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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 13 – FOUR NEOBEHAVIORIST PSYCHOLOGISTS Dr. Nancy Alvarado."— Presentation transcript:


2 Four Neobehaviorists  The four neobehaviorists described in this chapter (Tolman, Guthrie, Hull, Skinner) accepted Watson’s:  Rejection of consciousness  His definition of psychology as the science of behavior  His insistence on objective, observational data.  These four had similarities but also many important differences from each other.  As a result, the Behaviorist movement was extremely productive in terms of theory and research.

3 Edward Chace Tolman ( )  Tolman grew up in Newton MA and went to MIT, graduating with a degree in electrochemistry.  William James “Principles of Psychology” changed his life – he went to Harvard & studied with Munsterberg.  Tolman was troubled by why introspection was so rarely used in his lab, although taught as a methodology.  A class with Yerkes focused his attention on behavior.  He spent a month in Germany with Koffka & was influenced strongly by Lewin.  He taught at Northwestern, then at UC Berkeley.

4 Edward Chace Tolman Tolman Hall at UC Berkeley

5 Tolman’s Cognitive Behaviorism  At Berkeley, Tolman taught comparative psych using Watson’s book as a text.  He disagreed that rat behavior was mechanistic, considering rats intelligent and purposeful.  He believed rats learned the general layout of a maze, forming a “cognitive map.”  He developed a “molar behaviorism” concerned with purpose and cognition – both excluded by Watson.  However, his book “Purposive Behaviorism” began with an attack on mentalistic psychology.

6 Rats Have Purpose  Tolman & his students showed that:  Rats have preferences and run fastest for rewards they like better (bread and milk not sunflower seeds).  Rats are disappointed if they get a less valued reward previously expected due to training.  Monkeys were similarly disappointed by a lettuce leaf in place of a banana.  Rats use prior experience when unrewarded to increase their behavior later when rewarded – latent learning. What is a reward critics asked?

7 Latent Learning Results

8 Rats Have Insight  Tolman & Honzik gave unrewarded rats experience with a complex maze, then found that they use the shortest route when rewarded.  Law of least effort – given a choice of several paths, rats use insight to find the one requiring least effort.  Rats remember where something is located, not a series of turns (responses).  Two groups – one (Place) always found food in the same place; the other (Response) always found food by turning in the same direction. Place rats learned faster.

9 Tolman’s Mazes S2 S1 F1F2 curtain

10 Tolman’s Theoretical Model  Tolman published over 100 papers and 2 books.  He proposed a model of independent, intervening and dependent variables that is widely used in experimental psychology.  IVs are manipulated by the experimenter and influence intervening variables such as appetite or motor skill.  Subject IVs (age, heredity) are held constant.  DVs (running speed, number of errors) are measured by the experimenter.

11 Tolman’s General Concerns  Tolman tried to relate his rat-runner’s psychology to broader human problems such as aggression or war.  In 1949, he supported younger colleagues required to take a loyalty oath, refusing to take it himself.  Tolman was APA President in 1937 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.  Tolman liberated Behaviorism from Watson’s methodological and theoretical constraints.  Contemporary behaviorists no longer view animals as passive, mechanical systems but active info processors.

12 Edwin Ray Guthrie ( )  McDougall classified Behaviorists as “strict, near or purposive” types. Guthrie was “near.”  Guthrie graduated in math, then studied psychology at Univ. of Nebraska with Wolfe. He finished his Ph.D in philosophy with Singer at Univ. of Penn.  He doubted that deduction could lead to an understanding of the human mind.  He taught math briefly then accepted a position at Univ. of Washington, transferring to psychology in 1919 and becoming a professor in 1928.

13 Edwin Ray Guthrie

14 Learning Through Contiguity  Guthrie proposed that “Stimuli which accompany a response tend, on their recurrence, to evoke that response.”  The simplicity of this was appealing as the ideas of other theorists became increasing complex.  Association through contiguity goes back to Aristotle, Bain & Hartley (British Associationists).  Reward does not cause learning – it protects it against unlearning because the situation changes.  Guthrie also proposed single-trial learning.

15 Guthrie’s Approach  Guthrie was able to provide clever explanations of a variety of learning phenomena (effects of reward and punishment, practice, trace conditioning).  Punishers elicit actions – these actions are learned.  Improved behavior occurs with practice because the constituent movements become better with repetition.  “Learning does not disappear with lapses in time but due to new learning which erases the old.”  Sleep prevents learning of new associations.

16 Pavlov’s Criticism of Guthrie  To explain delay & trace conditioning, Guthrie suggested that the stimuli accompanying salivation are not the CS (bell) but the orienting response (listening, turning head, pricking up ears).  In reply, Pavlov wrote and angry response -- “The Reply of a Physiologist to Psychologists,” his only paper published in an American psychology journal.  He said the “listening” response was nonexistent because dogs were not alert during the trace gap and because the orienting response quickly disappears – there are no mysterious latencies in the nervous system.

17 Guthrie’s Examples  Dogs encountering meat with embedded mousetraps become suspicious of the meat because of the almost perfect contiguity.  A daughter made to re-enter and hang up her coat changes behavior because of the new association.  Other examples of pastor’s horse trained to lunge when he said “whoa” (which means stop); breaking horses with successive weight on its back (contiguity).  Signals to smoke (finishing a meal, starting work).

18 Cats in a Puzzle Box  Performing 800 escape responses, Guthrie observed that cat responses were highly stereotypical (the same each time).  He suggested that cats had learned to associate that specific movement with escape from the box.  Critics suggested the movement was stereotypical because it was instinctive (species typical) to greet others by rubbing against them.

19 Guthrie’s Clinical Views  Guthrie published “The Psychology of Human Conflict” in  He translated Pierre Janet’s “Principles of Psychotherapy” and preferred Janet’s idea of force mentale to Freud’s ideas about the subconscious.  Everyone has a certain amount of energy (force).  When it is depleted by crises, neuroses appear.  Mental health requires maintaining a balance of mental energy.

20 Clark Leonard Hull ( )  Hull was born on a farm but worked hard to become more than a “chore boy.” He was intensely self-critical and had poor health (polio, typhus).  He originally studied mining engineering but a paralyzed leg ruled that out.  He entered grad school at Univ. of Wisconsin, working with Joseph Jastrow, who had studied with G. Stanley Hall.  His dissertation taught subjects associations to Chinese characters. He then became a lecturer at Wisconsin.

21 Clark L. Hull

22 Research on Aptitude Testing  Assigned to teach a class on psychological testing, he became interested in validating existing tests.  His attempt to develop a universal aptitude test failed.  Hull built a correlation machine to avoid doing the laborious calculations by hand.  His machine predated calculators and computers and is now in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.  Without access to sufficient subjects to validate his tests, he abandoned aptitude testing as a research interest.

23 Research on Hypnosis  Teaching classes to medical students, Hull became interested in the role of suggestibility in medical cures. Jastrow shared that interest – as a skeptic.  He attempted to improve the quality of experimental work done to investigate hypnosis, wary of fraud.  He believed susceptibility to hypnosis was normally distributed in the population with little correlation with other traits or sex. Children slightly more susceptible.  He found that hypnosis did not improve memory. His book Hypnosis & Suggestibility is still used as a text.

24 Hull’s Behavior System  Hull’s most significant contribution to psychology was his development of a comprehensive behavior system – a model of how behavior occurs.  At Yale, Hull intensively studied Newton’s Principia and philosophers like Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead, Hobbes, Lock, Hume, Kant & Leibnitz.  Spence (Hull’s student) described his system as “a Herculean elaboration of [Woodworth’s] S-O-R formula” (Stimulus – Organism – Response).  He conceptualized humans as elaborate machines.

25 Hull’s Drive Theory  He attempted to extend the principles of classical conditioning to instrumental trial and error learning.  He accepted the idea of reinforcement based on drive reduction. His theory was presented in “Principles of Behavior.”  His theory had 17 postulates and 17 corollaries.  It included intervening variables for habit strength, stimulus intensity, drive level, incentive value of the reward to determine output latency, reaction amplitude.  He led an impressive program of experimentation.

26 Evaluating Hull’s Theory  It was successful at stimulating new research.  Some questioned whether the limited range of experimental situations used in his research could shed light on more generalized behavior.  Can a theory of behavior be developed without testing humans? Hull hoped to go on to test humans later.  The theory was better at predicting group results than individual rat behavior.  Hilgard said “For its time, Hull’s system was the best there was.”

27 Burrhus Frederic Skinner ( )  Between 1945 & 1975, B.F. Skinner was the best known psychologist in the world.  12 major books, numerous papers, a multi-volume autobiography, numerous works written about him.  3 journals are devoted to a Skinnerian approach to psychology.  He was the modern spokesperson for radical Behaviorism – articulate, effective, opinionated and controversial.  He said he would burn his kids before his books.

28 B.F. (Fred) Skinner

29 Skinner’s Early Life  His father was a conservative, small town lawyer.  He started out to become a writer and poet but changed his mind because he had nothing to say.  Pen name Sir Burrhus de Beerus  Watson’s “Behaviorism,” praised by his favorite philosopher (Bertrand Russell) inspired him to study behavior. He was accepted to Harvard.  Skinner heard Pavlov speak & was impressed.  He focused on reflex as the unit of behavioral analysis.

30 Operant Conditioning  Skinner developed the apparatus called an operant chamber (Skinner box).  Operant = the animal operates on its environment.  In Skinner’s apparatus the animal controls the response rate, not the experimenter. Response rate was his DV.  Behavior could be manipulated by changing reward.  This approach was an important step toward a scientific way of experimentally studying behavior.  Animals learned right before his eyes.

31 Skinner’s Four Principles  Skinner proposed four principles of scientific practice:  When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it.  Some ways of doing research are easier than others.  Some people are lucky.  Apparatuses, especially complicated ones, break down.  Skinner disliked statistics and didn’t use many. He focused on individual animals.

32 Schedules of Reinforcement  This approach was discovered accidentally because he had only a few rat pellets left, so he could only reinforce an occasional response.  Intermittent reinforcement maintained the frequency of responding, and even increased it.  Research on schedules was a major contribution to psychology and is the research Skinner was most proud of.

33 Behavioral Control  Skinner described approaches to shaping behavior in “How to Teach Animals” in  Shaping is a powerful procedure for establishing and changing behavior.  He shaped a rat to drop a marble through a hole and two pigeons to play ping pong.  His students Keller & Marian Breland formed a company to train animals for entertainment & commercial businesses.

34 Skinner’s Utopia  In 1945 Skinner wrote “Walden II,” a utopian novel describing a community based on operant principles of behavioral control.  He envisioned a happy, health, productive community.  Other utopias include Plato’s “Republic,” St. Augustine’s “City of God,” Rousseau’s “The Social Contract,” and Huxley’s “Brave New World.”  Huxley’s satire warns of the threat of psychology.

35 Skinner’s Applied Research  Skinner built a child compartment (early version of the incubator) to provide warmth & keep out germs.  Called “air cribs” or “heir conditioners.”  Rumors that his daughter was harmed by her “baby in a box” experiences are wrong.  Skinner developed token economies and “teaching machines” to provide feedback, immediate reinforcers & let kids to progress at their own rate.  Programmed instruction has worked for some subjects (arithmetic and spelling) but not others.

36 Behavior Modification  Skinner explored possibilities for shaping psychotic patients at Worcester State Hospital in MA.  His student, Fuller, trained a severely mentally disabled man to make operant responses.  Skinner called Freud theories “explanatory fictions.”  Two students Lindsley & Azrin developed “behavior modification” to change inmate behavior.  “The Token Economy” described their procedures.  Successful techniques now exist to change a wide variety of behaviors (smoking, shyness, autism).


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