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.
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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


Temperament is an individuals biologically determined base level of emotionality. It affects how you react to stimulation and refers to how emotionally reactive you are. A person’s temperament is a combination of their individual personality traits. Different temperament traits can be seen in infancy: easy, difficult, and slow to warm up. The temperament that a person has an infant can be an indicator of how they will be as an adult. The easy temperament is described as being in a good mood, adapting to change easily, and has regular eating, sleeping, and bathroom patterns. Approximately 40% of babies are considered to have an easy temperament. A baby with a difficult temperament usually has bad moods, doesn’t respond well to change, and doesn’t have regular patterns. Approximately 10% of babies have a bad temperament. The other general temperament is the slow to warm up types of babies, where the babies are in between easy and difficult. It is considered that approximately 15% of babies have a slow to warm up temperament.

Treating Phobias

Phobias are highly susceptible to treatments based on conditioning. Most other disorders are not as susceptible to treatment. Two basic types of treatment are known as systematic desensitization and flooding. Systematic desensitization is basically showing something to the person with the phobia that brings positive emotion while having that phobia that creates the fear in the background at a distance. Each time this occurs the item that creates the fear is moved closer and closer. This is called a gradual conditioning procedure which eventually eliminates the phobia. Systematic desensitization pairs relaxation with a fear. Flooding therapy is a treatment that has the phobia being exposed for a long amount of time which gives the greatest amount of time that the phobia needs to be eliminated.

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Mind-body dualism

Rene Descartes was a french philosopher. He was known for the famous line "I think, therefore I am." During his time many people believed that the behavior of people was just based on free will. Descartes said that the body we have functions like a machine. There are movements that our bodies make that are involuntary, otherwise known as reflexes. I agree that our behaviors are a mixture of both, our mind and our body. Our behaviors can be thought out or it could just happen, involuntary.

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Reinforcers and Punishers

In Chapter 6, we learned about 4 types of contingencies in operant conditioning:
1.) Positive Reinforcement - the presentation of something that is rewarding or pleasant following a response then leads to an increase in the future strength of the response.
2.) Negative Reinforcement - the removal of something that is aversive or unpleasant following a response then leads to an increase in the future strength of the response.
3.) Positive Punishment - the presentation of something that is aversive or unpleasant following a response then leads to a decrease in the future strength of the response.
4.) Negative Punishment - the removal of something that is rewarding or pleasant following a response then leads to a decrease in the future strength of the response.

In my opinion, these can get a little confusing, but having a breakdown using real life examples can help distinguish the differences in each. I have three children, so the examples involving children are easier to understand because I can relate more with them.

Here are some examples:
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Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment

The first time I had heard about the Bobo Doll Experiment was in my Intro to Psychology class. It was one of the most interesting subjects we had talked about and reading about it again for this class made me feel the same way! Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory talks about how people learn from others through observation. He conducted the Bobo Doll Experiment which showed the reactions of children to a Bobo Doll after watching the adults. I have children of my own and it's very important to watch what you say and do on a daily basis. It's amazing how much children mimic and try to be just like their parents; which is what the experiment shows.

Friday, June 22, 2018

these are some variations of examples  of positive and negative punishment from th Disney movie Frozen and the best movie of all the time Lion King. Punishmen is used to help decrease the probability that a specific undesired behavior will occur with the delivery of a consequence immediately after the undesired response/behavior is exhibited. When people hear that punishment procedures are being used, they typically think that something wrong or harmful is being done, but that is not necessarily the case. positive punishment works by presenting a negative consequence after an undesired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior less likely to happen in the future. and negative punishment hen a certain desired stimulus/item is removed after a particular undesired behavior is exhibited, resulting in the behavior happening less often in the future.  As you'll see in the video, when Simba was talking discouragingly about his past, Rafki hit him on the head which will act as a reinforcer for Simba to not talk that way again. In Frozen when Elsa uses her powers in front of Anna, Elsa accidentally hurts Anna and then is afraid to ever use her powers in front of her sister again.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Social Learning Theory

Social Learning Theory- the view people learn by observing others. I shared a video clip from the movie, Big Daddy, to show an example of social learning theory. You develop behaviors, views, and attitudes from social context. In this clip, you see how the little boy develops the same behavior as his mentor. Who does inappropriate behavior that feeds off to the little kid. Psychologist, Albert Bandura, assimilted two theories into four different requirements for learning - observation (environmental), retention (cognitive), reproduction (cognitive), and motivation (both).

Operant Conditioning

Above is a clip of example of operant conditioning from Big Bang Theory. Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is controlled by consequences. In this example, anytime Sheldon went to go do something and finish, she would make sure she stopped him before he could do so.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement- Using a reinforcing stimulus to help behavior to occur repeatedly in the future.

For a personal example of positive reinforcement for me, I work in a school and also provide in-home  ABA therapy sessions with children on the spectrum. Positive reinforcement is a major part of ABA therapy, when a behavior occurs that is appropriate, children will be rewarded with a reinforcement  of their desire. That is also in ever day life. Children do their chores, they will be rewarded with allowance. Children finish their homework, they will be rewarded with their iPAD. We encourage positive reinforcement as a motivator for correct appropriate behavior to occur again in near future. It is for children to know that when they are doing the right thing, they will be rewarded with their favorite things, so therefore, they will continue to do so in the future.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


A reflex is an automatic response to a stimulus. They include anything from blinking in response to a puff of air or turning in response to a strange noise behind you. All of the reflexes that we have are basically linked to survival. When babies are born, they have a multitude of reflexes that help them to survive. In order to eat, the rooting and sucking reflexes occur. Rooting guides the baby to find its mother’s breast or its bottle. Once it has found where its food will be coming from, the sucking reflex begins. The sucking reflex often doesn’t begin in utero until about the 32nd week and isn’t fully developed until the 36th week. For some infants that are born premature, this reflex can be weakened. Most of the primitive reflexes seen in infancy disappear as time goes on, but others such as vomiting and salivating remain.

Positive and Negative Punishment

Here are some examples of positive and negative punishment from Frozen and the Lion King. Punishment can be defined as when a person engages in a behavior that has an immediate consequence which decreases the likelihood of them repeating that behavior. As you'll see in the video, when Simba was talking discouragingly about his past, Rafki hit him on the head which will act as a reinforcer for Simba to not talk that way again. In Frozen when Elsa uses her powers in front of Anna, Elsa accidentally hurts Anna and then is afraid to ever use her powers in front of her sister again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Classical and Operant Conditioning

Here is a good example of operant conditioning in Disney movies. Operant Conditioning is when specific consequences are associated with a specific behavior. In the video an example of a positive reinforcement. Cinderella is told that she can go to the ball if she does all her chores. The ball is the stimulus and the chores are the behavior.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning has always been one of my favorite components of psychology because it was always simple to understand, yet so interesting. This is the learned method that occurs with punishment and rewards for behavior. Operant conditioning is in many TV shows. In the clip I provided the show Ed, Edd n Eddy had an example of operant conditioning. The boys were stuck with bandages and once the had shown foul behavior, the bandage was ripped off to inflict a punishment of pain. The boys learned soon to be on their best behavior and reinforced proper social behavior by the end of the scene.

Learned Behavior: Imprinting, Habituation and Conditioning

I've always been interested in building and breaking habits. Sometimes they seem like such simple things to do, but anyone who has struggled with breaking a bad or unwanted habit would know that that is far from the truth. Habit and conditioning is a process that takes a lot of time and patience and is definitely not something that is fostered over night. Learned behaviors are behaviors that are learned over a period of time. Over this period of time the repetition of these behaviors form a habit.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Rescorla-Wagner Model

Classical conditioning is a vast part of psychology with many underlying models and components. It is defined as the learning process that involves learning a new behavior when two stimuli are paired. The Rescorla-Wagner model is a model that uses the associations between unconditioned stimuli and conditioned stimuli. The model is simple in saying that the CS will predict the US if the association is strong. Once the person has been presented with the CS, they will be less surprised the more it’s repeated. The US will not be as a surprise or shock as it was when the first time it was shown. I had a bit of a hard time grasping the thought of this until I watched this youtube video, although very silly, it gets the point across short and sweet. 

Punishment/ Reinforcement

When reading about positive and negative punishment/reinforcement, I found myself getting confused very quickly. I was thinking of the terms too literally for how we use them in everyday life. Punishment sounds something of a negative experience all the time. However, in pysch terms, punishment is a consequence that follows a behavior that will likely decrease that behavior from happening in the future. Continued, reinforcement is a behavior that would likely increase that probability that a specific behavior would happen in the future. When something is added there is a positive tacked on to the name. When something is removed, negative is placed in front. Here are some examples:
Positive Punishment: Child touches hot iron and feels pain.
Negative Punishment: Child fighting with brother and has favorite toy taken away to make him stop.
Positive Reinforcement: Child receiving money for good grades.
Negative Reinforcement: Child pressing alarm button to shut off loud noise.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Spontaneous Recovery

Spontaneous recovery is an interesting part of psychology, and can be quite difficult to understand. Spontaneous recovery happens after part of an instinctual routine is eliminated or exterminated but returns after a few days. There can be many examples of this, one being a person who has the flu. Everyday this person may wake up, eat breakfast, and then go to school. While having the flu, there may be some difficultly trying to do these tasks so they may wake up, not eat, and eventually just go back to bed. After a few short days they will begin to feel better, and eventually will go back to their normal routine. This is the spontaneous recovery of the routine that they know and have to endure everyday, and one that flu leaves them they will go on to doing it again. The video also explains how a smoker can also endure the same thing, and feel the need for a cigarette years after the extinction of that behavior.

Classical conditioning

I always found classical conditioning to be one the of the most interesting things that could happen unknowingly to someone in their life. Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs when two stimuli are repeatedly paired; a response that is at first elicited by the second stimulus is eventually elicited by the first stimulus alone. One thing that I found interesting was that they actually formed an episode of the simpsons based on classical conditioning. Classical conditioning was used by Lisa to see if she could cause her brother and a hamster to have the same response. By giving them a shook when they touch food, or in Bart's case a cupcake, they became afraid of these things. It was cool to see that a psychological perspective could be done in a TV show, and allow for the average watcher to understand without having to know about classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is such an amazing thing, and is interesting to see how the mind can think and do different things based on different stimulus. 

Doll Test

When reading all the chapters in the book, it is easily seen that learning can take place in different fashions. While reading I was reminded of an experiment that I had learned about in my sociology class that did play a role in our material. It was called the doll test, and it was done on a group of children and they would have to say which doll was the pretty doll or the nice doll, and the doll was either black or white. We can see by this experiment how much observational learning plays a part in a child's life. They pick up these negative thoughts based on the places they live, or maybe even by observing their parents displaying these negative thoughts. Observational learning is a huge part of Bandura's social learning theory and can be seen all throughout this test. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

Vervet Monkey Alarm Call

When reading the chapter comparative cognition I found it interesting when they were talking about the Vervet money and the alarm calls. I found a video on YouTube about the different calls that they have. If they see a hawk they run for the middle of the tree,  a snake they stand on their back legs, and scan the area and if they see a leopard they get in the trees. In the video it explains they have different calls for different predators, for instance,  when they see a leopard it is a much higher pitch sound then for the snake or hawk, and the snake is a higher pitch then the hawk. I found it interesting that they can distinguish between the sounds and know what to do when facing danger. This shows that animals do communicate and have their own language.

Operant Conditioning in Disney Movies

I always liked Disney movies and I have never noticed that they used operant conditioning. In the video they use positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment. The movies that they talk about are Toy Story, Cinderella, Inside Out, and Lion King. This video made me think about other movies that use operant conditioning, and when I watch another movie I will try to notice these little things. Cinderella uses positive reinforcement by if Cinderella does her chores she gets to go to the ball. Toy Story uses negative reinforcement by how Woody removes Buzz so that Andy will continue his behavior in choosing Woody to play with. Lion King uses positive punishment by when Rafiki hits Simba on the head from stopping Simba from thinking about the past. Inside Out uses negative punishment by Riley's dad taking away dessert to stop her from crying about eating broccoli. This video made me understand reinforcement and punishment better and the differences between positive and negative.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Little Albert What happened to him

When I first learned about Little Albert when learning about fear I wondered what happened to him. In one of the chapters in the book it talks about fears and phobias and how the experiment they did on him, but it didn't talk about what happened later when the experiment was over. We know that he had a fear of white things, but you don't know how it affected him later in life. I found a video on YouTube which explains the experiment and also what might have happened to him. In the video I learned that Watson never did a follow up on Albert, he burned all of his findings, and that he never publicly revealed who Little Albert was. In 2010, they found who Little Albert was and unfortunately he died at age 6, and he was most likely still afraid of white things.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bandura's Social Learning Theory

Bandura's theory on social learning can be traced to Hull's neobehaviorism because he learned from theories of Hull in graduate school. The term social learning theory was first used by theorists that were following Hull's ideas. These theorists connected Hull's concepts of human social behaviors to imitation. Bandura was very interested in learning more about imitation, that he became another researcher on the topic. Bandura's thoughts on imitation included that we have expectations for ourselves and that strongly influences out behaviors. He also believed that cognitive variables and observational learning helps us grow and learn as individuals. Bandura was more interested on studying children and aggressive behaviors and that is why he did the study of the Bobo dolls. The results of that study showed that children are more aggressive when they saw their parents having aggressive behaviors towards the doll. Children learn through imitation from their parents and other people they may look up to. This theory is still important and used today on children. 

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Youtube video of Bandura's Bobo doll experiment:

References: Powell, R. A., Symbaluk, D.G., & Honey, L, P. (2002) Introduction to Learning and Behavior (Fourth Edition ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth/Thompson Learning. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Treating Phobias

Treating Phobias 

Treating phobias is very difficult to accomplish. A phobia is a irrational fear or a strong dislike of something. Some examples of phobias are fears of spiders, heights, crowded spaces, flying, elevators, public transportation, and so on. There are ways to treat phobias such as systematic desensitization, and flooding. Systematic desensitization is a way to treat a phobia by paring relaxation and a succession of stimuli which stops the fear. Wolpe founded this treatment and it consists of three steps. The first step is training in relaxation which is a deep muscle relaxation. The second step consists of showing the person with the fear several picture staring with a picture that causes the least amount of anxiety up to the most. The final step includes pairing each picture with relaxation. The process starts with the least fearful picture while including relaxation, then continues all the way to the most fearful to eliminate the anxiety all together. 
Another way to treat a phobia is by a treatment called flooding. Flooding is a long exposure to the feared stimulus by the client so the fear will decrease quickly. The client in treatment will first visualize their fear and practice visualizing it at home. An example of this would be if a person is afraid of balloons, they would have to think of a balloon in the room. The next step would include the person with the fear actually encountering the situation. An example is the person with the balloon fear having to go into a room with balloons and pop them. This is a quicker treatment of extinguishing a phobia and it might not work for everyone. These are some ways to treat several phobias. 

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Youtube video of systematic desensitization:                                        

Youtube video of flooding:

References: Powell, R. A., Symbaluk, D. G., & Honey, L. P. (2002). Introduction to Learning and Behavior (Fourth Edition ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth/ Thompson Learning. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Classical Conditioning

Classical Conditioning 

Classical conditioning occurs in learning when a neutral stimulus correlates with a stimulus and causes a behavior. A Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov came up with this theory after he noticed the dogs salivating every time the lab technicians entered the room. He realized that the dogs salivated when the lab technicians entered the room, because they knew they were getting fed. Pavlov then associated the time the dogs ate and rang a bell every time they were about to be fed. Overtime, the dogs salivated to the ring of the bell. The unconditioned response is something that causes a natural response, in this case it would be the dogs food. The unconditioned response occurs naturally after the unconditioned stimulus. The unconditioned response is the salvation of the dogs. The conditioned response is the desired response and it is the dogs salivating to the bell ringing in Pavlov's experiment and the learned behavior by the dogs. This research by Pavlov showed people how to understand learning.

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Here is a youtube video of another example of classical conditioning from the show The Office!

[Author removed at request of original publisher]. (2015, October 26). Introduction to Psychology. Retrieved from