Watson (Little Albert)
Skinner (Skinner box)
- Focus on behaviors (actions)
- Alter behavior through conditioning
For example, let’s say Billy is really
depressed. The depression causes Billy
to stop sleeping and eating. Billy is also
drinking tequila as his only liquids.
How would each of the following treat Billy?
a. A psychoanalyst?
b. A trait theorist?
c. A humanist?
A behavioralist would approach Billy’s
problems very differently.
A behaviorist would only look at Billy's
behaviors, not his depression itself.
They would examine his lack of
sleeping and eating and drinking of
alcohol as Billy's true problems.
Then they would use
conditioning/learning strategies to
change Billy's behaviors.
They may give Billy $20 for every bowl
of Cinnamon Toast Crunch he eats.
They may put diarrhea medicine in
These techniques will stop Billy's
behaviors around depression, but will
they rid Billy of his depression? You
may think not, but to a behaviorist, if
the behaviors are no longer
maladaptive, then where's the
Bandura is Back
Do you remember Albert Bandura and
his Bobo doll experiment?
Bandura was a behavioralist who
demonstrated that children will model the
behaviors of others.
This may not seem like a big deal to you
and me, but it was to the behavioralists.
You see, behavioralists studied
observable behaviors only, and said that it
was unscientific to study thinking because
it can’t be measured or quantified.
However, if kids can learn by watching
others being rewarded or punished, then
thinking is necessary to explain the
behaviors (something to the effect of, “I
bet it would be fun to do that”).
Thus, Bandura began the social-cognitive
Social Cognitive Theory
Focus on how we INTERPRET and RESPOND TO
external events. Cognitive therapy attempts to
change the way to THINK about things.
Reciprocal Determinism: the
interacting influences between
personality and environmental
The type of person you were made you
choose to come to RCHS. Attending
RCHS has probably shaped your
personality in some ways.
Anxious people are more attuned to
threatening events. They will perceive
the world as more threatening, which in
turn, may make them more anxious.
If you are easy-going, you make other
people feel comfortable. This in turn,
causes them to treat you nicely. This
may affect how you view other people.
Think of an example of reciprocal
determinism from your own life and
share it with your partner.
If some of these examples sound like
self-fulfilling prophecies, that’s because
they are. Self-fulfilling prophecies are
perfect examples of reciprocal
Oursense of controlling our
environment rather than the
environment controlling us.
External Locus of Control
The perception that chance or outside
forces beyond one’s personal control
determine one’s fate.
Internal Locus of Control
The perception that one controls one’s
Identify each statement below as being indicative
of either an internal locus of control (ILC) or an
external locus of control (ELC):
I’ll never be a good writer.
I have to practice so I can get better.
I probably could have prevented that.
It’s not my fault.
Those with ILC tend to do better in school, act more
independently, enjoy better health, feel less
depressed, and cope better with stress. Why?
Under what circumstances might an ILC be bad for
Martin Seligman (father of “positive
The hopelessness and passive
resignation an animal or human
learns when unable to avoid
repeated aversive events.
Who can tell us about Seligman’s
Can you think of examples of
people who stop trying to help
You when you get really far
behind in a class
Are these analogous to Seligman’s
Seligman did not anticipate how the dogs
would respond and was saddened by it.
After his initial experiments, he vowed
never to do such studies on dogs again—he
switched to rats!
According to Bandura, the belief that you are
likely to be successful at something is called
self-efficacy, and it can be a powerful
determinant of success or failure.
If I believe I am likely to be successful in math, I
may choose to take more math classes, and
actually become a better math student.
Share with your partner:
1) Something for which you have high self-
2) Something for which you have low self-
Self-efficacy is a powerful determinant of
future success, but…
…be wary of overconfidence.
It can lead students to perform lower (“I don’t
need to study”) and may encourage unwise
risks (“I can drive on ice.”)
Some believe that S-C
TOO much on the
SITUATION and not
enough on inner
Also, it is really hard to
Dress appropriately for the field trip.
We need to LEAVE at 9 am prompt. We will
leave you if you are late. Meet in the cul-
de-sac by the music house at 8:50 am.
The test is Thursday. Complete the review
sheet tonight in preparation!