February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Three possibilities Behaviourism Reflex
February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Three possibilities Behaviourism Reflex conditioning J.B.Watson Applies Pavlovs theory to humans February 9, 2020 Operant conditioning
B.F.Skinner Conditioning is voluntary through positive + negative reinforcement philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Bio-determinism Francis Galton Behaviour produced by genes J.B.Watson (1878-1958) Conditioning We enter the world as a
blank slate. Our unique ways of behaving are a result of our environment and experiences. Rejected Freuds concept of the unconscious as unscientific. Based his theories on observation alone. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Watson rejected free will Humans learn by a process of conditioning.
He believed you could take any child and turn them into whoever you wanted: Ill guarantee to take anyone at random and turn them into the specialist which I select. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Stimulus response learning: Pavlovs dog Some things a dog doesnt need to learn, called
unconditioned reflexes. For example, a dog doesnt need to learn to salivate in the presence of food. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Pavlovs assistant = a neutral stimulus Pavlovs assistant gave the dog food and the dog learnt to associate food with the assistant. The neutral stimulus (the
assistant) had become associated with the unconditioned stimulus (food), so triggering a reflex (salivating). February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Pavlov introduces a bell. Pavlov rang a bell every time he gave the dogs food. The dogs began to associate the bell with food. When Pavlov removed the food and just rang the bell, the dogs carried on salivating. So the neutral stimulus (the
bell) had become a condtioned stimulus producing a conditioned response (salivation) February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Learnt or conditioned behaviour So behaviour is learnt or conditioned according to associations in our environment and upbringing. Human beings can widen their associations using their imaginations.
February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk J.B.Watson and little Albert Watson attempted to show the same conditioning in humans. He took an 8 month old baby, little Albert, who previously had no fear of rats. His neutral stimulus was a loud sound just behind Alberts head, which upset him. Every time the rat
appeared, Watson made the loud sound. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Exercise 1: what do you think happened next? What would you expect Watson to do next? What might be Watsons conclusion? February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk
Watsons conclusion Watson presented Albert with the rat on his own, with no noise of a metal bar, and Albert started crying. Albert had learnt to associate the rat with the upsetting noise, producing a conditioned reflex (crying). He also found that Albert generalised his fear to all white furry objects. (Click link below for Watson's own words) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYElUVByBGc February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Conditioning and phobias
If a child is bitten by a dog, the normally neutral stimulus (dogs) has produced an association of pain and fear. This can be generalised to every dog, so the sight of any dog produces anxiety and fear. The neutral stimulus has become a conditioned stimulus to a conditioned reflex, fear. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Watsons behaviourist
manifesto Psychology as the behaviourist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behaviour. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviourist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behaviour of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviourist's total scheme of investigation. February 9, 2020
philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk B.F. Skinner (1904-90) Operant Conditioning We learn by positive and negative feedback. These feedbacks are called reinforcements. The more positive reinforcement we receive, the more we will voluntarily repeat that behaviour (praise, prizes, rewards, satisfaction). By operant Skinner means behaviour occurring just before the stimulus.
Sooperant conditioning means causing repeat behaviour patterns just before a stimulus occurs. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk The Skinner box Skinner put rats in a cage When the rat accidentally pressed a bar on the wall, a food pellet (the reinforcer) was released In no time the rat was furiously tapping away at the bar If you stop giving pellets the
rat quickly stops pushing the bar The rat resumes its behaviour much more quickly when the pellets are reintroduced. It has learned by experience. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Skinners conclusions A behaviour followed by reinforcement causes the behaviour to be repeated If the reinforcement is withdrawn, the behaviour diminishes
So frequency and nature of reinforcements are vital to sustain a desired behaviour February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Skinner : Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner responded to criticisms that his theory took away human free will What do we mean when we say we want to be free? Skinner said we dont want to be punished for doing what we want.
So, Skinner argued, avoid negative reinforcements (punishment) and use only positive reinforcers to control society. Then we will feel free because we feel we are doing what we want!!! February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Skinner: freedom as a mentalist construct Skinner thought free will, consciousness, the unconscious were mentalist constructs, unobservable and so useless
for scientific enquiry. The problem with society, he argued, is that our positive and negative reinforcers are out of control. Governments need to take control of society so good is rewarded and bad punished, so we can design our culture by operant conditioning. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Francis Galton (1822-1911): Biobehaviourism Galton aimed to improve the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally.
He wrote we might introduce into the world prophets and high priests of civilisation, as surely as we can produce idiots by mating cretins He chillingly anticipated Nazi doctrine by arguing that the feebler nations of the world are necessarily giving way before the nobler varieties of mankind February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Mapping the genome: hard genetic determinism
Only 0.2% of human genetic makeup determines human differences eg skin colour Humans have 30,000 genes, but chimps have only 2% difference in DNA sequence Some geneticists believe sexual orientation, intelligence, criminality, aggression and addiction can be traced to the genome Hard determinists believe genes control all human action and free will is an illusion February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk
Uses of gene therapy By selective breeding a New York Jewish community entirely eradicated an inherited disease Diseases such as Huntingtons disease, which brings on presenile dementia, has been proved to be entirely genetic, and some evidence suggests violent criminals have an extra male chromosome XYY. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Soft genetic determinists Genes interact with the
environment View of Richard Dawkins, who argues humans have developed an altruistic (kindness) gene Children from unstable and violent homes show different brain development So human personality seems to be a complex interaction between genes and environment February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk Craig Venters views (Genome
mapper) We simply dont have enough genes for biological determinism to be right says Venter, our environments are critical. Others fear that social inequality will eventually transfer to genetic inequality, with the creation of an inferior human, as in the film Gattaca. February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk
Science and Society comments that.. Nature is organic, dynamic and interconnected. There are no linear causal chains linking genes and characteristics of organisms, let alone the human condition. The discredited paradigm is perpetuated by a scientific establishment consciously or unconsciously serving the corporate agenda February 9, 2020 philosophicalinvestigations.co.uk
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