Psych week 7 | COUN 6220 – Psychology of Personality | Walden University

 John Watson founded the behaviorist perspective of psychology, which evolved during the first half of the 20th century. As Watson’s quote suggests, the goal of behaviorism was to understand and be able to predict behavior under certain environmental conditions. Early studies in behaviorism included the use of animals. For example, Pavlov studied the effect of the sound of a bell, previously paired with food, on dogs’ salivary production. Thorndike and Skinner conducted studies using cats, pigeons, and rats. How might behaviorist theories be applied to humans, whose behaviors are based on more than instincts? One of your readings about Watson and Little Albert will give you some insights into how powerful classical conditioning can be.  

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This week, you will become familiar with various behaviorist theories and re-visit the phenomenon of bullying, this time from a behaviorist perspective. You will also submit your Final Project theory and topic selections. Finally, you will continue work on your Psychology Theories Template by adding behaviorist theories to your document.

 Describe the conditioning approach you selected. Explain how you used this approach to identify a strategy to mitigate bullying. Following your mitigation strategy, operationalize the characteristics of your strategy according to the conditioning method you chose, such as UCS, UCR, NS, CS, CR for classical conditioning; and positive reinforcers, negative reinforcers, punishers for operant conditioning. 

Reference:
Valentine, M. E. (1980). The attenuating influence of gaze upon the bystander intervention effect. Journal of Social Psychology, 111(2), 197–203.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Apply behaviorist theories to explain real life situations and behaviors
  • Analyze theories of psychology related to topics of study
  • Evaluate key concepts of behaviorist theories

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Hock, R. R. (2020). Forty studies that changed psychology: Explorations into the history of Psychological research (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Chapter 3, “Learning and Cognition”Reading 3.1: “It’s Not Just About Salivating Dogs!”
Reading 3.2:” Little Emotional Albert”
Reading 3.3: “Knock Wood!”

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Colwill, R. M. (2016). Classical conditioning. In H. L. Miller (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of theory in psychology (pp. 130–134). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 

Marr, M. J. (2016). Operant conditioning. In H. L. Miller (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of theory in psychology (pp. 627–631). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 

Moore, J. (2016). Behaviorism. In H. L. Miller (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of theory in psychology (pp. 89–94). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. 

Document: Final Project Overview (PDF)

Document: Final Project Topics (Word document)

Document: Psychology Theories Template (Excel Spreadsheet)

Required Media

Walden University, LLC. (Producer) (2017). Behaviorism: Connectionism, classical conditioning [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.
Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Walden University, LLC. (Producer) (2017). What is classical conditioning? [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from https://cdn-media.waldenu.edu/2dett4d/USA/PSYC/6200/mm/07/CC/index.html

Document: Walden University, LLC. (Producer) (2017). What is classical conditioning? [Transcript]. (PDF)

Walden University, LLC. (Producer) (2017). What is operant conditioning? [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from https://cdn-media.waldenu.edu/2dett4d/USA/PSYC/6200/mm/07/OC/index.html

Document: Walden University, LLC. (Producer) (2017). What is operant conditioning? [Transcript]. (PDF)

Optional Resources

Mattu Describe the conditioning approach you selected. Explain how you used this approach to identify a strategy to mitigate bullying. Following your mitigation strategy, operationalize the characteristics of your strategy according to the conditioning method you chose, such as UCS, UCR, NS, CS, CR for classical conditioning; and positive reinforcers, negative reinforcers, punishers for operant conditioning. 

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