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chapters 3-4

chapters 3-4 - Psychology 152 Skinner Book Chapters 3-4...

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Psychology 152 – Skinner Book Chapters 3-4 – 12/3/09 Chapter 3 – Innate Behavior This is like respondent (or Pavlovian or Classical) conditioning. Physiological responses and reflexes Instincts and driving forces Reflexes don’t explain a behavior, they just describe it Instinct is used to explain a behavior like the students are describing o “Instinct” is just a descriptor word Conrad Lerine – ecologist – discovered the principle of imprinting o Imprinting occurs in avarian species of a strategic window of about 2-3 hours after the hatchlings hatch to 4 hours of age Ducklings will go to the first moving thing they see – they attach themselves to the first thing they see (the mother, usually) Instincts are used to explain something like that phenomena o But instincts are actually just a description of the phenomena Genetic endowment o Instinct comes from genetic endowment o The usual explanation is that this happens because of instinct, but that’s wrong o Physical contact is reinforcing, which comes from the genetic endowment o Instinct does not explain why the ducklings go o Experiment was arranged whereby you make up a contingency such that the duckling moved toward the mother duck, the duck moved away o If the duckling moved away from the mother, the mother was moved towards the duckling o If the “instinct” was the controlling factor, this would NOT happen o Either go to the mother, or nothing genetically speaking o To have the duckling learn to move away from mother, is totally counter to “instinct” If you arrange the contingency such that the duckling moves away from the mother, the mother follows the duckling. – THIS VIOLATES THE HEAVILY genetically controlled behavior of moving towards the mother Physical contact is reinforcing, thus you can make a contingency of it and you CAN make the mother go to the duckling The concept of “instinct” cannot explain this.
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Territoriality and aggression Aggression – describes a group of behaviors rather than just 1 behavior o This is the same thing as talking about “intelligence” – you are describing a collection of behaviors, it’s just convenient to use one word to describe all of those things o No one actually sees intelligence, you see evidence of it in behavior (the manifestation of intelligence) o Skinner’s position is that all of these things together are WHAT YOU DO and nothing else. This reflects that you can do it. It is not reflect “intelligence,” something that we can never actually “see” There are certain universalities There will be some variation, but most individuals of the same specie will act in a similar fashion. Not every rat will respond and acquire behavior at the same rate.
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chapters 3-4 - Psychology 152 Skinner Book Chapters 3-4...

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