The Approaches Of Skinner And Harlow To Serling Influences On Behavior

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Compare and contrast the approaches of Skinner and Harlow to investigating influences on behaviour.

This essay will cover a wide range of material to identify, compare and contrast the work of Harry Harlow and Burrhus Frederick Skinner. Harlow and Skinner did research and investigated the influences on behaviour; this essay will draw upon both investigations. Further into the essay it will identify some similarities and differences into both researches with a supported argument about the importance and implications of both studies. The essay will then conclude with a conclusion on the findings. Behaviour can be describes in many forms and ways. According to the dictionary ‘Behaviour is the manner in which one behaves, the actions
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However as well as Harlow, Skinner did a research on behaviour. Unlike Harlow, Skinner used rats for his study. Skinner’s study came from being interested in the study done by Thorndike. Thorndike who was interested in the learning of animals came up with the concept of a puzzle box where he would place a hungry cat inside and put some food outside. The cat would then manipulate a latch and Thorndike timed how long it would take the cat to escape. He found out that the time it took for it to escape decreased rapidly which suggested the cat gradually learned. Thorndike then argued that ‘learning in this situation consists of the formation of a link between the stimulus of the latch and the response of manipulation of the latch’ (discovering psychology chapter 4, pg. 161). Skinner experimented with rats placing them in the start box then running through a maze to find the goal box, which would have a small morsel of food. It was thought that the rat would learn its way round the maze and according to its behaviour was dependable on when it would get its food. However learning was measured through the maze it two forms the decrease in the length of time taken to get from one area to the goal box and the decline in number of errors. Skinner found this to be a lengthy process in which he then invented the ‘skinner box’ in order to shape the behaviour of the animals, ’Behaviour Shaping, the procedure of giving