Behaviorism – the idea that learning is based on an outside stimuli and the response that the body has to that stimuli. This theory claims that all behaviors and learning can be explained by external stimuli without the need for studying internal responses

Behaviorism can be broken down into 2 parts
  • Classical Conditioning - an automatic response to an outside stimulus that use to be caused by a different stimulus
    • Pavlov’s dog – Before feeding the dogs Pavlov would ring a tuning fork, at first the dogs began salivating when the food came but because the food always came after the ringing of the tuning fork the dogs began salivating at the sound of the tuning fork, even if no one brought them food.
      • Original stimulus was the food, and it was replaced with the sound of the tuning fork John B. Watson applied the theory to humans using an 11 month old boy (Albert) and a lab rat, whenever Albert reached for the rat loud noise was heard, at first Albert had no fear of the rat but over time he became terrified of all rat
    • Unconditional stimulus – something that naturally causes a reaction
      • Example: dog seeing food
    • Unconditional response – the natural reaction to something
      • Example: Dog salivating when food came out
    • Neutral stimulus – a stimulus that creates no reaction
      • Example: The tuning fork before dogs began salivating at its sound
    • Conditioned stimulus – a stimulus that has been created by putting two things together over and over
      • Example: The tuning fork once the dogs began salivating at its sound
    • Conditioned response – the reaction to a conditioned stimulus
      • Dogs salivating at sound of tuning forkOperant conditioning – learning that occurs through a system that provides awards and/or punishments for behavior.
    • Reinforcers – ways to encourage good behavior
      • Positive reinforcers – if you do what you are suppose to then you are rewarded with something you want.
        • Example: If you drive your sister to the movies you get the car.
      • Negative reinforcers – if you do what you are suppose to then you do not have to do something you don’t want to
        • Example: If you drive your sister to the movies then she will stop bothering you.
    • Punishments – ways to discourage bad behavior
      • Positive punishments – if you do something you are not supposed to then you are put through something you don’t want to.
        • Example: If you are rude you will be spanked
      • Negative punishments – if you do something you’re not suppose to then something you want is taken away
        • Example: If you sneak out then your car keys are taken away.
    • schedules of reinforcement
      • continuous reinforcement – being rewarded every time you do a specific task
      • Partial reinforcement – being rewarded only some of the times you do a specific task
        • Fixed ratio – the response is reinforced after a specific number of responses
          • Example: For every 10 right answers you get on the quiz you a piece of candy
        • Variable ratio – the response is reinforced after an unpredictable number of responses
        • Fixed interval – the response is reinforced after a specific amount of time has passed
          • Example: Every two weeks you work you get a pay check
        • Variable interval – the response is reinforced after an unpredictable amount of time.