Behavioral Theories of Learning

Topics: Reinforcement, Operant conditioning, B. F. Skinner Pages: 11 (2573 words) Published: March 13, 2012
John B. Watson 1878-1958 Behaviorism
* The founder and Coined the term "Behaviorism" in 1913
* Saw it as a means of stripping ignorance and superstition ignorance and superstition from human existence, thereby paving the way for more rational and meaningful living * "learning through stimulus substitution," a reference to the substitution of one stimulus for another Lasting Effects on Psychology

* Consciousness could be studied through the study of introspection, a notoriously unreliable research tool * Through prediction and control of behavior
* He thought complex behaviors came about through combinations of identifiable reflexes • He was a chief proponent of "nurture" and believed that all human differences were the result of learning • He believed that PRACTICE strengthens learning

* Made Psychology as a subject matter

PRINCIPLE (mechanism of response) | “stimulus-response” | BEHAVIOR | caused by external stimuli (operant conditioning), WITHOUT the need to consider internal mental states or consciousness | LEARNER | essentially passivestarts off as a clean slate (i.e. tabula rasa)| BEHAVIOR | shaped through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement => to increase/ decrease the probability that the antecedent behavior will happen |

Edward L. Thorndike 1874-1949
* CONNECTIVISM -the idea that bonds between stimulus and response take the form of neural connections. Learning involves the "stamping in" of connections (between), forgetting involves "stamping out" connections * Placed on consequences of behavior as determiners of what is learned and what is not * Among the first to apply psychological principles in the area of teaching * THE LAW OF EFFECT

Responses which occur just PRIOR to a satisfying state of affairs are MORE LIKELY TO BE REPEATED, and responses just prior to an annoying state of affairs are more likely NOT to be repeated

1. Multiple Response
* Problem solving =trial and error
2. Set or Attitude
* predisposition's to behave or react in a particular way * Unique for species; may be culturally determined in humans 3. Prepotency of Elements
* a learner could filter out irrelevant aspects of a situation and respond only to significant (proponent) elements in a problem situation 4. Response by Analogy
* a.k.a. theory of identical elements
* responses from related or similar contexts may be transferred to the new context Associative shifting
* possible to shift any response from one stimulus to another 7. Law of Readiness
* a series of responses can be chained together
to satisfy some goal which will result in
annoyance if blocked
7. Law of Exercise
* A connections become strengthened with practice, and weaken when practice is discontinued 9. Intelligence
* function of the number of connections made
* Thorndlike would have an orderly classroom with the objectives clearly defined * The educational objectives
* must be within the learner’s response capabilities, and they must be divided into manageable units-- so that the teacher can apply a satisfying state of affairs when the learner makes an appropriate response * Motivation is relatively UNIMPORTANT except in determining what constitutes a ‘satisfying state of affairs” for the learner * The learner’s behavior is determined primarily by external reinforcers and NOT by instrinsic motivation. Emphasis is on bringing about the correct responses to a stimuli * Incorrect practices are to be CORRECTED RAPIDLY so that they are NOT practiced therefore EXAMINATIONS are important for feedback regarding learning process * THORNDIKIAN TEACHERS

* would use positive control in the classroom because satisfiers strenghtens...
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