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  • qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopa Personality Theoristssdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdf Submitted to – Prof. Bhupen Srivastavaghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghj Submitted By Nirankar Royal (11PGDMHR36)klzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnmqwertyuiopasdfghjk
  • SIGMEUND FROIDFreud went on to develop theories about the unconscious mind and the mechanism ofrepression, and established the field of verbal psychotherapy by creating psychoanalysis, aclinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient (or"analysand") and a psychoanalyst. Though psychoanalysis has declined as a therapeuticpractice, it has helped inspire the development of many other forms of psychotherapy, somediverging from Freuds original ideas and approach. Freud postulated the existence of libido (anenergy with which mental process and structures are invested), developed therapeutictechniques such as the use of free association (in which patients report their thoughts withoutreservation and make no attempt to concentrate while doing so), discovered the transference(the process by which patients displace on to their analysts feelings based on their experienceof earlier figures in their lives) and established its central role in the analytic process, andproposed that dreams help to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled wishes that wouldotherwise awake the dreamer.PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT-Freud advanced a theory of personality development that centred on the effects of the sexualpleasure drive on the individual psyche. At particular points in the developmental process, heclaimed, a single body part is particularly sensitive to sexual, erotic stimulation. Theseerogenous zones are the mouth, the anus, and the genital region. The childs libido centers onbehaviour affecting the primary erogenous zone of his age; he cannot focus on the primaryerogenous zone of the next stage without resolving the developmental conflict of theimmediate one. A child at a given stage of development has certain needs and demands, such as the need ofthe infant to nurse. Frustration occurs when these needs are not met; Overindulgence stemsfrom such an ample meeting of these needs that the child is reluctant to progress beyond thestage. Both frustration and overindulgence lock some amount of the childs libido permanentlyinto the stage in which they occur; both result in a fixation. If a child progresses normallythrough the stages, resolving each conflict and moving on, then little libido remains invested ineach stage of development. But if he fixates at a particular stage, the method of obtainingsatisfaction which characterized the stage will dominate and affect his adult personality.The Oral Stage The oral stage begins at birth, when the oral cavity is the primary focus of libidal energy. Thechild, of course, preoccupies himself with nursing, with the pleasure of sucking and acceptingthings into the mouth. The oral character who is frustrated at this stage, whose mother refused1|Page
  • to nurse him on demand or who truncated nursing sessions early, is characterized bypessimism, envy, suspicion and sarcasm. The overindulged oral character, whose nursing urgeswere always and often excessively satisfied, is optimistic, gullible, and is full of admiration forothers around him. The stage culminates in the primary conflict of weaning, which bothdeprives the child of the sensory pleasures of nursing and of the psychological pleasure of beingcared for, mothered, and held. The stage lasts approximately one and one-half years.The Anal Stage At one and one-half years, the child enters the anal stage. With the advent of toilet trainingcomes the childs obsession with the erogenous zone of the anus and with the retention orexpulsion of the faeces. This represents a classic conflict between the id, which derives pleasurefrom expulsion of bodily wastes, and the ego and superego, which represent the practical andsocietal pressures to control the bodily functions. The child meets the conflict between theparents demands and the childs desires and physical capabilities in one of two ways: Either heputs up a fight or he simply refuses to go. The child who wants to fight takes pleasure inexcreting maliciously, perhaps just before or just after being placed on the toilet. If the parentsare too lenient and the child manages to derive pleasure and success from this expulsion, it willresult in the formation of an anal expulsive character. This character is generally messy,disorganized, reckless, careless, and defiant. Conversely, a child may opt to retain faeces,thereby spiting his parents while enjoying the pleasurable pressure of the built-up faeces on hisintestine. If this tactic succeeds and the child is overindulged, he will develop into an analretentive character. This character is neat, precise, orderly, careful, stingy, withholding,obstinate, meticulous, and passive-aggressive. The resolution of the anal stage, proper toilettraining, permanently affects the individual propensities to possession and attitudes towardsauthority. This stage lasts from one and one-half to two years.The Phallic StageThe phallic stage is the setting for the greatest, most crucial sexual conflict in Freuds model ofdevelopment. In this stage, the childs erogenous zone is the genital region. As the child becomesmore interested in his genitals, and in the genitals of others, conflict arises. The conflict, labelledthe Oedipus complex (The Electra complex in women), involves the childs unconscious desireto possess the opposite-sexed parent and to eliminate the same-sexed one. In the young male, the Oedipus conflict stems from his natural love for his mother, a love whichbecomes sexual as his libidos energy transfers from the anal region to his genitals. Unfortunatelyfor the boy, his father stands in the way of this love. The boy therefore feels aggression and envytowards this rival, his father, and also feels fear that the father will strike back at him. As the boyhas noticed that women, his mother in particular, have no penises, he is struck by a great fear thathis father will remove his penis, too. The anxiety is aggravated by the threats and discipline heincurs when caught masturbating by his parents. This castration anxiety outstrips his desire for2|Page
  • his mother, so he represses the desire. Moreover, although the boy sees that though he cannotposses his mother, because his father does, he canposses her vicariously by identifying with hisfather and becoming as much like him as possible: this identification indoctrinates the boy intohis appropriate sexual role in life. A lasting trace of the Oedipal conflict is the superego, thevoice of the father within the boy. By thus resolving his incestuous conundrum, the boy passesinto the latency period, a period of libidal dormancy.On the Electra complex, Freud was more vague. The complex has its roots in the little girlsdiscovery that she, along with her mother and all other women, lack the penis which her fatherand other men posses. Her love for her father then becomes both erotic and envious, as sheyearns for a penis of her own. She comes to blame her mother for her perceived castration, and isstruck by penis envy, the apparent counterpart to the boys castration anxiety. The resolution ofthe Electra complex is far less clear-cut than the resolution of the Oedipus complex is in males;Freud stated that the resolution comes much later and is never truly complete. Just as the boylearned his sexual role by identifying with his father, so the girl learns her role by identifyingwith her mother in an attempt to posses her father vicariously. At the eventual resolution of theconflict, the girl passes into the latency period, though Freud implies that she always remainsslightly fixated at the phallic stage.Fixation at the phallic stage develops a phallic character, who is reckless, resolute, self-assured,and narcissistic--excessively vain and proud. The failure to resolve the conflict can also cause aperson to be afraid or incapable of close love; Freud also postulated that fixation could be a rootcause of homosexuality.Latent Stage The resolution of the phallic stage leads to the latency period, which is not a psychosexual stageof development, but a period in which the sexual drive lies dormant. Freud saw latency as aperiod of unparalleled repression of sexual desires and erogenous impulses. During the latencyperiod, children pour this repressed libidal energy into asexual pursuits such as school, athletics,and same-sex friendships. But soon puberty strikes, and the genitals once again become a centralfocus of libidal energy.The Genital Stage In the genital stage, as the childs energy once again focuses on his genitals, interest turns toheterosexual relationships. The less energy the child has left invested in unresolved psychosexualdevelopments, the greater his capacity will be to develop normal relationships with the oppositesex. If, however, he remains fixated, particularly on the phallic stage, his development will betroubled as he struggles with further repression and defenses.3|Page
  • THE ID, EGO AND SUPEREGOIDAccording to Freud, we are born with our Id. The id is an important part of our personalitybecause as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is basedon our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with noconsideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food, andtherefore the child cries. When the child needs to be changed, the id cries. When the child isuncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or herneeds are met.The id doesnt care about reality, about the needs of anyone else, only its own satisfaction. If youthink about it, babies are not real considerate of their parents wishes. They have no care fortime, whether their parents are sleeping, relaxing, eating dinner, or bathing. When the id wantssomething, nothing else is important.EGOWithin the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the second partof the personality begins to develop. Freud called this part the Ego. The ego is based on thereality principle. The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and thatsometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. Its the egos job to meet theneeds of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.SUPEREGOBy the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops. TheSuperego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on usby our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of rightand wrong.In a healthy person, according to Freud, the ego is the strongest so that it can satisfy the needs ofthe id, not upset the superego, and still take into consideration the reality of every situation. Notan easy job by any means, but if the id gets too strong, impulses and self gratification take overthe persons life. If the superego becomes to strong, the person would be driven by rigid morals,would be judgmental and unbending in his or her interactions with the world.DEFENSE MECHANISMS USED BY THE EGODENIALDenial is characterized by having a conscious awareness at some level, but simply denies thereality of the experience by pretending it is not there. An example: a person who faints at ahorrible real-life occurrence, such as the death of a loved one. Or, that same person might4|Page
  • intellectually know that a person has died but refuses to ―accept it‖ while she may still wait for 5o‘clock, the usual time her husband came home from work. On a lighter note, a student mayrefuse to pick up her final grade from a difficult class because she knows it is not an acceptablegrade. She simply denies the reality of the grade. As a defense mechanism, denial becomes moredifficult to maintain as one matures. Its use requires much energy and the mind looks at otherpossibilities of defense.REPRESSIONThis is the cornerstone of Freud‘s theory. The unconscious purpose of repression operates in aperson who is not able to recall a threatening situation or may completely forget that an abusiveperson ever was a part of his/her life. To repress a particular event or person is also calledmotivated forgetting. Phobias can be examples of repression because the person has anunreasonable fear but may have no idea how it originated.DISPLACEMENTDisplacement means the reassignment of some kind of aggression to a scapegoat to relieve thetension of the situation. If a man has had a gruelling day at work, he may go home and alleviatehis tension by kicking the dog, or shouting at his wife. The dog and the wife are safesubstitutions for his release. Or, a woman may be attracted to her supervisor at work, but becauseshe cannot satisfy that impulse, instead, she can safely relate sexually with her own husband.REGRESSION Regression involves a movement back in developmental time to when a person felt safe andsecure. Often, that is childhood. This explains why an older child will suddenly begin again towet the bed or suck his thumb when the new baby comes home. Or, why a college student, awayfrom home for the first time, will want to bring her teddy bear with her. Conversely, that samecollege student would exhibit regression by throwing a tantrum. A person who has suffered adifficult divorce or death of a spouse may want to revisit the home of his/her childhood – thosetender years before pain overruled all other feelings.SUBLIMATION Sublimation is the driving force behind human aggression. A successful football linebacker mayhave a huge amount of anger that becomes useful when he is playing the game. That same personcould direct his energies into a trade such as butcher in a meat market. A person with a greatneed for order and security may become a business person or a scientist. Freud perceived a greatdeal of sublimation operating in the literary and art worlds.5|Page
  • RATIONALIZATION This defense simply involves making excuses to defend the behavior, or defend how you mightfeel about it. If a woman has been rejected from a man she might admire, she can rationalize thathe is ―no good, anyway.‖ If the car that you had been wanting is no longer available, you mightrationalize, or ―talk yourself into‖ the fact that you really didn‘t like it that much anyway.Another example: saying, ―Well, everybody else does it‖ when perhaps, referring to a behaviorlike parking in no-parking zones, or cheating on your tax reports.PROJECTION Projection is attributing your own unacceptable impulses to someone else. The impulses are stilljudged unacceptable but they belong to someone else, not you. At that point you are free tocriticize that person for having such terrible impulses. The final result is that you no longer feelthreatened and you can maintain your self-esteem by ignoring an objectionable aspect ofyourself.REACTION FORMATION This defense goes a step further than projection to the point of not even acknowledgingunwanted impulses or thoughts and convincing yourself you are not one of ―them‖ who doengage in those patterns. For instance, because a person totally rejects the idea of war, he maybecome a pacifist. Because he is afraid of war, he is changing his hatred of war into exactly theopposite – a love for peace. Freud called this ―going overboard.‖ Imagine, Freud goingoverboard! One example might describe a man who is secretly gay, but engages in manyheterosexual affairs in deliberate attempts to disguise his homosexuality. He feels his secret issafe, cloaked in his outrageous promiscuous behaviour.CARL JUNGIn 1907, Carl Jung met Sigmund Freud in Vienna. Jung had been interested in Freud‘s ideasregarding the interpretation of dreams. Likewise, Freud took an interest to Jung‘s wordassociation task that he used to understand the unconscious processes of patients. In fact, Freudinvited Jung along for his now-famous appearance at the Clark conference in 1909, Freud‘s firsttrip to America.After some argument over the validity of psychoanalysis, Jung and Freud went their separateways, and Jung went on to develop the analytical psychology, which differentiated the personalunconscious from the collective unconscious, which reflects the shared unconscious thoughtsamong humans. Another notable contribution to psychology involves Jungs personality theory,which was particularly notable due to its definitions of introversion and extroversion.6|Page
  • Jung’s Introversion and Extroversion AttitudesThe first of Jung‘s general psychological types was the general attitude type. An attitude,according to Jung, is a person‘s predisposition to behave in a particular way. There are twoopposing attitudes: introversion and extroversion. The two attitudes work as opposing, yetcomplementary forces and are often depicted as the classing yin and yang symbol.The introvert is most aware of his or her inner world. While the external world is still perceived,it is not pondered as seriously as inward movement of psychic energy. The introverted attitude ismore concerned with subjective appraisal and often gives more consideration to fantasies anddreams.The extrovert, by contrast, is characterized by the outward movement of psychic energy. Thisattitude places more importance on objectivity and gains more influence from the surroundingenvironment than by inner cognitive processes.Clearly, it is not a case of one versus the other. Many people carry qualities of both attitudes,considering both subjective and objective information.Jung’s Four Functions of PersonalityFor Carl Jung, there were four functions that, when combined with one of his two attitudes,formed the eight different personality types. The first function — feeling — is the method bywhich a person understands the value of conscious activity. Another function — thinking —allows a person to understand the meanings of things. This process relies on logic and carefulmental activity.The final two functions — sensation and intuition — may seem very similar, but there is animportant distinction. Sensation refers to the means by which a person knows something existsand intuition is knowing about something without conscious understanding of where thatknowledge comes from.The Eight Personality Types Defined by Carl JungJung developed a theory of eight different personality types. Jungs personality types are asfollows: Extroverted Thinking – Jung theorized that people understand the world through a mix of concrete ideas and abstract ones, but the abstract concepts are ones passed down from other people. Extroverted thinkers are often found working in the research sciences and mathematics. Introverted Thinking – These individuals interpret stimuli in the environment through a subjective and creative way. The interpretations are informed by internal knowledge and7|Page
  • understanding. Philosophers and theoretical scientists are often introverted thinking- oriented people. Extroverted Feeling – These people judge the value of things based on objective fact. Comfortable in social situations, they form their opinions based on socially accepted values and majority beliefs. They are often found working in business and politics. Introverted Feeling – These people make judgments based on subjective ideas and on internally established beliefs. Oftentimes they ignore prevailing attitudes and defy social norms of thinking. Introverted feeling people thrive in careers as art critics. Extroverted Sensing – These people perceive the world as it really exists. Their perceptions are not colored by any pre-existing beliefs. Jobs that require objective review, like wine tasters and proofreaders, are best filled by extroverted sensing people. Introverted Sensing – These individuals interpret the world through the lens of subjective attitudes and rarely see something for only what it is. They make sense of the environment by giving it meaning based on internal reflection. Introverted sensing people often turn to various arts, including portrait painting and classical music. Extroverted Intuitive – These people prefer to understand the meanings of things through subliminally perceived objective fact rather than incoming sensory information. They rely on hunches and often disregard what they perceive directly from their senses. Inventors that come upon their invention via a stroke of insight and some religious reformers are characterized by the extraverted intuitive type. Introverted Intuitive – These individuals, Jung thought, are profoundly influenced by their internal motivations even though they do not completely understand them. They find meaning through unconscious, subjective ideas about the world. Introverted intuitive people comprise a significant portion of mystics, surrealistic artists, and religious fanatics.Applying Jung’s Orientations to a Complete PersonalityA person is not usually defined by only one of the eight personality types. Instead, the differentfunctions exist in a hierarchy. One function will take have a superior effect and another will havea secondary effect. Usually, according to Jung, a person only makes significant use of twofunctions. The other two take inferior positions.In his 1921 work, Psychological Types, Jung compared his four functions of personality to thefour points on a compass. While a person faces one direction, he or she still uses the other pointsas a guide. Most people keep one function as the dominant one although some people maydevelop two over a lifetime. It is only the person who achieves self-realization that hascompletely developed all four functions.ALFRED ADLERI found the theoretical tenets given by Alfred Adler very practical and easy to understand. Histheories are not concentrated on one concept like Freud‘s sexuality or Jung‘s mythology. I couldrelate to his believe that all people need not behave in a certain way under certain circumstances,nothing about human personality is necessary. Some people do discard his theory of ―striving for8|Page
  • perfection‖ as it is not a measurable aspect but it is not necessary that all the concepts a theoryuses must be measurable. I like Alfred Adler as I can find sense in his theories.Theoretical Tenets and their implications to self growth and interpersonal relations: He advocated that there is a single motivation force behind all our actions and behaviours and that is ―striving for perfection‖. We all have desires and we tend to fulfil them and get close to perfection. The word ‗Perfection‘ is considered to have negative connotations as many philosophers think that people spend a miserable life trying to be perfect but Adler takes the positive side of it and he gave many phrase like aggression drive, compensation etc before coming down to this phrase. He followed ―holism‖ approach which says that an individual needs to be understood taking into account the physical and social environment he lives in. In contrast to Freud, he saw motivation as a way to move towards future instead of past being the driver of the present. This is called Teleology which took away the necessity out of things as talked about earlier. He gave the birth order theory, which says that the youngest child is more likely to be pampered and the first child is likely to be more authoritative whereas the second child is likely to have more social interest.The ways in which we can use these insights in an organization:Adler‘s social interest theory needs to be kept in mind while we formulate policies for theemployees in an organization. Every individual has a sense of caring for the family, forcommunity, for society, for humanity and for life. They have a need to be useful to others. Anindividual cannot be seen in isolation (holism), he cannot be expected to just work withoutfulfilling his social needs. He needs to be motivated to draw him towards the goals of theorganization. Almost all individuals have some of the other inferiority in them so as HRprofessionals we need to understand their competencies so that they can compensate for theinferiorityby performing well in something else. While recruiting people, we may keep in mindthe psychological types given by Adler and look for the ‗socially useful type‘ people as theywould have high chances of performing well.CARL RODGERRogers maintains that the human "organism" has an underlying "actualizing tendency", whichaims to develop all capacities in ways that maintain or enhance the organism and move it towardautonomy. This tendency is directional, constructive and present in all living things. Theactualizing tendency can be suppressed but can never be destroyed without the destruction of theorganism .The concept of the actualizing tendency is the only motive force in the theory. It9|Page
  • encompasses all motivations; tension, need, or drive reductions; and creative as well as pleasure-seeking tendencies. Only the organism as a whole has this tendency, parts of it do not.Self-Actualizing Tendency A distinctly psychological form of the actualizing tendency related to this "self" is the "self-actualizing tendency". It involves the actualization of that portion of experience symbolized inthe self (Rogers, 1959). It can be seen as a push to experience oneself in a way that is consistentwith ones conscious view of what one is (Maddi, 1996). Connected to the development of theself-concept and self-actualization are secondary needs (assumed to likely be learned inchildhood): the "need for positive regard from others" and "the need for positive self-regard", aninternalized version of the previous. These lead to the favoring of behavior that is consistent withthe persons self-concept (Maddi, 1996).Organismic Valuing and Conditions of Worth When significant others in the persons world (usually parents) provide positive regard that isconditional, rather than unconditional, the person introjects the desired values, making themhis/her own, and acquires "conditions of worth" (Rogers, 1959). The self-concept then becomesbased on these standards of value rather than on organismic evaluation. These conditions ofworth disturb the "organismic valuing process", which is a fluid, ongoing process wherebyexperiences are accurately symbolized and valued according to optimal enhancement of theorganism and self (Rogers, 1959). The need for positive self-regard leads to a selectiveperception of experience in terms of the conditions of worth that now exist. Those experiences inaccordance with these conditions are perceived and symbolized accurately in awareness, whilethose that are not are distorted or denied into awareness. This leads to an "incongruence"between the self as perceived and the actual experience of the organism, resulting in possibleconfusion, tension, and maladaptive behavior (Rogers, 1959). Such estrangement is the commonhuman condition. Experiences can be perceived as threatening without conscious awareness via"subception", a form of discrimination without awareness that can result in anxiety.Fully Functioning Person and the Self Theoretically, an individual may develop optimally and avoid the previously describedoutcomes if they experience only "unconditional positive regard" and no conditions of worthdevelop. The needs for positive regard from others and positive self-regard would matchorganismic evaluation and there would be congruence between self and experience, with fullpsychological adjustment as a result (Rogers, 1959). This ideal human condition is embodied inthe "fully functioning person" who is open to experience able to live existentially, is trusting inhis/her own organism, expresses feelings freely, acts independently, is creative and lives a richerlife; "the good life" (Rogers, 1961). It should be noted that; "The good life is a process not a stateof being. It is a direction, not a destination (Rogers, 1961, p.186)". For the vast majority ofpersons who do not have an optimal childhood there is hope for change and development toward10 | P a g e
  • psychological maturity via therapy, in which the aim is to dissolve the conditions of worth,achieve a self congruent with experience and restore the organismic valuing process (Rogers,1959).The self-concept includes three components:Self worth (or self-esteem) – what we think about ourselves. Rogers believed feelings of self-worth developed in early childhood and were formed from the interaction of the child with themother and father.Self-image – How we see ourselves, which is important to good psychological health. Self-image includes the influence of our body image on inner personality. At a simple level, we mightperceive ourselves as a good or bad person, beautiful or ugly. Self-image has an affect on how aperson thinks feels and behaves in the world.Ideal self – This is the person who we would like to be. It consists of our goals and ambitions inlife, and is dynamic – i.e. forever changing. The ideal self in childhood is not the ideal self in ourteens or late twenties etc.Conditional positive regard is where positive regard, praise and approval, depend upon the child,for example, behaving in ways that the parents think correct. Hence the child is not loved for theperson he or she is, but on condition that he or she behaves only in ways approved by theparent(s). At the extreme, a person who constantly seeks approval from other people is likelyonly to have experienced conditional positive regard as a child.CongruenceA person‘s ideal self may not be consistent with what actually happens in life and experiences ofthe person. Hence, a difference may exist between a person‘s ideal self and actual experience.This is called incongruence. Where a person‘s ideal self and actual experience are consistent orvery similar, a state of congruence exists. Rarely, if ever does a total state of congruence exist;all people experience a certain amount of incongruence.The development of congruence is dependent on unconditional positive regard. Carl Rogersbelieved that for a person to achieve self-actualization they must be in a state ofcongruence.According to Rogers, we want to feel, experience and behave in ways which areconsistent with our self-image and which reflect what we would like to be like, our ideal-self.The closer our self-image and ideal-self are to each other, the more consistent or congruent weare and the higher our sense of self-worth. A person is said to be in a state of incongruence ifsome of the totality of their experience is unacceptable to them and is denied or distorted in theself-image. Incongruence is "a discrepancy between the actual experience of the organism and11 | P a g e
  • the self-picture of the individual insofar as it represents that experience." As we prefer to seeourselves in ways that are consistent with our self-image, we may use defense mechanisms likedenial or repression in order to feel less threatened by some of what we consider to be ourundesirable feelings. A person whose self-concept is incongruent with her or his real feelingsand experiences will defend because the truth hurts.B.F.SKINNERSkinner believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an actionand its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning. Skinner coined the termoperant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement whichis given after the desired response.Skinner’s Main Ideas-Operant conditioning A type of learning in which future behaviour is determined by theconsequences of past behaviour. In general, if a behaviour results in something that the organismfinds pleasant,it is likely to be repeated. Conversely, if behaviour is followed by unpleasantconsequences, then it is unlikely to be repeated.Reinforcement A reinforcement is a consequence that strengthens a behaviour or makes it likelyto be repeated. Note that reinforcement is not always the same as a reward. A reward is anexample of positive reinforcement (the presentation of a pleasant stimulus). However,behaviourcan also be strengthened if it leads to the removal of something unpleasant(negativereinforcement). The term reinforce means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer toanything stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response.Punishment A punishment is a consequence that weakens a behaviour or makes it less likely tobe repeated. It can involve the presentation of an unpleasant stimulus or the removal or apleasant one (sometimes these are referred to as positive and negative punishment).Shaping A process used to teach complex behaviours. A complex behaviour is broken down intoa series of simple behaviours. These are taught one by one using reinforcement and punishmentand gradually combined to create the desired complex behaviour. Shaping is frequently used toteach tricks to animals.Stimulus control The process by which a person or animal learns that a particular behaviouronly brings reinforcement under particular conditions.Operant ConditioningSkinner called learning from consequences ‗operant conditioning‘ because it is based on howorganisms operate on their environment. Essentially, Skinners theory is that the likelihood of12 | P a g e
  • future behaviour is determined by the consequences of past behaviour. In common with Watson,Skinner did not think it necessary to speculate on what went on in people‘sminds. He believed that the environment and behaviour were all that was necessary to anunderstanding of psychology.In operant conditioning, schedules of reinforcement are an important component of the learningprocess. When and how often we reinforce a behavior can have a dramatic impact on the strengthand rate of the response.A schedule of reinforcement is basically a rule stating which instances of a behavior will bereinforced. In some case, a behavior might be reinforced every time it occurs. Sometimes, abehavior might not be reinforced at all. Either positive reinforcement or negative reinforcementmight be used, depending on the situation. In both cases, the goal of reinforcement is always tostrengthen the behavior and increase the likelihood that it will occur again in the future.Certain schedules of reinforcement may be more effective in specific situations. There are twotypes of reinforcement schedules:1. Continuous ReinforcementIn continuous reinforcement, the desired behavior is reinforced every single time it occurs.Generally, this schedule is best used during the initial stages of learning in order to create astrong association between the behavior and the response. Once the response if firmly attached,reinforcement is usually switched to a partial reinforcement schedule.2. Partial ReinforcementIn partial reinforcement, the response is reinforced only part of the time. Learned behaviors areacquired more slowly with partial reinforcement, but the response is more resistant to extinction.There are four schedules of partial reinforcement:Fixed-ratio schedules-are those where a response is reinforced only after a specified number ofresponses. This schedule produces a high, steady rate of responding with only a brief pause afterthe delivery of the reinforcer.Variable-ratio schedules-occur when a response is reinforced after an unpredictable number ofresponses. This schedule creates a high steady rate of responding. Gambling and lottery gamesare good examples of a reward based on a variable ratio schedule.Fixed-interval schedules-are those where the first response is rewarded only after a specifiedamount of time has elapsed. This schedule causes high amounts of responding near the end of theinterval, but much slower responding immediately after the delivery of the reinforcer.13 | P a g e
  • Variable-interval schedules-occur when a response is rewarded after an unpredictable amountof time has passed. This schedule produces a slow, steady rate of response.Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior. Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative. Punishers: Response from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual findsrewarding. For example, if your teacher gives you rs 5 each time you complete your homework(i.e. a reward) you are more likely to repeat this behavior in the future, thus strengthening thebehavior of completing your homework.14 | P a g e