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Intro to animal behavior

Author links open overlay panel Charles C. Publisher Summary This chapter analyzes the philosophical issues associated with cognitive psychology. Recommended articles Citing articles 0. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

References

About ScienceDirect Remote access Shopping cart Advertise Contact and support Terms and conditions Privacy policy We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. The behaviourists criticized the mentalists for their inability to demonstrate empirical evidence to support their claims. The behaviourist school of thought maintains that behaviours can be described scientifically without recourse either to internal physiological events or to hypothetical constructs such as thoughts and beliefs, making behaviour a more productive area of focus for understanding human or animal psychology.

The main influences of behaviourist psychology were Ivan Pavlov , who investigated classical conditioning though often disagreeing with behaviourism or behaviourists; Edward Lee Thorndike , who introduced the concept of reinforcement and was the first to apply psychological principles to learning; John B. Watson , who rejected introspective methods and sought to restrict psychology to experimental methods; and B.

Skinner , who conducted research on operant conditioning. The first of these, Ivan Pavlov, is known for his work on one important type of learning, classical conditioning. As we learn, we alter the way we perceive our environment, the way we interpret the incoming stimuli, and therefore the way we interact, or behave.

Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, actually discovered classical conditioning accidentally while doing research on the digestive patterns in dogs.

What are the different kinds of psychology?

During his experiments, he would put meat powder in the mouth of a dog who had tubes inserted into various organs to measure bodily responses. Pavlov quickly began to gain interest in this phenomenon and abandoned his digestion research in favour of his now famous classical conditioning study. When we touch a hot stove, our reflex pulls our hand back. In this case, since the meat powder naturally results in salivation, these two variables are called the unconditioned stimulus UCS and the unconditioned response UCR , respectively.

In the experiment, the bell and salivation are not naturally occurring; the dog is conditioned to respond to the bell. Therefore, the bell is considered the conditioned stimulus CS , and the salivation to the bell, the conditioned response CR. Many of our behaviours today are shaped by the pairing of stimuli.

The smell of a cologne, the sound of a certain song, or the occurrence of a specific day of the year can trigger distinct memories, emotions, and associations.

Operant conditioning is another type of learning that refers to how an organism operates on the environment or how it responds to what is presented to it in the environment Figure 2. Reinforcement means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to any stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response.


  • Animal Learning: An Introduction (Introductions to Modern Psychology).
  • Content and Justification: Philosophical Papers!
  • Perception.
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For example, if you want your dog to sit on command, you may give him a treat every time he sits for you. The dog will eventually come to understand that sitting when told to will result in a treat.

History of Psychology | Introduction to Psychology

This treat is reinforcing the behaviour because the dog likes it and will result in him sitting when instructed to do so. There are four types of reinforcement: positive, negative, punishment, and extinction. Research has found positive reinforcement is the most powerful of any of these types of operant conditioning responses. Adding a positive to increase a response not only works better, but allows both parties to focus on the positive aspects of the situation.

Punishment, when applied immediately following the negative behaviour, can be effective, but results in extinction when it is not applied consistently. Punishment can also invoke other negative responses such as anger and resentment. The puzzle boxes were approximately 50 cm long, 38 cm wide, and 30 cm tall Figure 2.

Thorndike measured the time it took the cat to perform the required response e.


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Once it had learned the response he gave the cat a reward, usually food. The learning curve also suggested that different species learned in the same way but at different speeds. His finding was that cats, for instance, consistently showed gradual learning. From his research with puzzle boxes, Thorndike was able to create his own theory of learning :.

John B.

Montclair State

Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address, Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It , delivered at Columbia University. Little Albert responded by crying. This second presentation was repeated several times. Finally, Watson and Rayner presented the white rat by itself and the boy showed fear.

Imprinting-Animal Behavior

Later, in an attempt to see if the fear transferred to other objects, Watson presented Little Albert with a rabbit, a dog, and a fur coat. He cried at the sight of all of them.

This study demonstrated how emotions could become conditioned responses. Burrhus Frederic Skinner called his particular brand of behaviourism radical behaviourism Radical behaviourism is the philosophy of the science of behaviour. It seeks to understand behaviour as a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences. While a researcher at Harvard, Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber , popularly referred to as the Skinner box Figure 2.

The box had a lever and a food tray, and a hungry rat inside the box could get food delivered to the tray by pressing the lever. Skinner observed that when a rat was first put into the box, it would wander around, sniffing and exploring, and would usually press the bar by accident, at which point a food pellet would drop into the tray.