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Educational Psychology

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1 Educational Psychology
Master TEFL & ICT Educational Psychology Dr. Abdallah GHAICHA Dr Youssef TAMER BEHAVIORISM Prepared by: AmalBAKKALI Mohamed AKHARRAZ Mohamed AKKLOUCH December 28TH, 2012


3 DEFINITION Behaviorism is: “A school of psychology that confines itself to the study of observable and quantifiable aspects of behavior and excludes subjective phenomena, such as emotions or motives.”

4 The Origins of Behaviorism
Behaviorism traces its roots to the early part of the 20th century, a time when many psychologists and researchers like Ivan Pavlov and John B. Watson began to develop a framework which emphasized observable processes (enviromental stimuli and behavioral responses).

IVAN PAVLOV E. L. Thorndike Burrhus Frederic "B. F." Skinner


7 Born Sept 14, 1849 Died Feb 27, 1936 born in Ryazan, Russia physiologist, psychologist, and physician awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for research on the digestive system

8 E.L. Thorndike

9 E.L. Thorndike First scientific theory of learning- Theory of Connectionism Comprehensive analogy of human learning- Three volume work, Educational Psychology ( 1913a, 1913b, 1914 ) Initial work with animal learning in laboratory setting- cat in box experiment”

10 He placed a cat in the puzzle box, which was encourage to escape to reach a scrap of fish placed outside.  Thorndike would put a cat into the box and time how long it took to escape.  The cats experimented with different ways to escape the puzzle box and reach the fish. Eventually they would stumble upon the lever which opened the cage.  When it had escaped it was put in again, and once more the time it took to escape was noted.  In successive trials the cats would learn that pressing the lever would have favorable consequences and they would adopt this behavior, becoming increasingly quick at pressing the lever (see Fig 1). Edward Thorndike put forward a “Law of effect” which stated that any behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and any behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is likely to be stopped.

11 What happened ? Schunk (2000)

12 The Cat Learned !!! Behavior Change = Learning

13 Thorndike’s Theory of Connectionism
Law of Effect If Situation + Response is followed by a positive consequence then the connection between the Situation + Response is strengthened. If Situation + Response is followed by a negative consequence then the connection between the Situation + Response is weakened.

14 The Cat Learned !!! Behavior Change = Learning

15 Thorndike’s Theory of Connectionism
Law of Effect If Situation + Response is followed by a positive consequence then the connection between the Situation + Response is strengthened. If Situation + Response is followed by a negative consequence then the connection between the Situation + Response is weakened.

16 Burrhus Frederic "B. F." Skinner

17 Born March 20, 1904 Died August 18, 1990 Born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania An American  psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher

18 what is learning Once you have learned how to drive a car, you don’t have to learn all over again. Thus, learning can be defined as a relatively permanent influence on behavior, knowledge, and thinking skills that comes about through experience. Not everything we know is learned. We inherit some capacities—they are inborn, or innate, not learned.

19 For example, we don’t have to be taught to swallow, to flinch at loud noises, or to blink when an object comes too close to our eyes. The scope of learning is broad (Domjan, 2010; Klein, 2009). It involves academic behaviors and nonacademic behaviors. It occurs in schools and everywhere else that children experience their world.


21 For the behaviorist, behavior is everything that we do, both verbal and nonverbal, that can be directly seen or heard: a child creating a poster, a teacher explaining something to a child, one student picking on another student, and so on.

22 Mental processes are defined by psychologists as the thoughts, feelings, and motives that each of us experiences but that cannot be observed by others. Although we cannot directly see thoughts, feelings, and motives, they are no less real. Mental processes include children thinking about ways to create the best poster, a teacher feeling good about children’s efforts, and children’s inner motivation to control their behavior.


24 As is shown in the experiment in the picture above, Pavlov presented a neutral stimulus (bell) just before an unconditioned stimulus (food). The neutral stimulus became a conditioned stimulus by being paired with the unconditioned stimulus. Subsequently, the conditioned stimulus (bell) by itself was able to elicit the dog’s salivation.

25 behavioral approach to learning (classical and operant conditions)
The behavioral approach emphasizes the importance of children making connections between experiences and behavior. It includes two views: classical conditioning and operant conditioning.


27 Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism learns to connect, or associate, stimuli so that a neutral stimulus (such as the sight of a person) becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus (such as food) and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response. Classical conditioning was the brainchild of Ivan Pavlov (1927).

28 (click here to see the figure above)
In classical conditioning, there are two types of stimuli and two types of responses: unconditioned stimulus (UCS), unconditioned response (UCR) conditioned stimulus (CS) conditioned response (CR). (click here to see the figure above)

29 Classical conditioning can be involved in both positive and negative experiences of children in the classroom. Among the things in the child’s schooling that produce pleasure because they have become classically conditioned are a favorite song and feelings that the classroom is a safe and fun place to be. For example, a song could be neutral for the child until he joins in with other classmates to sing it with accompanying positive feelings.

30 Other examples: exam anxiety criticism fear Some children’s health problems also might involve classical conditioning (Chance, 2009). Certain physical complaints—asthma, headaches, and high blood pressure—might be partly due to classical conditioning. So, often, teacher’s heavy criticism, are conditioned stimuli for physiological responses like headaches, muscle tension, or stress.

31 Generalization, Discrimination, and Extinction
In studying a dog’s responses to various stimuli, Pavlov rang a bell before giving meat powder to the dog. By being paired with the UCS (meat), the bell became a CS and elicited the dog’s salivation. After a time, Pavlov found that the dog also responded to other sounds, such as a whistle. The more bell-like the noise, the stronger was the dog’s response.

32 A student is criticized for poor performance on a biology test
A student is criticized for poor performance on a biology test. When the student begins to prepare for a chemistry test, she also becomes very nervous because these two subjects are closely related in the sciences. This is generalization.

33 Discrimination in classical conditioning occurs when the organism responds to certain stimuli but not others. To produce discrimination, Pavlov gave food to the dog only after ringing the bell, not after any other sounds. Subsequently, the dog responded only to the bell. In the case of the student taking tests in different classes, he/she doesn’t become nearly as nervous about taking an English test or a history test because they are very different subject areas.

34 Extinction in classical conditioning involves the weakening of the conditioned response (CR) in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus (UCS). In one session, Pavlov rang the bell repeatedly but did not give the dog any food. Eventually the dog stopped salivating at the sound of the bell. Similarly, if a student who gets nervous while taking tests begins to do much better on tests, his anxiety will fade.


36 Reinforcement and Punishment
A reinforcement (reward)is a consequence that increases the probability that a behavior will occur. In contrast, punishment is a consequence that decreases the probability a behavior will occur.

37 For example, you might tell one of your students, “Congratulations
For example, you might tell one of your students, “Congratulations. I’m really proud of the story that you wrote.” If the student works harder and writes an even better story the next time, your positive comments are said to reinforce, or reward, the student’s writing behavior. If you frown at a student for talking in class and the student’s talking decreases, your frown is said to punish the student’s talking.

38 To reinforce behavior means to strengthen the behavior (Domjan, 2010)
To reinforce behavior means to strengthen the behavior (Domjan, 2010). Two forms of reinforcement are positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. In positive reinforcement, the frequency of a response increases because it is followed by a rewarding stimulus, as in the example in which the teacher’s positive comments increased the student’s writing behavior. Similarly, complimenting parents on being at a parent-teacher conference might encourage them to come back again.

39 Conversely, in negative reinforcement, the frequency of a response increases because it is followed by the removal of an aversive (unpleasant) stimulus. For example, a father nags at his son to do his homework. He keeps nagging. Finally, the son gets tired of hearing the nagging and does his homework. The son’s response (doing his homework) removed the unpleasant stimulus (nagging).



42 The processes of generalization, discrimination and extinction also are important dimensions of operant conditioning (Chance, 2009).

Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning First described by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist Involves placing a neutral signal before a reflex Focuses on involuntary, automatic behaviors First described by B. F. Skinner, an American psychologist Involves applying reinforcement or punishment after a behavior Focuses on strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviors

44 Activity

45 Applied Behavior Analysis in Education
What is applied behavior analysis? Increasing Desirable Behaviors. Decreasing Desirable Behaviors. Evaluating Operant Conditioning and Applied Behavior Analysis.

46 What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied behavior analysis involves applying the the operant conditioning to change human behavior. When it comes to education, two uses of applied behavior analysis are essential: increasing desirable behaviors decreasing undesirable behviors.

47 A – Increasing desirable behavior.
There are six operant conditioning strategies that can be exploited to increase a child’s desirable behaviors: 1- choose effective reinforcers. 2-make reinforcers contingent and timely. 3- select the best schedule of reinforcement. 4-consider contracting. 5- use negative reinforcement negatively. 6- use prompts and shaping.

48 1- choose effective reinforcers.
Not all reinforcers are the same for every child. Teachers should individualize the use of particular reinforcers. Teachers should know more about the child’s past life ( reinforcement history). Teachers might ask the child about what they like best. To avoid boredom, teachers should consider novel reinforcers. Natural reinforecers ( praise and priviledges) are generally recommened over material rewards ( candy, money …etc)

49 2-Make reinforcers contingent and timely.
For a reinforcer to be effective, the teacher must give it only after the child performs a particular behaviour. For example, teachers may use « if …then » statement. Reinforcers are more effective when they are given in a timely way, as soon as possible the child performs the target behaviour. ( if the teacher gives the reinforcer before the child performs the behavior, she/he might have trouble making the contingency connection)

50 3- select the best schedule of reinforcement.
There are four main schedules of reinforcements: a - On a fixed-ratio schedule: A behaviour is reinforced after a set number of answers/responses. ( e.g.after every three answers) b – On a variable-ratio schedule: A behavior is reinforced after an average number of times, but on an unpredictable basis. ( e.g. After every fifth response, then it might be after fouth, third …etc) Interval schedules are determined by the amount of time elapsed since the last behavior was reinforced.

51 c- On a fixed-interval schedule:
After a fixed amount of time the first appropriate response is reinforced. ( e.g. two minutes after the child comes up with a right answer) d- variable-interval schedule: A response is reinforced after a variable amount of time elapsed. ( e.g. after four minutes, then after six minutes, two minutes …etc) NB. By and large, the use of these schedule reinforcements is so beneficial to students in that it produces greater persistence and greater resistence to extinction than continous reinforcement does.

52 use negative reinforcement effectively.
consider contracting. In contracting, reinforcement contingencies are put in writing. If problems arise, the teacher can refer the children to the contract they agreed to. Classroom contracts have «if …then » statement. use negative reinforcement effectively. In negative reinforcement, the frequency of the response increases because the response removes an avertive ( unpleasant) stimulus. (e.g. a teacher who says « James, you have to stay in your seat and finish writing your story before you join the other students in making a poster » is using NR. The condition of being left in his seat while the others are doing (sth) enjoyable will be removed if James finishes the story he should have completed earlier.)

53 Use prompts and shaping.
prompts: is an added stimulus or cue that is given just before a response that increases the likelihood that the response will occur. shaping: when teachers use prompts and fail to get the desired response performed, shaping is required. It means that teaching new behaviors by reinforcing successive approximations to a specified target behavior.

54 1 – use differential reinforcement.
B- Decreasing undesirable behaviors. When teachers want to decrease children’s undesirable behaviors (such as teasing, hogging a class discussion, or smarting off to the teacher …etc), they are recommended to use the following steps in order: 1 – use differential reinforcement. 2 – terminate reinforcement ( extinction) 3 – remove desirable stimuli. 4 – present aversive stimuli ( punishment)

55 terminate reinforcement ( extinction)
use differential reinforcement. The teacher reinforces behavior that is more desired and different than what the child is doing. ( e.g. the teacher might reinforce a child for doing learning activities rather tan playing computer games). terminate reinforcement ( extinction) Simply means withdrawing positive reinforcement from a child’s inappropriate behavior. (e.g. attention to the inappropriate behavior by yelling, criticising, threatening …etc) remove desirable stimuli. The third option, if the two previous options haven’t worked, is to remove desirable stiluli from the student: to do this, there are two strategies:

56 Time-out: take students away from positive reinforcement.
Response cost: take a positive reinforcer away from a student, as when the student loses certain privileges. ( e.g. teachers may take away 10 minutes of recess time or the privilege of being a class monitor.)

57 Present aversive stimuli ( punishment)
Most people associate the presentation of aversive stimuli with punishment ( teacher’s yelling at a student or when a parent spanks a child) An aversive stimuli is punishment only if it decreases the undesirable behavior. Reprimands are more effective when they given immediately after unwanted behavior and when they are short and to the point. It is highly recommended to take the student aside and reprimand him in private. NB. Numerous problems are associated with using aversive stimuli: it instills fear, rage, avoidance + students might be out of control + anxiety…etc.

58 Evaluating Operant Conditioning and Applied Behavior Analysis.
Used effectively, behavioral techniques can help you manage your classroom. Critics of operant conditioning and applied behavior analysis argue that the whole approach stresses external control of students’ behaviors + Instead, it should help students learn to control their own behaviors and become internally motivated + it is not the reward or punishment that changes behavior, but, rather, the belief that certain actions will be rewarded or punished + ethical problems might emerge if operant conditioning is used inappropriately + while applying behavior analysis, teachers might focus too much on student conduct and not enough on academic learning.

Behaviourism claims that environment is responsible for learning. the Behaviorist theory works according to the Habit Formation process. the learner is presented with stimuli on which he makes a specific response to each, and every time the learner is presented with this stimulus he responds with the same response until it becomes a habit. The Mentalist theory came as a reaction to the Behaviourist theory. It opposed the claim that the environment is responsible for learning by proving that the mind is responsible for it. Chomsky said that the human being is endowed since birth with a biological device called the Language Acquisition Devise and it develops like any organ. When applied to teaching , Mentalism means that the learner should use his cognitive abilities in order to learn. This enhances critical thinking and goes hand in hand with the Constructivist theory proving that the learner builds knowledge through time relying on his cognitive strategies. nowadays both theories ( mentalist and constructivist) are widely used

60 I need two volunteers to wait outside the class for a while, please ….
Activity I need two volunteers to wait outside the class for a while, please ….

61 Volunteer 1: Please, use positive reinforcement (applause) in order to get them to perform a chosen task. What do you suggest him/her to do?

62 Volunteer 2: use negative reinforcement (booing) in order to get them to perform the chosen task. What do you suggest him/her to do?

63 Discussion: 1. Which form of reinforcement was the most effective. 2
Discussion: 1. Which form of reinforcement was the most effective? 2. What were some of the reactions the volunteers had? 3. For the volunteers: how did this activity make you feel?

64 Back

65 Thank You

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