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Classical Conditioning (Pavlov)
“Modern” Classical Conditioning (Watson)
Operant Conditioning (Skinner)
Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
▫ Study on Imitation and Transmission of
Aggression (1961)
Classical Conditioning (Pavlov)
•Pavlov had his lab assistants
feed dogs meat powder so
their rates of salivation could
be measured
•Dogs began to salivate when
they saw the assistants, even
when they had no meat
Minty-fresh Office
Classical Conditioning
▫ A type of learning that occurs when an
individual learns to produce an involuntary
emotional or physiological response similar to
an instinctive or reflexive response
▫ There are main concepts of the process that
you need to understand
1. Unconditioned
Object or event causes an
instinctive or reflexive
(unlearned) physiological or
emotional response
In Pavlov’s experiment, the
meat powder was the UCS
4.Conditioned Response (CR)
Learned physiological or
emotional response that is similar
to the unconditioned response
In Pavlov’s experiment, the dogs’
salivation without the meat powder
is the CR
2. Unconditioned Response(UCR)
Instinctive or reflexive
(unlearned) physiological or
emotional response caused by the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS).
In Pavlov’s experiment, the UCR
was the dogs’ salivation resulting
from the meat powder.
3. Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
Object or event becomes associated with the
unconditioned stimulus
In Pavlov’s experiment, lab assistants became
associated with the meat powder
Curiously Strong Office
Classical Conditioning
In Pavlov's experiment…
1. Neutral Stimulus (NS): tuning fork/bell
2. Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): presentation of food
3. Unconditioned Response (UCR): salivation
4. Conditioned Stimulus (CS): sound
5. Conditioned Response (CR): salivating after the sound
Processes in classical conditioning
• Generalization: responding the same way to
similar stimuli (example)
• Discrimination: responding differently to similar
but not identical stimuli.
• Extinction: gradual disappearance of a learned
response. Occurs when a conditioned stimulus
is presented repeatedly but not followed by the
unconditioned stimulus (example)
John Watson and Conditioning
• A. Background
▫ 1. Freud described the phobia of Little Hans as the
result of psychosexual development. Hans oedipal
desires caused him to fear his father. This fear was then
transferred to horse which may have resembled Hans’
▫ 2. John Watson felt that Freud ignored a critical piece
of evidence. When he was a child Hans saw an accident
involving a horse and cart that would have startled him.
Watson saw this as the cause of the fear.
Watson & Little Albert (1920)
▫ 1. Albert B and 11 month old child living at the
hospital referred to as Baby Albert for the purposes of
the experiment
▫ 2. He was a stolid and unemotional infant who was
quite healthy
▫ 3. Watson and Rayner were unconcerned with giving
the boy a phobia as this fear would do the boy “little
harm” and he would develop fears on his own soon
▫ 4. The plan called for the subject to be “frightened” by
banging two metal poles together
Watson & Little Albert (1920)
• C. The Experiment
▫ 1. At first the subject responded favorably to the rat
(smiling and cooing) and was willing to touch the rat
▫ 2. It took 7 pairings of the loud noise with the rat to
get a fear response
▫ 3. Albert showed no fear of objects like his blocks,
however, he did show generalization to other “furry”
objects like a rabbit and a dog
▫ 4. After 5 days without conditioning the CR had
diminished somewhat
Watson & Little Albert (1920)
▫ 5. The researchers confounded their own experiment
by conditioning the subject with the UCR and some of
the generalized stimuli (rabbit and dog)
▫ 6. Some doubts exist as to whether or not this fear
response was actually a phobia. When Albert was
allowed to suck his thumb he showed no response
▫ 7. Some other errors included no control subject and
no careful monitoring of the CR
Watson & Little Albert (1920)
• D. Important Concerns
▫ 1. Ethical standards today prevent exposing subjects to
harm like that done in this experiment.
▫ 2. The mother eventually removed the subject, preventing
any further experimentation or removal of the fear
▫ 3. The researchers planned on using various techniques to
remove the fear
 a. Presentations of the stimulus w/ food or candy
 b. Tactile stimulation of the subject’s erogenous zones while
presenting the CS
▫ 4. The long term impact on the subject is still debated
 a. Possibly extinguished over time
 b. However, some research suggest that it may not have been
extinguished because fear is often difficult to extinguish on its own
Watson & Little Albert (1920)
• The Procedures in summation
UCS = loud noise
UCR = crying to the loud noise
Neutral stimulus = the rat
CS = the rat
CR = crying to the rat
GS = the rabbit or dog etc.
Operant Conditioning (Skinner, 1952)
• The work of B.F. Skinner
▫ 1. Considered the Father of Operant Conditioning
▫ 2. Based his work on the Law of Effect (Thorndike)
▫ 3. Skinner Basics
 a. Believed that all learning occurs as a result of experience
 b. Believed that cognitive terms were useless
 c. Believed that all animals including humans learn in basically
the same way, therefore studies done on animals can be
extrapolated to humans
 d. Most of his studies were done on rats and pigeons
 e. Believed man has very little free will
 f. Unlike Pavlov and Watson, says that behavior is voluntary
▫ 4. A prolific author who’s works include Walden Two
and Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Operant Conditioning (Skinner, 1952)
• Reinforcer: is any consequence that strengthens
the behavior it follows (increases frequency and
• Positive Reinforcement: strengthening behavior
by presenting a desired stimulus (examples)
• Negative reinforcement: strengthening behavior
by removing an aversive stimulus (examples)
• Big Bang Reinforcement
Operant Conditioning (Skinner, 1952)
• Punishment: process that weakens or suppresses
• behavior followed by a punisher is less likely to be
repeated in similar situations
• Type I punishment (presentation punishment):
presenting an aversive stimulus following the
behavior. (example)
• Type II punishment (removal punishment):
removing a pleasant stimulus following the
behavior (example)
Reinforcement vs. Punishment
Criticisms of Behaviorism
Does not account for cognitive processes
Does not account for social learning
Stress of rewards and punishments
Over-used in schools and society in general
People learn what to do, but not why to do
Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1961)
• Premise that learning occurs through (a) the interaction
with other people and (b) through the use of observation
and modeling
▫ Observational learning = learning by observing others
▫ Modeling = the process of observing and imitating a
specific behavior
▫ It is believed that this behavior is facilitated by motor
neurons that fire both when a person acts and when
they observe another acting
• Conditions for effective modeling=
▫ Need attention, retention, reproduction, motivation
Social Learning vs. Operant Conditioning
Bandura (social learning)
Skinner (operant conditioning)
Learning can take place all at once
(rather than over a period of time)
Learning is a step by step process that
involves reinforcement of behaviours
Learning can occur through
observation and modeling
Direct reinforcement is needed for a
behaviour to be learned
Learned behaviour can be stored
demonstrated as needed
S-O-R model (cognitive process a vital S-R model (very limited if any
part to learning)
cognitive process)
“This presentation contains copyrighted
material under the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S. copyright law”
• Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of
Aggressive Models
Bandura, Ross, & Ross (1961)
AS Level
Developmental Psych Unit
Lecture 1
Bandura, Ross, & Ross
AICE Psych- Developmental Psych Unit
Transmission of
Aggression through
Imitation of
Aggressive Models
Background of the Study
• What’s the cause of aggression?
• Theorists point to 3 possibilities (not gamma rays)
• 1- biologically pre-programmed
• 2- situational factors
• 3- aggression is learned
CUE 1- Which of the above possibilities to you
believe is most applicable? Explain!
Background & Premise for Study
• Bandura believed that conditioning on its own is
inadequate as an explanation of the majority of
social behaviour
• To test this idea, he set out to design a study to
provide support for his concepts
CUE 2- Briefly describe how you would conduct a
study to test this concept? Include all relevant
aspects as we have talked about in class
Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1961)
• Premise that learning occurs through (a) the interaction with
other people and (b) through the use of observation and
▫ Observational learning = learning by observing others
▫ Modeling = the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
▫ It is believed that this behavior is facilitated by motor neurons that fire
both when a person acts and when they observe another acting
• Conditions for effective modeling=
▫ Need attention, retention, reproduction,
and motivation
Purpose of the Study
• AICE says- To demonstrate that learning can occur
through mere observation of a model and that imitation
can occur in the absence of that model
• OCR and everyone else says- Looked at whether children
would imitate the actions of different role models when
given the opportunity… (key point here) even if they saw
these behaviours in a different environment and the
original model they observed performing
the aggressive act was no longer present
Hypotheses (1-2)
• H1- Children shown aggressive models will show
significantly more imitative aggressive behaviour
than those shown non-aggressive or no models
• H2- Children shown non-aggressive, subdued
models will show significantly less aggressive
behaviour than those shown aggressive or no
Hypotheses (3-4)
• H3- Children will imitate the behaviour of same
sex models to a greater degree than opposite sex
• H4-Boys will show significantly more imitative
aggression than girls, especially with the male
rather than female aggressive model
• Design: lab experiment
• Site: Stanford University
• Subjects: 72 total- 1:1 M:F, 36 boys and 36 girls
from the University Nursery School
• Age Range: 37-69 months old, x=52 months
▫ (3 years to almost 6 years old)
CUE 3- What are 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses
with this sample?
Methodology- Overview
• 3 groups, each with 24 children (12 M & 12 F)
▫ 1- Experimental 1:observed an aggressive model
▫ 2- Experimental 2: observed a non-aggressive model
▫ 3- Control: no exposure to any model
• Groups were subdivided
 totaling 8 experimental and 2 control groups
▫ Independent measures design
 compare groups to each other
CUE 4- Describe an ‘independent designs’ study.
CUE 5- Which other studies reviewed so far
implemented this design study?
Methodology-Participant Allocation
No role
Male Model
Male Model
Methodology- Variables
• IV- 1- presence of a model
2- gender of model
3- behavior of model (aggressive/non-aggressive)
• DV-amount of aggression displayed by the child in a
later situation (both imitative and non-imitative)
Methodology- Variables (continued)
• To control for extraneous variables within the study
▫ Researcher and teacher rated children on 5-point scale on:
 previous displays of physical & verbal aggression
 aggression towards objects
 ability to control their behavior when they were angry
▫ This inter-rater reliability allowed ‘equal’ placement of
children in terms of aggression level within the groups
(helps reliability)
CUE 6- AGAIN, describe the concept of inter-rater
CUE 7- In the other studies discussed so far that
used inter-rater reliability, describe how it
was accomplished in those studies.
“This presentation contains copyrighted
material under the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S. copyright law”
• Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of
Aggressive Models
Bandura, Ross, & Ross (1961)
AS Level
Developmental Psych Unit
Lecture 2
Procedure- Phase 1 Modeling Condition
• *Note- there is no report of the control group children in regards to treatment in
the rooms (probably just played with toys)
• For both experimental groups:
• Phase 1 Setup:
▫ Each child individually taken to an experimental room at the
nursery and the model (stooge) was invited to “join in the game”
▫ Child seated at one corner with stickers and potato prints
▫ Model seated at opposite corner with tinker toys, a mallet, and
the Bobo doll. Experimenter then left the room.
Procedure- Phase 1- Modeling Condition
• Phase 1 Experimentation:
• Non-aggressive condition:
▫ Model assembles and plays with the tinker toys and ignores the
Bobo doll for the 10 minute duration
Procedure- Phase 1- Modeling Condition
• Aggressive condition:
▫ Model started playing by himself/herself w/the tinker toys for a
▫ Then started beating up Bobo with specific acts that could be
imitated by the child…
 Laying Bobo on his side, sitting on it & punching it, hitting it with
the mallet, throwing it in the air, and kicking it around
 Said remarks of “pow,” “hit him down,” & “he sure is a tough fella!”
▫ Models were supposed to be identical in
their actions (p. 576)
Still footage from a later study
Procedure- Phase 2- Aggression Arousal
• All children (including control) were taken to the next room and
subjected to ‘mild aggression arousal’.
• Children allowed to play with ‘very attractive toys’ (fire engine, jet plane,
spinning top, doll set, baby crib) for 2 minutes, then was told by the
experimenter that they were her best toys and that she needed to save
them for the other boys and girls to play with.
• Each child was then told that they could play with any toy in the next
room and went on to room 3
CUE 8- Which toys would you use today if you
were ‘updating’ the experiment?
Procedure- Phase 2- Aggression Arousal
▫ For aggressive group- Other studies showed that watching
others acting aggressive often inhibits your aggressiveness
▫ For non-aggressive group- they didn’t experience or have the
potential to experience aggression in Phase 1, so Bandura
wanted to give them a reason to be aggressive
▫ For control group- to ensure equal treatment and opportunities
among participants and possible results
CUE 9- Why was it necessary for the control group
Ps to experience this as well?
(hint, do not say the above reasons!)
Procedure- Phase 3- Test for Delayed Imitation
• Each child was escorted to a room with a one-way mirror
• Child was recorded for 20 minutes by 2 observers (on the
other side of mirror) recording the child’s actions every 5
seconds (240 observations for each child)
• A neutral experimenter sat on one side of the room while the
child played with the available toys;
▫ Aggressive toys: mallet, dart gun, tether ball, 3 ft. Bobo doll
▫ Non-aggressive toys: tea set, crayons, dolls, cars, animals
• All observers didn’t know which condition
the child was in except whether the child
had a male or female model
CUE 10- Describe the importance of the observers
not knowing which condition the children were in.
CUE 11- What type of condition is this known as
in experimental trials?
Procedure- Phase 3- Test for Delayed Imitation
• Categories of displayed behavior that child may have exhibited
• 1- Imitation behavior of aggressive model
▫ Physical aggression (punching, sitting on, kicking, etc.)
▫ Verbal aggression (“pow,” “sock him in the nose,” etc.)
▫ Non-aggression speech (“he sure is a tough fella!”)
• 2-Partial imitation behavior of aggressive model
▫ Like using the mallet on other toys or just sitting on Bobo
• 3-Non-imitative physical & verbal aggression
▫ Just punching or using other toys to beat-up
Bobo, “shoot the Bobo,” horseplaying/biting
• 4-Non-aggressive behavior
▫ Non-aggressive play with the available toys
or just sitting quietly
“Man, that Bobo…”
“This presentation contains copyrighted
material under the educational fair use
exemption to the U.S. copyright law”
• Transmission of Aggression through Imitation of
Aggressive Models
Bandura, Ross, & Ross (1961)
AS Level
Developmental Psych Unit
Lecture 3
Results (1)
• LOOK AT OLIVER BOOK SCAN (pg. 203-204)
• Children from the aggressive model group showed
significantly more imitation of the model’s physical &
verbal aggression and non-aggressive verbal responses (H1)
• Children from the aggressive model group showed more
partial imitation & non-imitative physical & verbal
aggression (but not to a sig. degree) (H1)
Results (2)
• Children from the non-aggressive model group showed
very little aggression (but not always sig. less than the
• In the non-aggressive group, the male model had a
significant inhibiting effect on the children (H2)
• Boys displayed sig. more imitative physical & verbal
aggression with male model
• Girls displayed more verbal imitative
aggression & non-imitative aggression
with female model (but a not sig. diff.) (H4)
Discussion (1)
• Study provided support for Bandura’s social learning theory
▫ Learning through social behaviour & modeling
▫ Shows identification of which models are likely to be imitated
• Study shows that children can learn as a result of imitation
and without reinforcement
▫ This suggests that modeling is a form of observational learning
Discussion (2)
• Study shows that people will produce new behaviours that
they have observed & generalize these behaviours to new
▫ Expands operant conditioning by the idea that this imitative
behavior can be rewarded or punished
• Female aggression seemed to cause confusion amongst
children as it went against social norms
▫ “That’s not the way for a lady to behave”
Discussion (3)
• Aggressive male models more likely to be imitated as it
was seen as normal behaviour within society
▫ May help explain results of boys & girls aggression levels
▫ May be due to children’s understanding of sex-appropriate
behaviour like fighting is acceptable for boys but not girls
▫ Comments like “Al’s a good socker, he beat up Bobo”
▫ Girls’ higher instances of verbal aggression may be a result
of non-clearly defined sex-roles and thus their outlet while
possibly suppressing desire for physical aggression
Discussion (4)
• Contributions to Psychology:
• Demonstrated how children can
acquire new behaviors simply by
observing adults
▫ Social learning theorists believe
that most of one’s personality is
formed through this modeling
• Laid the groundwork for decades of
research and studies on the effects
of children watching (and now
playing) violence within the media
(or in person)
Strengths of the Study
• Lab setting enabled better control of variables,
providing cause & effect of modeled behavior and
recorded behavior
• Lab allows for replication of study
• Quantitative data allowed for inferential stats, leading
to the probability for results due to chance
• Qualitative data provided better
overall picture of the Ps actions
instead of only numerical results
Weaknesses of the Study
• Low ecological validity/mundane realism
• No true standardization of models (videos used
in later trials)
• Sample from one middle-class US nursery
• Criticized as categorizing children’s actions as
aggressive, but children may have seen their
behavior as play
• Numerous ethical issues
▫ (but this even pre-dated Milgram)
Ecological Validity
• Child in a room with a stranger and an
inflatable doll is not normally occurring
• Lacked adults/peers that the children knew in the room to
see how they would act (as they have more influence)
• Cannot generalize results from beating up a doll to other
• A Bobo doll is SUPPOSED to be punched & hit (would it be
different if it was a teddy bear or a Perry plush??)
• Bizarre acts of aggressive were shown
& imitated against a Bobo dollnot a real person
• Participants were children
Parental consent acquired?
Guidelines for RTW?
Debriefing not mentioned
Possible long-term effects were any children more aggressive afterwards?
Children were asked to witness aggressive behavior
Children were expected to exhibit aggressive behavior
Children were mildly provoked to feel aggression
Children observed covertly
Some children experienced distress in the study
▫ Phase 2- stopping them from playing with the toys
▫ Phase 2  3 - some Ps didn’t want to go to the
next room without the experimenter and/or
wanted to leave before time was up (again, RTW)
Things to Think About…
• How could this study be modified for more ecological
(internal and external) validity?
• How could researchers lessen some of the ethical
concerns of the study?
• How could the data collection and analysis be stronger?
• What aspects of the study could be
changed to produce more reliability and generalization?