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Early Influences on Behaviorism Towards a Science of Behavior.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Influences on Behaviorism Towards a Science of Behavior."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Influences on Behaviorism Towards a Science of Behavior

2 The Early Years: Behavorism & Animal Psychology By the 1920’s psychologists had rejected; introspection as a scientific method, the existence of mental elements, and the need for psychology to be a pure science. Functionalism and applied psychology dominated American psychology In 1913 John B. Watson set out to deliberately challenge both structuralism and functionalism. Watson received his Ph.D. in 1903 from James Angell at the University of Chicago, also studied with John Dewey. “the the study of scientific psychology should concern itself only with behavioral acts that could be described objectively”

3 The Early Years: Behaviorism & Animal Psychology consciousness & mind could never be proved objectively, therefore studying consciousness has no value. rejected the study of all mentalistic concepts and terms like images, consciousness, and mind. Introspection is therefore useless for studying behavior. These basic ideas were not necessarily new. The times were also ripe for the development of a new psychology that focused only on observable behavior. The three major factors that contributed were the philosophies of Mechanism & Positivism, Functional Psychology, and early Animal Psychology.

4 Animal Intelligence Physiologists had long found it of interest to compare similarities in body function between animals and human beings. Two early psychologists George John Romanes (1848-1894), and C. Loyd Morgan (1852-1936) studied animal minds, using observational techniques as opposed to experimental techniques. The first true investigator of animal intelligence using experimental techniques was Jacques Loeb (1859-1924). Loeb developed a theory of animal behavior based on trophism, or involuntary movement. Loeb believed animal reactions to stimulus were direct and automatic, thus behavioral response was said to be forced by the stimulus and did not require any consciousness explanation. Animal memory was said to develop through associationism (e.g. associative memory)

5 Titchener’s first doctoral student. came to Cornell after being denied admission to Columbia Universities graduate program. first woman to receive a doctorate in psychology and the second woman president of the American Psychological Association. Washburn went on to a distinguished career at Vassar College where she became the second woman in any science ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences Margaret Floy Washburn (1871-1939)

6 concerned with the inference of consciousness in animals. wrote the first important book on comparative psychology, Animal Mind, in 1908. She published hundreds of experiments on animals that included sensory discriminations, spatially determined reactions, and modification by experience. Washburn is considered by many scholars to be the first comparative psychologist

7 Robert Yerkes (1876-1956) the most prominent of the early comparative psychologists. eventually referred to as the “dean of comparative psychology” He published his first paper on the effects of light on freshwater crustacean in 1899 The first journal of research with animals the Journal of Animal Behavior was not published until 1911. The problems of paying for, keeping, and maintaining animals was an important an issue in the 1900’s as it is today, and animal psychologists were often expendable because of the issue.

8 Robert Yerkes (1876-1956) attended Harvard University where he took his degree with Hugo Munsterburg in 1899. at Harvard as an instructor and assistant professor of comparative Psychology then moved to the University of Minnesota. Yerkes would go on to an eminent career in psychology, eventually becoming president of the American Psychological Association in 1916. During the WW1 Years Yerkes was extremely important in involving psychologists in the war effort.

9 Robert Yerkes (1876-1956) WW1 The Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits WW2 he also was the organizer of the emergency committee of psychologists The Committee on the Psychological Examination of Recruits- May, 1917 The Emergency Committee, 1940

10 Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) Thorndike was one of the most important early theorists in animal learning, educational psychology, and behavioral psychology. Thorndike developed the “law of effect” in 1898, several years earlier than Ivan Pavlov proposed his law’s of reinforcement. Although the theories are almost identical the two individuals were not aware of each other for many years.

11 Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) Thorndike introduced to psychology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, he attended Harvard university for his Master’s degree where he studied with and was influenced by William James. He left Harvard for Columbia University in 1898, where he completed his doctorate under James Cattell in 1899. one of the first psychologists to complete his education entirely in America. major contributions to psychology were in the area of educational psychology.

12 Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) two main foci in education were 1) the improvement of classroom instruction and 2) the measurement of the learner and the products of learning. wrote three books for his own use that became classics in educational psychology 1) Educational Psychology (1903), 2) The Theory of Mental and Social Measurement (1904), and a three volume Educational Psychology (1913). wrote Thorndike Arithmetic's and the Teachers Word Book (1921) which had an enormous influence in American psychology and education. founded the Journal of Educational Psychology in 1910.

13 The Law of Effect referred to his approach to learning as connectionism, hypothesized that an organism learned about connections between situations and types of responses. one of the first to hypothesize that “if all of these (responses & situational variables) could be analyzed” man could be told what would and would not satisfy him and annoy him in every conceivable situation. The law of effect refers to “stamping in or stamping out” a response tendency by attaching favorable or unfavorable consequences. the law of effect states “any act which in a given situation produces satisfaction becomes associated with that situation, and when the situation reoccurs the act is more likely to reoccur than before”.

14 Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) Ivan Petrovitch Pavlov born 1849 in Central Russia. son of a village priest and eldest of 11 children. initially intended to enter a theological seminary but after reading about Darwinian evolution changed his mind and enrolled at the University of St. Petersburg to study animal physiology. He obtained his degree in 1875 and began to study medicine in the hopes of becoming a physiologist. In 1890 he received an appointment as professor of pharmacology at St. Petersburg Military Academy Ivan Pavlov

15 An early picture of Pavlov, His Staff, and Research Apparatus

16 Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) worked in 3 major areas: 1) The function of nerves on the heart, 2) the function of the primary digestive glands, and 3) the conditioned reflex. Although it is the last area for which he is best remembered, his work on the digestive glands won him worldwide recognition and the 1904 Nobel prize for medicine. His work on the conditioned reflex represents an excellent example of how significant accidents often play a major role in the history of science.

17 Classical Conditioning 1 Will the dog learn to associate the arrival of food with a neutral stimulus (e.g., a bell)?

18 Classical Conditioning 2 Terms Unconditioned Response Unconditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response Conditioned Stimulus UCR UCR - drool in response to food (not learned) UCS UCS - food (triggers drool reflex) CR CR - drool in response to sound of bell (learned) CS CS - sound of bell (triggers drool reflex) UCR UCR - drool in response to food (not learned) UCS UCS - food (triggers drool reflex) CR CR - drool in response to sound of bell (learned) CS CS - sound of bell (triggers drool reflex)

19 Applications of Classical Conditioning Is human behavior nothing more than a bunch of conditioned behaviors? John Watson Case of “Little Albert” UCS Loud NoiseCS White RatUCR FearCR

20 Rare Early Photos of John Watson & Rosalie Rayner Beginning Conditioning With Little Albert (1920).

21 John Watson (1878-1958)

22 B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)

23 Skinner’s Experiments Favorite Subjects Favorite Subjects Rats & Pidgeons Favorite Operatus Favorite OperatusSkinner Box Fave Procedure Fave Procedure Shaping Shaping Guiding current behavior toward some desired behavior through successive approximations

24 B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) Skinner elaborated on Thorndike’s Law of Effect “Rewarded behavior is likely to reoccur ” E. L. Thorndike External influences, not internal thoughts & feelings, govern behavior. External influences, not internal thoughts & feelings, govern behavior. B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)

25 Principles of Reinforcement Reinforcer Reinforcer - any event that increases the frequency of the preceding event Positive Reinforcers Introduce (+) stimulus (e.g., food) Negative Reinforcers Remove (-) stimulus (e.g., electric shock) Reinforcers ALWAYS strengthen behavior!

26 More Reinforcement Primary Reinforcers Innately satisfying, Not learned (e.g., getting food) Secondary Reinforcers Associated with primary reinforcers & learned (e.g., praise) Reinforcers ALWAYS strengthen behavior!

27 Still More Reinforcement Immediate Reinforceme nt Reinforce immediately preceding behavior (e.g., nicotine) Delayed Reinforcement Reinforcement at some point after behavior occurs (e.g., paychecks) Reinforcers ALWAYS strengthen behavior!

28 Reinforcement Schedules Continuous Continuous - every time behavior occurs (rare) or Partial Partial - not every time behavior occurs (learning is slower but more resistant to extinction)

29 Partial Reinforcement (a pidgeon will peck 150,000 times without reward) Fixed Ratio - reinforce every n responses Variable Ratio - reinforce after ?? responses Behavior-Based Reinforcers Fixed Interval - reinforce after fixed time Variable Interval - reinforce after ?? time Time-Based Reinforcers

30 Punishment Opposite of Reinforcement Attempts to decrease behavior by introducing an unpleasant punisher Problems With Punishment Behavior is not forgotten - merely suppressed (may reappear in other situations) P does not guide toward acceptable behavior (doesn’t tell you what you should do) Problems With Punishment Behavior is not forgotten - merely suppressed (may reappear in other situations) P does not guide toward acceptable behavior (doesn’t tell you what you should do)

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