Lecture 1: Introspectionism & Behaviourism Flashcards Preview

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What is Introspectionism?

It emphasises the psychological relationship of the human brain and the mind.


What did Willhelm Wundt argue about introspectionism?

Argued that higher mental functions were essentially social and could not be studied in experiments.
A lot of his experiments relied on behavioural measures like reaction times.


What did Kulpe and Titchener agree and disagree on regarding introspectionism?

Agree - They both believed in the utility of the introspective method.
Disagree - They had different interpretations of data about image-less thought.
Wurzburg psychologists argued that it was possible to have image-less thought, while Tichener thought that reports that looked like image-less thought were people not trying hard enough to report the images.


What do critiques say about introspectionism?

- Our self - perceptions can be dangerously flawed.
- Reliability can be questioned.


what was the goal of studying behaviourism?

The goal was to explain complex behaviour in terms of learning from simple behaviour.
If you can control the simple behaviour and have a theory of learning, you can predict complex behaviour.


Who was Pavlov?

He studied the psychology of digestion.
Noticed that when an experimenter came into the room to feed dogs, they started salivating, even though no food was present.


Who was Watson?

The father of behaviourism. Initially studied animals before moving to humans.


Explain the case of little Albert?

Little Albert was given a white rat to play with and showed no negative reactions towards it.
Watson then paired the rat with a fear stimuli, a hammer noise. there were seven parings of this in two sessions, 1 week apart.
After this little Albert cried when he saw the rat even when there was no noise stimuli.
Five days later, little Albert was presented with, wooden blocks, a rabbit, a short haired dog, a sealskin coat, white cotton and a bearded Santa Claus mask.
Albert showed a strong fear response to the rat, the rabbit, the dog, the sealskin coat and the mask. Also a mild response to the white cotton.
He played freely with his wooden blocks.
5 days later, Watson reconditioned Albert to the rat and attempted to condition Albert to fear the previously presented rabbit and dog.
When the effects of this were tested in a different context of a larger room, Albert showed only slight reaction to the rat, rabbit and dog.
Watson then tried to freshin the reaction to the rat by presenting it with a loud noise.
This caused the dog to bark, confounding the experiment.


What did Watson argue about in regards for behaviourism?

All behaviour can be understood as a series of conditioned reflexes.
Argues that a true science of psychology strives for laws of behaviour couched in terms of physical events and physical processes.
These laws will contain statements only about things that are observable and can be measured.
If these laws can be found then we should be able to predict and control behaviour.


What did Thorndike study?

He did early work on animal learning.
He reasoned that if cats were learning accidentally then the time it would take them to escape would be gradual.
But if they were learning from some mental process of insight then they should learn to escape more quickly.
This led him to conclude that learning is essentially gradual and not the result of sudden understanding insight or reasoning.


What is the law of effect?

Things that are pleasurable or satisfying. (thorndike's theory).


What is Operant conditioning?

Animals learn behaviours that result in rewarding consequences and they drop behaviours that result in punishing consequences.
They associate a certain Stimulus with a certain response.
However, Punishment is only effective under certain conditions:
- must be prompt
- must be strong
- must be consistently applied.


What is superstitious conditioning?

Accidental reinforcement.
When behaviour happens to be followed by a reinforcer, but the reinforcer was not caused by behaviours.


Did behaviourism deny the mind/consciousness?

Watson was unsure.
Skinner, did not deny the mind exists, just that there is no place in a scientific analysis of behaviour for a mind or self.


What was Tolman's theory of mental map?

Rats ran around in mazed in which there was no food reward for the first 3 days.
When on the fourth day, food was unexpectedly located in the end box, they immediately knew how to get back to the same spot the second time.
Tolman argued that the rats had acquired a cognitive map like representation of the maze, and the rat could use the cognitive map to figure out novel routes through a maze.


What is latent learning?

Learning in the absence of a reward.


What did critiques are there for behaviourism?

For some behaviourists Mind was irrelevant in predicting behaviour.
Tries to explain human behaviour in the same way other sciences explain the physical world.
No free will.
Fails to take into account the role of inherited genetic and cultural factors.