Personality Notes Essay

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Personality Exam 2 Textbooks Notes

Chapter 15: Behaviorism and Social Learning theories

Behaviorist Theory

-Two stimuli repeatedly experienced together will eventually elicit the same response
-Behavior changes as a result of experience (learning)

Behaviorism: personality is a sum of everything you do. It does not include traits, unconscious conflicts, psychodynamic processes, conscious experiences, or anything else that cannot be directly observed

Empiricism: the idea that all knowledge comes from experience. Experience is the direct product of reality itself
-The contents of our minds are created by the contents of the world and how it has impinged on us
-The structure of reality determines personality, and our behavior

Rationalism: the structure of the mind determines our experience of reality
-At birth the mind is essentially empty “tabula rasa”, ready to be written on by experience

Associationism: any two things, including ideas, become mentally associated as one if they are repeatedly experienced close together in time
-Often, this occurs as the result of a cause-and-effect relationship

Hedonism: people learn for two reasons—to seek pleasure and avoid pain. These fundamental motivations explain why rewards and punishments shape behavior

Utilitarianism: the best society is one that creates the most happiness for the largest number of people
-Utilitarian would give up freedom to be happy

Three Kinds of Learning

Habituation: a decrease in response to a stimulus after repeated presentations

Classical conditioning: a form of learning in which the conditioned stimulus or CS, comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus or US. The conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus.

Learned helplessness: a behavioral pattern coming from the feeling of anxiety due to unpredictability

Operant conditioning: an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences; the behavior may change in form, frequency, or strength

The Law of Effect: Thorndike
-Responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situation

Respondent conditioning: the conditioned response is essentially passive with no impact of its own
Operant conditioning: animal learns to operate on its world in such ways as to change it to that animal’s advantage -Things that work are repeated and things that don’t work are dropped
-If an animal, or person, performs a behavior and the behavior is followed by a good result (reinforcement), then the behavior will be more likely

Punishment: an aversive consequence that follows an act in order to stop it and prevent its repetition 1. Start some behaviors 2. Maintain some behaviors 3. Prevent some behaviors

How to punish: * Availability of alternatives—an alternative to the behavior that is being punished must be available. The alternative response should be something that is rewarding * Behavioral and situational specificity—be clear about exactly what behavior is being punished and the circumstances under which is will not be punished. A child who is unsure about why he is being punished wont be able to change his behavior * Timing and consistency—to be effective, a punishment needs to be applied immediately after the behavior occurs and after every time it occurs * Conditioning secondary punishing stimuli—verbal warnings can serve as a helpful punishment * Avoid mixed messages—sometimes, after punishing their child, a parent will feel guilty and pick them up for a hug. This is a mistake because the child may continue to misbehave because the hug seems like a reward

The Dangers of punishment * Punishment arouses emotion—the punisher might get carried away and feel