Behavioral/ Learning Theories Our responses and behaviors which constitute personality are learned We learn to maximize rewards, avoid punishment Learn through association (classical conditioning) or consequences (operant/instrumental conditioning) Observable behavior Testable hypotheses, experimentation Relevance of animal models Situational variables The function of behaviors Ways of altering behavior patterns
Behavioral/Learning Theories Views individual differences in personality as the result of learning and different environmental experiences. Learning the process whereby behavior changes in response to external and situational contingencies
Ivan Pavlov The Russian physicist Pavlov was born in 1849. He studied pharmacology and physiology in Saint Petersburg. Later he became a teacher on this academy. Besides teaching, he was involved in medical research. Pavlov was interested in the behavior of both humans and animals, and he was especially interested in reflexes. His biggest contribution to the field of psychology is classical conditioning, a theory about how behavior is learned. He received a Nobel price for his important contribution to science. Pavlov died in 1936 in Russia.
Ivan Pavlov: Classical Conditioning A type of learning in which a neutral stimulus acquires the ability to elicit a response. If a neutral stimulus is paired with a non- neutral stimulus, the organism will learn to respond to the neutral stimulus as it does to the non-neutral stimulus.
Classical Conditioning Unconditioned stimulus (US) Elicits a reflexive, innate response in the absence of learning Unconditioned response (UCR) The reflexive, innate response to a stimulus in the absence of learning Conditioned stimulus (CS) Elicits a learned response after pairing a unconditioned stimulus Conditioned response (CR) The learned response to a conditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning UCS CS NS CR UCR Pair
Classical Conditioning Brain circuits can be conditioned. Pavlov believed all subcortical activity could be described in terms of conditioned reflexes. For example, emotions are conditioned reflexes and can lead to changes in personality, phobias, behavioral responses, etc.
John B. Watson John B. Watson formulated radical behaviorism with a sole focus on observable behaviors that can be measured, predicted, and controlled. For Watson, the environment is more important than genetics in determining behavior. Albert, an 11-month old boy, was conditioned to fear a white lab rat by pairing its arrival with a loud noise, showing even emotions can be conditioned
John B. Watsons Views on Personality Watson believed that personality is the result of habit systems: repeated behaviors formed in early childhood and set by age 30. Watson emphasized the power of the situation in releasing habit systems Watson believed that unconditioning bad habit systems could result in personality change
Radical Behaviorism Scientific explanations should depend on as few assumptions as possible Human behavior is subject to the same laws as the movement of physical objects and that the mind is an irrelevant explanation for behavior. Human behavior is completely determined and predictable, therefore controllable and lawful.
B. F. Skinner Born: March 20, 1904, Susquehanna Pennsylvania. Died: August 18, 1990, died of leukemia Skinner received his BA in English from Hamilton College in upstate New York. After writing for a newspaper and some traveling, he decided to go back to school, this time at Harvard. He got his masters in psychology in 1930 and his doctorate in 1931, and stayed there to do research until 1936. Also in that year, he moved to Minneapolis to teach at the University of Minnesota. There he met and soon married Yvonne Blue. They had two daughters. In 1948, he was invited to come to Harvard to teach.
Operant Conditioning Consequences of a behavior determine if the behavior will continue. Shaping Reinforcing closer approximations of a desired behavior. Select Reinforcer Set up continuum of the desired behaviors.
Figure 6.10 Skinner box and cumulative recorder
Reinforcement and Punishment Increasing a response: Positive reinforcement = Presentation of something pleasant Negative reinforcement = Removal of something unpleasant Escape learning Avoidance learning Decreasing a response: Punishment Problems with punishment
Schedules of Reinforcement Continuous reinforcement Intermittent (partial) reinforcement Ratio schedules Fixed Variable Interval schedules Fixed Variable
Physiologically Based Dimensions of Personality Extraversion-Introversion Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment Sensation Seeking Neurotransmitters and Personality
Extraversion-Introversion Measured by Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) High extraversion: Talkative, outgoing, likes meeting new people and going to new places, active, bored easily, hates routine Low extraversion: Quiet, withdrawn, prefers being alone or with a few friends to large crowds, prefers routines, prefers familiar to unexpected
Extraversion-Introversion Eysencks theory Introverts have a higher level than extraverts of activity in the brains ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) People strive to keep ARAS activity at optimal levelintroverts work to decrease and avoid stimulation; extraverts work to increase and seek out stimulation
Extraversion-Introversion Eysencks theory Research indicates that introverts and extraverts are NOT at different resting levels, but introverts ARE more reactive to moderate levels of stimulation than extraverts This work led Eysenck to revise his theory the difference between introverts and extraverts lies in arousability, not in baseline arousal
Extraversion-Introversion Eysencks theory When given a choice, extraverts prefer higher levels of stimulation than introverts Geen (1984): Introverts and extraverts choose different levels of stimulation, but equivalent in arousal under chosen stimulation
Extraversion-Introversion Eysencks theory Introverts and extraverts perform task best under their chosen stimulation level, poor when performing under a stimulation level chosen by other group
Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment Personality based on two hypothesized brain systems Behavioral Activation System (BAS): Responsive to incentives (cues to reward) and regulates approach behavior
Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS): Responsive to cues to punishment, frustration, uncertainty, and motivates ceasing, inhibiting, or avoidance behavior Active BIS produces anxiety, active BAS produces impulsivity
Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment Integration with Eysencks model: Impulsive = high extraversion, moderate neuroticism; Anxious = moderate introversion, high neuroticism According to Gray, impulsive people do not learn well from punishment because of weak BIS; learn better from rewardsupported by research
Sensation Seeking Tendency to seek out thrilling, exciting activities, take risks, avoid boredom Early sensory deprivation research Hebbs theory of optimal level of arousal
Sensation Seeking Zuckerman: High sensation seekers are less tolerant of sensory deprivation; require much stimulation to get to optimal level of arousal Zuckermans Sensation Seeking Scale Moderate positive correlation between extraversion and sensation seeking
Sensation Seeking Physiological basis for sensation seeking Neurotransmitterschemicals in nerve cells are responsible for the transmission of nerve impulse from one cell to another Monoamine Oxidase (MAO)enzyme that maintains a proper level of neurotransmitters
Sensation Seeking Physiological basis for sensation seeking Too little MAO = too much neurotransmitter; too much MAO = too little neurotransmitter High sensation seekers have low levels of MAO, producing a need for stimulation to reach the optimal level of arousal
Neurotransmitters and Personality Dopamineassociated with pleasure Serotoninassociated with depression and other mood disorders Norepinepherineassociated with fight or flight response
Neurotransmitters and Personality Cloningers Tridimensional Personality Model Novelty seekinglow levels of dopamine Harm avoidancelow levels of serotonin Reward dependencelow levels of norephinepherine