Chapter 16- Skinner: Behavioral Analysis Flashcards Preview

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A strict adherence to observable behavior that avoids all hypothetical constructs such as ego, treats, drives, needs, hunger, and so forth is called:

Radical behaviorism


As a _______ and _________, skinner rejected the notion of free will and emphasized the primacy of environmental influences on behavior

Determinist and environmentalist


Thorndike, and early behaviorist, observed that learning takes place mostly because of the effects that follow a response, and he called this observation:

Law of effect


This law of Thorndike stated that responses followed by a satisfier tend to be learned, a concept that anticipated Skinners use of positive reinforcement to shape behavior

Law of effect


To be scientific, Skinner insisted psychology must avoid internal mental factors and confine itself to ________ physical events

Observable. Although he rejected internal states as being outside the realm of science, he did not deny their existence but simply insisted that they should not be used to explain behavior


Because the purpose of science is to predict and control, Skinner argued that psychologists should be concerned with determining the conditions under which human behavior occurs. By discovering these conditions, psychologist can _______ and ______ human behavior

Predict and control


Skinner held that science has three principal characteristics:

1) it's findings are cumulative
2) it rests on an attitude that values empirical observation
3) it searches for order and reliable relationships


Skinner recognize two kinds of conditioning:

Classical and operant


According to Skinner, in this type of conditioning, a neutral stimulus is paired with, or immediately preceeds, and unconditioned stimulus a number of times until it is capable of bringing about a previously unconditioned response, now called the conditioned response. The simplest examples include reflexive behavior

Classical conditioning


Skinner believe that most human behaviors are learned through this type of conditioning where reinforcement is used to increase the probability that a given behavior will recur

Operant conditioning


In operant conditioning, this is the environment in which behavior takes place

The antecedent


In operant conditioning, this is the response

The behavior


In operant conditioning, this is what follows the behavior

The consequence


In behavioral analysis, this is a procedure in which the experimenter or the environment first rewards gross approximations of the behavior, then closer approximations, and finally the desired behavior itself to mold complex human behavior

Shaping. This process of reinforcing is called successive approximations


According to Skinner, each of us has a history of being reinforced by reacting to some elements in our environment but not to others. This history of differential reinforcement results in:

Operant discrimination


According to Skinner, a response to a similar environment in the absence of previous reinforcement is called:

Stimulus generalization


According to Skinner, reinforcement has two effects:

It strengthens the behavior and it rewards the person


According to Skinner, any stimulus that increases the probability that a given behavior will occur is called:

Positive reinforcement. Food, water, sex, money, social approval, and physical comfort usually are examples


According to Skinner, this is the strengthening of behavior through the removal of an aversive stimulus

Negative reinforcement. The reduction or avoidance of loud noises, shocks, and hunger pangs are examples


According to Skinner, any event that decreases a behavior either by presenting an aversive stimulus or by removing a positive one is called:

Punishment. Although punishment does not strengthen a response, neither does it inevitably we can it. The effects of punishment are much less predictable than those of reward


What are some effects of punishment?

It suppresses behavior, it can condition a negative feeling by associating a strong aversive stimulus with the behavior being punished, the spread of its effects-any stimulus associated with the punishment may be suppressed or avoided


According to Skinner, these reinforcers are those environmental stimuli that are not by nature satisfying but become so because they are associated with such unlearned or primary reinforcers such as food, water, sex, or physical comfort

Conditioned reinforcers. Money is an example because it can be exchanged for a great variety of primary reinforcers


According to Skinner, this type of reinforcer is associated with more than one primary reinforcer

A generalized reinforcer. Examples are attention, approval, affection, submission of others, and tokens or money


In this schedule of reinforcement, the organism is reinforced for every response. This type of schedule increases the frequency of a response but it is an inefficient use of the reinforcer. Skinner

Continuous schedule


Skinner preferred this schedule of reinforcement which is based either on the behavior of the organism or on elapsed time. It is more efficient and produces responses that are more resistant to extinction

Intermittent schedules


With this type of intermittent schedule, the organism is reinforced intermittently according to the number of responses it makes

A fixed-ratio schedule


With this type of intermittent schedule, the organism is reinforced after the n'th response on the average

Variable-ratio schedule. Playing slot machines is an example


With this type of intermittent schedule, the organism is reinforced for the first response following a designated period of time

Fixed-interval schedule


With this type of intermittent schedule, the organism is reinforced after the lapse of random or varied periods of time

Variable-interval schedule


According to Skinner, this is the tendency of a previously acquired response to become progressively weekend upon non-reinforcement