Conditioning Theories

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P1: Behaviourism -Classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov developed the theory of classical conditioning by experimenting with dogs. He noticed that they began to salivate when a lab assistant entered with a bowl of food. He began to measure the rate of the dog’s salivation. Pavlov learned that the dog had begun to associate the lab assistant with food. He later introduced a ringing bell at the same time food was brought in. Over time, the dogs learned to associate the bell with food. This was a learned behaviour. -Operant Conditioning Burrhus Skinner was a psychologist who experimented on his theory of operant conditioning with rats. His theory was tested by placing rats into a box with some levers. After a few times the rat learned that pressing the lever released a bit of food into the box. This was positive reinforcement. The rat also learned that pressing a red lever would send a small electrical current through the box, which was negative reinforcement, leading the rat to learn to not use the red lever. Social Learning Theory (SLT) Albert Bandura came up with the social learning theory which explains that our behaviour is learned from what we observe and those around us. This is known as observational learning, where we learn behaviours off a ‘role model’ and we copy their behaviour, which is known as ‘modelling’. Not all behaviour we learn is imitated, especially if we see someone else being punished for the behaviour. Bandura tested this theory in his ‘Bobo doll experiment’. Three groups of children watched an adult hit and kick around a doll, each with a different outcome. One adult was rewarded, one was punished and the third nothing happened to. The group that saw the adult get punished did not copy their actions. The group that saw nothing happened copied their behaviour slightly, and the last group that saw the adult get rewarded imitated their
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