixed interval. </li></ul></ul>(Glassman and Hadad 2004: p128 / 9).
  34. 34. Bandura Source:
  35. 35. Various contributions <ul><li>Therapeutic treatment of anxiety via ‘therapist’ modelling ‘micro’ behaviours. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Phobia of snakes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Behaviour is imitated and reinforced. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Learning Theory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggression can be learnt from social observation, and reinforced by that observation. E.g. Bobo Doll (next slide). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Martin ‘et al’ 2010: p712 and 802 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  36. 36. ‘ Bobo’ Doll Source:
  37. 37. Social learning <ul><li>Observational learning (seeing someone else’s behaviour). </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocal determinism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We change the environment via our behaviour. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Reality of Behaviourism? Differing views: <ul><li>“ ...(behaviourism) never dominated psychological practice to the extent that is often claimed”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The majority of America’s working researchers between the two world wars were eclectic functionalists” including experience alongside behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Primary impact was methodological. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Richards 2002: p67) </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Reality of Behaviourism? Differing views: <ul><li>“ The theoretical price paid was an abandonment of concern with many genuinely profound philosophical and theoretical questions about psychology’s status and nature”. </li></ul><ul><li>“ ... A commitment to reductionism seemed to discard the baby with the bath water”. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Richards 2002: p71) </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. What has become of behaviourism? <ul><li>Recognition that S – R only partly explains behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Emerging research in other areas of psychology (e.g. perception, motivation, traits, creativity). </li></ul><ul><li>Kuhn and the ‘paradigm shift’. </li></ul><ul><li>Damaged by ‘over-claiming’ of two ambitious men? (Watson and Skinner.) </li></ul>
  41. 41. What has become of behaviourism? Stimulus Thoughts / feelings (organism) Response
  42. 42. What has become of behaviourism? (Depression) Depressed mood …. biases memory towards emotionally negative items (increasing the probability of recalling negative memories and information.) Preponderance of negative memories and information creates an increase in depressed mood. (Yiend and Mackintosh 2005: p485)
  43. 43. What has become of behaviourism? (Panic) Trigger Stimulus Perceived threat Apprehension Bodily sensation Interpretations of sensations as catastrophic (Lalljee 1996: p104).
  44. 44. Behaviourism <ul><li>Behaviourism became the dominant and ruling paradigm of psychology in America and Europe for 40+ years. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? Speculations…. It appealed to ‘practicality’. It seemed ‘commonsense’. Avoided ‘ultimate’ explanations. Resulted from World War I hostility to German views? </li></ul>
  45. 45. Behaviourism <ul><li>“ Behaviourism came to embody the empiricist philosophy within psychology.” </li></ul><ul><li>It also embodied positivism – scientific rigour, objectivity, and human beings as ‘natural phenomena’. </li></ul><ul><li>This must have been driven, at least in part, by a wish for wider acceptance in the social context . </li></ul>(Gross 2003: p224)
  46. 46. Implications of this conception of psychology? <ul><li>“ … trying to imitate the natural sciences and laboratory methods of weighing and counting, dealt with everything except the soul (…) (it) claimed that conscience, value judgements, and knowledge of good and evil are metaphysical concepts outside the problems of psychology.” </li></ul>(Graham 1986 in Gross 2003: p225)
  47. 47. Summary <ul><li>I run the risk that any ‘summary’ of ‘history’ is interpretation!! </li></ul><ul><li>Main trends are ‘rational’ and ‘either or’ thinking. Both of these are ‘excluding’. They shut out aspects of human experience. We must look to ‘inclusive’ psychology, rather than excluding? </li></ul>
  48. 48. How do I become who I am? <ul><li>“ Behaviourism ” </li></ul><ul><li>I learn by association. </li></ul><ul><li>Repetitive experiences </li></ul><ul><li>shape or even create my </li></ul><ul><li>response. </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention in this ‘cycle’ </li></ul><ul><li>is possible to change my / </li></ul><ul><li>our experience. </li></ul>
  49. 49. ‘ I ‘ Interior individual ‘ IT ’ Exterior Individual ‘ We ’ Collective Cultural ‘ ITS ’ Social system Environment (Adapted and developed from different writing of Ken Wilber.) Psychodynamics. Instincts. Ego. Id. Intrapersonal. Phenomenology. Self-actualization. Experimental psychology. Cognitive psychology. ‘ Brain’. ‘Organism’. Behaviourism . Interpersonal. Relationships. ‘ Object relations’ theory Group psychology? Family ‘system’. ‘Super ego’? Humanistic psychology. Cross-cultural psychology. ‘ Generalized’ psychology. Organisational psychology. Source of the ‘super ego’?
  50. 50. History of Psychology: Timeline? Charles Darwin (1859) Origin of the Species. William James (1875) Teaching psychology at Harvard. Wilhelm Wundt (1879) – First psychology ‘laboratory ’. Henry James (1892) Publishes ‘Principles of Psychology’. Sigmund Freud’s (1896) address to the Viennese Society of Psychiatry on the ‘Etiology of Hysteria’. Sigmund Freud publishes (1900) Interpretation of Dreams. John Watson (1913) publishes his ‘Manifesto’ for behavioural psychology. Carl Jung (1923) publishes ‘Psychological Types’. Melanie Klein (1946) Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. Carl Rogers (1951) publishes ‘Client Centred Therapy’. John Bowlby – Attachment. Maslow (1970) – Self- actualisation