John Watson: (1878-1958)
While Freud was proposing his Psychoanalytic theory, others were interested
in making the study of psychology more of a science. They did not like
the fact that most of Freud's concepts were abstract and unobserveable,
and as such could not be measured and studied. The desire was to focus
on concepts that could be observed and measured.
Behaviorism (1913) was an attempt to move in that direction, to focus
on behavior and learning.
||Some concepts of Learning Theory were originally proposed
Pavlov in 1903. Pavlov's experiments
with dogs (YouTube) and the digestive process showed that they
could learn, and behavior could be modified through a process of
conditioning called "Conditioned Reflex". This process later became
known as Classical
Pavlov received a Noble Prize in 1904 for his work in this area.
Pavlov's concept of Classical
utilized by John Watson to describe how humans learn
and how behavior can be influenced by controlling the stimulus in the
environment. His famous experiment with "Little
Abert" (YouTube) was
a demonstration of how human behavior can be conditioned. Watson viewed
all behavior as learned, and urged parents to teach "correct" behavior
to their children. Scheduled feeding and the avoidance of bad habits
(incorrect behavior) were some issues addressed in the pamphlets produced
to help parents raise their children. In 1920 he left John Hopkins and
entered the advertising industry.
By 1924, he was vice president at J. Walter Thompson, one of the largest
ad agencies in the United States.
Watson is recognized today as the "Father
Skinner added his perspective on learning (1938) by introducing his concept
Conditioning, (YouTube) with emphasis on the power
of reinforcement in learning. He continued to focus on observable behavior
and scientific study of how humans learn behavior. Skinner supported
the premise that all behavior is learned and
that behavior is goal
directed. That goal is
basically to seek
pleasure and to avoid pain. In other words, a
particular behavior increases when the result is pleasurable; and the
behavior will tend to decrease when the result is painful or unpleasant.
A pleasant outcome refers to a reinforcement,
and a unpleasant outcome refers to a punishment.
More information on Reinforcement and Punishment - CLICK HERE
Albert Bandura: (1925-1987)
Blends cognitive elements and social
influences to the learning theory perspective. The primary emphasis
here is in the power of the MODEL to influence behavior
and learning. Bandura's famous study on aggressive behavior with a "Bobo
doll" in a preschool lab setting is classic. It demonstrated the power of
watching a model being aggressive and how it influenced preschool children to
imitate the modeled behavior in a lab setting.
See Modeling theory and the "Bobo doll" video on YouTube ... HERE
Bandura proposed that direct reinforcement was not needed to change
behavior (as prosposed by Skinner), but rather that individuals had cognitive ability to process events in their life, to appreciate what
they saw happen to others, and to anticipate or
expect that a similar consequence would happen to them if they performed
the same behavior.
In other words, if I see your behavior (model)
lead to a reinforcement, my behavior will likely change and I am likely
to imitate the observed behavior in anticipation
of a reinforcement. Although I have not experienced the reinforcement,
my behavior has been influenced and I have learned from the experience.
From this we understand concepts of "Observational Learning" and "Vicarious