Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Positive Reinforcement

I feel that Positive Reinforcement is one of the most interesting topics in psychology because many people do not even realize when it is happening let along know that it can happen at any age, starting so young. This image is a perfect example of positive reinforcement because it wraps up the point of reinforcement being positive or negative. This image describes a positive reinforcement because the baby is being trained on how to receive it's pacifier.... by crying! The baby is noticing once it cries, it receives it's pacifier, therefore will continue the behavior. The parents may not even be aware of the habit they are conditioning their baby to have, but the positive reinforcement is most definitely beginning at such a young age.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Calvin and Hobbes cartoon demonstrates appetitive and aversive behaviors. This cartoon, illustrated by Bill Watterson, shows a child becoming belligerent towards a cup of rice soup. This is an example of how many parents fail to notice their efforts to discipline their children. They try to diminish their child's bad behavior. A person might declare that something is unfavorable for them, yet strive hard to secure it. For example, a person who thinks alcohol is gross, but still run to the store to get it every morning has a problem. Calvin and Hobbes illustrate that talk is cheap. "Just verbal behavior" describes is not accurate. As they say, actions speak louder than words.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

OCD AT blog

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is made up of two major components. The first component is the obsession, and the second is the compulsion. Obsessions are the persistent, unwanted thoughts, images or ideas. These thought are unwanted. The compulsion is a repetitive behavior that people feel they must perform, to ease the anxiety of the thought. For example, I know I locked the door. However, I get out of bed 5 times in a row to check if I locked the door. OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder, as obsessions cause anxiety. OCD is not as prevalent as other anxiety disorders, but people do suffer from it. Five forms of obsessions include wishes, impulses, images, ideas and doubts.

Extinction AT blog

Extinction refers to the gradual weakening or disappearance of a conditioned response tendency. On the other hand, Spontaneous Recovery refers to the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of non-exposure. In the case of spontaneous recovery, the response is generally weaker.

So in simpler terms, extinction results in the conditioned behavior eventually stopping. An example of this behavior is when you teach your dog a trick, like "shake". Over time, the trick becomes less interesting to the dog. You stop asking your dog to "shake" and the reward stops as well. Eventually, the behavior will go away and the dog will not "shake". Extinction happens in many aspects of life in humans and animals.

In classical conditioning, the behavior stops when the conditioned and unconditioned stimulus are not paired.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Hoarding Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  1. We often think of OCD as being related to obsessive cleaning or rituals. It is interesting to see the ways it can present itself through other disorders, especially hoarding. OCD is also related to eating disorders, hair pulling (trichotillomania) and skin picking disorders (excoriation). 

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=69&v=-4O1ts1432c
  1. Some estimate that as many as 1 in 4 people with OCD also have compulsive hoarding.
    Some of the symptoms include:
    • Inability to throw away possessions
    • Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
    • Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
    • Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
    • Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
    • Functional impairments, including loss of living space, social isolation, family or marital discord, financial difficulties, and health hazards.

Classical Conditioning

The well known phenomenon of classical conditioning by Pavlov is demonstrated throughout popular media such as TV shows. It has grown to become so popular that even individuals who are not specifically educated in the field of psychology have a general understanding of the topic. Classical conditioning involves and unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, and neutral stimulus. When the neutral stimulus is associated repeatedly with the unconditioned stimulus, the object will be trained to have a conditioned response as opposed to an unconditioned response. To put the concept in simple terms, the video above depicts Jim demonstrating classical conditioning on Dwight. So even if you never personally studied the concept of classical conditioning, chances are you have seen it in action in TV shows and movies!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Operant Conditioning


Operant Conditioning is a major concept in learning of Psychology and can be shown in many different ways. I chose to portray this topic in the form of a clip from a television series to show how simply it can be incorporated into our daily lives. Operant Conditioning is most commonly defined as a type of learning where the future actions are determined from the consequences set from the behavior. The behavior's consequences become so instilled that the future behavior is affected from it. This conditioning can take place in all species at any stage of their lives. It is a very interesting subject to study within Psychology!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Aversion Therapy

Aversion therapy is a type of behavior therapy designed to make a patient give up an undesirable habit by causing them to associate it with an unpleasant effect. With this, the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort. For example, a person undergoing aversion therapy to stop smoking might receive an electrical shock every time they view an image of a cigarette or the taste of the cigarette is very unpleasant or sickening. The goal of the conditioning process is to make the individual associate the stimulus with unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations. However, aversion therapy doesn't work for everyone; patients may appear to be treated by therapy, but once out of the view of doctors, where the drugs that keep them from going back to their habits or electric shocks are removed, they may feel able to return to their addictions or undesirable behavior hence the high rates of relapse. The video above gives a summary of how aversion therapy is used to treat individuals with different habits such as drinking, smoking, nail biting and others.

Contagious Behavior

Have you ever wondered when somebody begins to yawn then it slowly starts to become a chain of people yawning or when one person laughs then all of a sudden everyone starts to laugh? Scientists believe that it is part of a phenomenon called behavioral contagion or contagious behavior. Our everyday lives are filled with examples of how we “catch” even subtle emotions and complex behaviors, such as happiness and anger from other people.With this, it refers to the tendency of a certain behavior to exhibited by one person and to be copied by others who are either in the same area of the individual, or who have been exposed to media coverage (ex: videos or television) describing the behavior of the that individual. Some behaviors that are common to see as contagious includes: smiling, frowning, rudeness and many more. This phenomenon is unconscious and can either affect the person either positively or negatively depending on the situation.

Here are examples of how risky behaviors such as gambling or cheating are more likely the cause of this phenomenon. Maybe the next time you think about doing something, think about how you could be someone's mirror!

Skinner's Box & Operant Conditioning

One of B.F. Skinner's famous theories was on the concept of operant conditioning. A Skinner box, which is also known an operant conditioning chamber, is an enclosed space (like a box) that contains a lever that an animal can press or manipulate in order to obtain food as a type of reinforcement. When the lever is pressed, food is dispensed which in turn satisfied its hunger (positive reinforcement). Other stimuli can also be presented including lights, sounds, and images. In some instances, the floor of the chamber may be electrified (negative reinforcement). In this instance, the rat was given a shock and in order to stop the shock from happening, it would have to press the lever. At the end of his experiment, the rats learned how to obtain food through operant conditioning. The Skinner box became an important tool for studying learned behavior and contributed a great deal to our understanding of the effects of reinforcement and punishment.

Here's how the experiment looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqLUdxczi6M

Monday, June 10, 2019

In the Mischel Experiments, four year old children were tested on self control. This experiment was known as "The Marshmallow Test." Children were given one marshmallow that they were told they could eat at anytime, but if they waited 15 minutes they could receive another. The children in this study were later interviewed as adults and those who showed less self control with the marshmallows also struggled with problems in relationships and  substance abuse. It is now believed that happiness and success is correlated with higher levels of self control.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Psychology of Learning AT Blog

Learning is defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior due to a specific experience. To summarize the three basic types of learning, we have classical conditioning, operant conditioning and observational learning. Classical conditioning refers to the conditioning process where an originally neutral stimulus, through repeated pairing with a stimulus that normally elects a response, ends up drawing a similar or identical response. Observational learning is learning by observing the behavior of others and the consequences of the behavior; thus learning through imitation. Operant conditioning is a type of learning by which behaviors are strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher. For example, children will keep using their manners if they are rewarded for this behavior. Children will stop pushing their siblings, if their is a consequence for this bad behavior. Learning happens throughout infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and older-age.

It is interesting to consider the concept that our only innate fears are falling and loud noises. We often think we have always had our fears, but forget about the conditioning that had to take place. Fear is a conditioned response that takes place after classical conditioning has occurred. At some point an unconditioned stimulus becomes a fear after a person has experienced negative exposure to it. A phobia tends to be a more exaggerated and intense fear. These can sometimes be removed through systematic desensitization or flooding. Systematic desensitization often pairs the fear with a relaxation technique, whereas flooding gives over exposure to the fear stimuli. it would be interesting to find out how well these two techniques work with falling and loud noise exposure.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Welcome Summer 19' Students!

I look forward to reading your posts here!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Little Albert

Little Albert had a terrible study completed to him in my opinion. He was part of a study where he would be tested using different items to see if he was afraid of them. Of course we would think that little albert was afraid of something but he did not seem to be afraid of any of the items that was put in front of him. So they found a way to make him afraid of the items that were placed in front of him. They would  hit pans behind him and make a loud noise right by little albert's head so that he would fear the sound and fear the animal.

Bobo Doll Experiment

The Bobo Doll Experiment was a very interesting study that was completed by Albert Bandura. Most people at the time thought that learned behavior such as aggression was not something that occurred. Once Albert Bandura completed his study it showed that children would react the same as an adult to a bobo doll. The adults were attacking the doll and making the children think that hitting the doll was a good thing and something that they should be doing. So when the adult left the room you can only guess that the children did the same behavior as the adults did and started hitting the doll.

Positive and Negative Punishment / Reinforcement

There were many different things that I learned when reading about positive and negative reinforcement an punishment. I had already knew something's about both positive and negative punishment but I did not know that much information about reinforcement. When I thought about what was reinforcement I had thought that it was just repeating something over and over again but after reading that chapter I had learned that it was more than that. How you reinforce behavior can have both a positive and negative impact on everyday situations. For example, a positive reinforcement would be when a child would get a gift for doing a chore that they needed to complete where as a negative reinforcement would be putting sun screen on because you know that you will get a bad sun burn if you don't.  An example of positive punishment would be a child picks his nose during class and the teacher reprimands him in front of his classmates. An example of negative punishment would be two siblings get in a fight over who gets to go first in a game or who gets to play with a new toy, the parent takes the game/toy away.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Animals in Behavioral Research

By using animals in research it has contributed to a vast amount of information being discovered. The basic principles learned from these experiments are applicable to humans. However, a main argument is that the research has limited applicability because humans and animals are not the same. According to the text, there are advantages and disadvantages to using animals in behavioral research. The advantages of using animals are: 1.) You can control their genetic makeup and learning history, 2.) Researchers are able to more strictly control the experimental environment for animals versus humans, 3.) Some research cannot be ethically conducted on humans. Personally I don’t think its right to cage an animal and subject them to starvation and electrocution. As the years have gone by, it seems as though animal research is not as gruesome as it once was, but it still exists in some form. What are your thoughts on this?

Masserman's Experimental Neurosis

In Chapter 9, one of the topics that really peaked my interest was Masserman's Experimental Neurosis. His experiment involved cats, however, it was compared to a disorder known as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for humans. This was interesting to read for me because my husband suffers from PTSD and even though I know what the symptoms are and why he has them, I didn't know how this diagnosis came about. In Masserman's experiment, electric shocks were used on cats and the outcomes were similar to the symptoms associated with PTSD.
Image result for PTSD

Similarities: restlessness, agitation, withdrawal, phobic responses.

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning is a type of learning where the future probability of a behavior is affected by its consequences. Skinner did not like how Thorndike explained consequences as satisfying or annoying so he avoided any speculation about the thinking or feeling aspects. Skinner focused on the effect the consequences of the future probability of the behavior would have. An operant behavior is a compilation of emitted responses that have the same consequences. That then affects the future strength of those responses. The book states that another name for operant behavior is operants. An example of an operant behavior from the book would be, think of a rat pressing a lever and receiving food, do you believe that there is a higher likelihood that the rat will press the lever again?

Image result for skinner's operant conditioning theory