Initial pairing of the rat and banging bar was quite simple. The rat was presented alone at first and each time Albert tried to reach for it or touched it the bar was banged behind him. A sound of banging bar was unconditioned stimulus. The objective was to see if the pairing was maintained for a while, could Albert be conditioned to be afraid of the presence of the white rat (conditioned fear response). After a couple of tests Albert started to show signs of fear and began crying when the rat was presented to him without any sound.
After that whenever he came in contact with these objects he would cry, therefore Watson ad Rayner had created a conditioned response. They also found that Little Albert had a negative response towards to Santa Claus’ beard because it represented something white and fluffy. Another theory that Pavlov stated, was that he had discovered that dogs were actually capable of learning through repeated association. Whilst completing a different experiment altogether than had no psychological link he was feeding dogs studying their digestion until he noticed that the dogs were responding to the sight of the research assistants' white lab coats, which the animals had come to associate with the presentation of food. He then investigated how these conditioned responses were actually
B. Watson and R. Rayner studied the classical conditioning of emotional responses. Albert or Little Albert was allowed to play with a white rat and he seemed like he was having a lot of fun while playing with that white rat. Later during the study, whenever Little Albert touched the white rat the scientist made a scary noise that scared Albert. Little Albert learned to associate the big scary noise with the white rat. After doing that a couple of times whenever he would touch the rat, Little Albert is becomes afraid of the rat and gets upset whenever the rat is close to him.
Positive reinforcement is where we receive a reward for our behaviour, negative reinforcement is where we manage to avoid something unpleasant happening. An example of operant conditioning was Skinner (1948) who conducted a study on rats. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever in the side and as the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever.
In the experiment Watson took a young baby who did not have any fears, and placed him with animals that people commonly have phobias of. At first Albert responded positively to each of the stimulus, particularly to a white rat, which he reached out to and stroked. Watson then paired the rat with a loud noise which Albert disliked and cried at. After this Albert tried to get away from the rat and was weary around it. This was a learned response to the rat and this is believed to be the cause of phobias.
Second point is Skinner created the “Skinner Box” which was an machinery for studying instrumental conditioning in animals (typically rats or pigeons) in which the animal is isolated and provided with a lever or switch that it learns to use to obtain a reward, such as a food pellet, or to avoid a punishment, such as an electric shock. That he used to learn, which a rat learned to obtain food by pressing a lever. Skinner contributions to world in psychology were phenomenal. Skinner was inexhaustible author publishing nearly 200 articles and more than 20 books like The Origins of Cognitive
In one study, he presented an 11-month old infant with a white rat, tamed. He then crashed the hammer against a steel bar above the infant’s head. After he repeated this act several times, the infant was conditioned and therefore showed a strong fear of the rat and also generalized the fear to other furry animals, like rabbits (Parrott III, 2003). In other prospects, Ivan Pavlov and his conditioned response technique, as well as, B.F. Skinner and his operant conditioning through use of pigeons, held important emphasis on the behavioristic thinking and movement. Albert Bandura ultimately placed the majority of the influence through his social modeling approach, which included behavior rehearsal therapy.
A neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus, resulting in a new stimulus response. Watson & Raynor (1920) conditioned Little Albert to associate the sight of a white rat, or anything similar, with a fear response. In other words, Albert had been conditioned to be frightened of something he had previously found non-threatening, and even attractive. In conditioning terms, the loud noise Albert heard was the UCS (unconditioned stimulus), his fear response of crying was the UCR (unconditioned response), the white rat was the CS (conditioned stimulus) and his fear of the white rat was the CR (conditioned response). Little Albert used systematic desensitisation to cure this fear response to phobic stimulus with a more appropriate response.
In this experiment, Watson observed this child’s reactions, by exposing him to a series of stimuli which included a white rat, rabbit, a monkey, masks, and burning newspapers. The boy originally did not show any fear when the objects were there. The second time Albert saw the rat, Watson made a loud noise by hitting a metal pipe with a hammer. The child began to cry after hearing the loud bang. Naturally, the child paired the rat with the loud noise, and would
Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated and behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out. He believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning. Skinner studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a skinner box; he used negative and positive reinforcement within his box. The positive reinforcement was when the rat pressed the lever and received a food pellet; the negative reinforcement was when the rat pressed the lever when it wasn’t supposed to and was electrocuted.
Phobias and Addictions Michele Bucceri PSY/300 General Psychology May 30, 2011 Karin Detweiler Phobias and Addictions Phobias can be developed through classical conditioning since classical conditioning is a learned behavior. Like the experiment that Watson and Rayner (1920) did to “Little Albert” with the white rats. “Little Albert” liked the white rats and even played them until Watson and Rayner banged on a steel bar behind his head whenever he reached for one of those white rats, teaching him fear which is a taught phobia. After a while all “Little Albert” needed to do is see a white rat, he started to get scared and started to cry. Studies since Watson and Rayner’s time have proposed classical conditioning as an explanation for the same human phobias (Ost, 1991; Wolpe, 1958).
“John B. Watson and his assistant Rosalie Rayner provided the first empirical evidence that fears can be acquired through classical conditioning.” (Escoba, 2008, pp 1-300). The experiment was with an 11-month old child named Albert. Albert was allowed to play with a white rat (conditioned stimuli). While he was playing with the rat, a loud noise (unconditioned stimuli) took place in the background. Albert was frightened and cried when the loud noise took place in the background (unconditioned response).
B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) made this theory a popular one with the different studies he conducted using rats. The “Skinner box” was created by Skinner with Plexiglas and was laid out in a grid floor that he could electrify and had a lever that would activate a feeding mechanism, when pressed would deliver food to animals inside the box (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009). In this case rats were inside the box could press the lever to release food and feat all day long as they kept pushing the button. The food eventually was taken away and as the rats pushed the lever, would grow frustrated when the reinforcement of food was not present (Hergenhahn &Olson, 2009). Skinner demonstrated with this experiment how quick learning occurs and how modifying behaviors effects the learning process.
Albert was pre-tested with a white rat, a dog, a monkey, masks, cotton wool and burning newspaper. He was interested in these, but not afraid of them, he was however startled by a loud noise. To condition little Albert Watson & Rayner used the white rat as the conditioned stimulus and the loud noise as the
Then using conditional stimulus he decided to combine the two, presenting the dog with a food whilst ringing the bell. Using this conditioning stimulus the dog now associated these two things with each other. After conditioning he repeated this action several times the dog began to salivate with just the sound of the bell (conditioned response) as he had came to learn that the food would follow after. A psychologist called Watson also decided to carry out a similar study only using a child this time, this is known as the “Little Albert Experiment.” Watson wanted to create a phobia and for baby Albert to associate fear with the white rat. Before conditioning Albert played with the rat (NS) and didn’t experience any fear or anxiety.
Through Skinner’s research, it helped prove that the most relevant was nurture because through conditioning and repetition one could teach animals to behave predictably. Another reason why I think the environment (nurture) has more influence on ones personality than heredity (nature), is because of John Watson. John Watson was an American psychologist and established the psychological school of behaviorism. With Watson’s “Little Albert” experiment, he helped prove that personality was molded by life experiences. In the experiment Watson took a nine month old boy, named Albert, and exposed him to a white rat.
Reinforcers. :Responses from the environment that increase the probability of the behavior being repeated ,the reinforces can be positive or negative.3.Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his skinner box, the box contained a lever in the side and as the rat moved round the box it would accidently knock the lever as soon as it hit the lever a food
Some important concepts in operant conditioning are positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box. The box contained a lever and as the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever and a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The consequence of receiving food if they pressed the lever ensured that they would repeat the action again and again. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behaviour by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.
B.F Skinner (1904 - 1990) demonstrated this theory in a very popular study he conducted with rats. Skinner created a “Skinner box” that was made of Plexiglas and had “a grid floor that can be electrified and a lever that, when pressed, activates a feeder mechanism that delivers food pellets to the animal inside” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009, p. 8). The animals, in this case rats, would press the feeder to release the food. They would sit there and press it continuously, in a plentiful feast. Eventually, the food was taken away and the rats would grow frustrated when continuing to press the feeder without the reinforcement of food (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2009).
Watson and Rayner were radical behaviourists who believed that all behaviour was learned exclusively through interaction with the environment, and furthermore that the environment could shape, through classical and operant conditioning, any individual into becoming anything. In 1920 they had the opportunity to experiment on an infant called Little Albert, and were able to show how an abnormal phobia could be learned by simple association. Little Albert was described as a happy and inquisitive child who was scared of very little. He was even happy to play with a pet white rat, however one thing that he was scared of was sudden loud noises. Watson & Rayner (1920) allowed Little Albert to play with the white rat and then at the same time made a loud metallic bang.