DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW

Running head: DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 1

Discipline-Based Literature Review

Junius Applewhite

PSY 620

Professor: Jeral Kirwan

January 22, 2018

– 1 –

[no notes on this page]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 2

Discipline-Based Literature Review

Introduction

Every human being in the world since birth until the time of death spends a huge amount

of time learning new things. People also learn how to improve what they already know or

learned in the past. Even though other forms of animals learn too, human beings are more

advanced in learning because they actually study the diverse means of learning, refining and

classifying material through Learning and Cognition discipline. Generally, this paper highlights

some constructs or categories that build some of the most current works in learning and

cognition. Besides focusing on these constructs, this paper will highlight any ethical concerns

that may be in existence. Among the constructs that will be featured in this paper is Operant

conditioning, Classical conditioning, Behaviorism and Social learning theory

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning is a learning method that was developed by B. F. Skinner and that

occurs through punishments and rewards for behavior. There is a link created between behaviors

and consequences in operant conditioning. Practically, operant conditioning is a reversible

behavior study maintained through schedules of reinforcements (Saul, 2015). According to

operant conditioning, learning of a behavior cannot be achieved just through motivations and

internal thoughts. Skinner believed that a behavior’s external causes should be the only

considerations. Skinner’s theory of ‘operant’ only considers external factors that have effect on

a behavior as well as its consequences. Under operant conditioning, there are reinforcements and

punishments which both have effects on behavior.

– 2 –

1

1. since birth

from birth [Jeral Kirwan]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 3

Reinforcement involves a process where a behavior’s frequency or rate is increased

through presenting a stimulus soon after the behavior display. The event that leads to

enhancement of probability of a behavior being repeated is known as a reinforcer. Reinforcers

are in two categories which include positive reinforcers and negative reinforcers. Positive

reinforcers are encouraging or favorable stimuli given after a behavior display. They strengthen

the chances of a behavior through provision of an extra thing. For instance, a student rewarded

for passing an exam is likely to work hard again and pass more exams so that he can get more

rewards. On the other hand, negative reinforce is the removal of unfavorable stimuli after a

behavior display. With the removal of unfavorable stimuli, the response or behavior is made

stronger. Both reinforcements lead to increment of a behavior.

Unlike rein-forcers, punishment is a process where presentation of a stimulus leads to

decline in behavior occurrence. Punishments are categorized in two; negative punishments and

positive punishments. Positive punishment is where something is added which leads to reduction

in behavior repetition. On the other hand, negative punishment is where something that is loved

is removed to minimize the probability of a behavior happening again. An example of positive

punishment is a child spanked for teasing another. An example of negative punishment is a

teenager deprived the privilege of going out with friends after failing an exam.

One major ethical issue with operant conditioning is that it has some manipulation

feature and it is does not give a permanent solution to an issue. This theory fails to teach the

required skills that a person needs in life to become a success such as compromise, decision-

making and bargaining. Practically, operant conditioning fails in meeting its desired goals. In

many case, the desired behavior is not achieved and if it is achieved it sometimes does not last

for long (Lumen, 2017). For instance, a child that only reads and passes exams for reward may

– 3 –

1

2

3

1. rein-forcers,

reinforcement [Jeral Kirwan]

2. conditioning is that it has

some manipulation

feature and it is does not

give a permanent solution

to an issue.

How so? [Jeral Kirwan]

3. Practically, operant

conditioning fails in

meeting its desired goals.

How? What are the goals?

[Jeral Kirwan]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 4

fail to work hard if the rewards are no longer available. This is wrong since no social skills have

been impacted on the child to help him/her realize the need to work hard in life.

Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning also called Pavlovian conditioning is an automatic or reflexive

form of learning where stimulus get the ability to induce a response that originally was induced

by a different stimulus. Normally, the pairing of stimulus involve neutral stimulus and

biologically built stimulus. The theory was investigated by a Russian physiologist called Ivan

Pavlov who came up with a way of connecting two unrelated stimulus to elicit some form of

reaction. With natural conditioning, a neutral signal is placed before a reflex that naturally

occurs. Pavlov conducted an experience with dogs where the dogs salivated in food response

when they heard the sound of a bell. Initially, the bell was rung in presence of food and therefore

even without seeing food the dogs still salivated (Saul, 2014).

Classical conditioning is made up of three phases. The first phase is called before

conditioning where a stimulus that is naturally occurring automatically educes a response. A

good example of naturally occurring stimulus is salivating to food smell. In this phase,

unconditioned stimulus leads to unconditioned response. In our example food presentation is

unconditioned stimulus while salivation is unconditioned response. The second phase of classical

conditioning is called during conditioning phase. In this phase neutral stimulus is paired with

unconditioned stimuli repeatedly. As a result of the pairing, an association is created between the

two hence making the earlier neutral stimuli a conditioned stimulus. The last phase is the after

conditioning phase. After the creation of the UCS and CS link, the conditioned stimulus is able

to stir up a response even in absence of the unconditioned stimulus. This response is referred to a

conditioned response. In the example above, hunger and salivation will be evoked by the smell

of food (Saul, 2014).

– 4 –

[no notes on this page]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 5

Even though classical conditioning is based on empirical evidence and is science based, it

has some ethical issues in that it is not easy to describe behavior only on basis of nature or

nurture. Another issue with this theory is that it is deterministic, meaning that it does not permit

any free will from the participant. This means that a person lacks control of the learned reactions

such as phobia. This shows that this law denies people their free will of choosing personal

destiny (Moore, 2012).

Behaviorism

Behaviorism is a methodical approach to understanding humans and animals behavior. It

is a psychological approach where objective and scientific methods of research are emphasized.

Behaviorism is mainly concern with behaviors that are observable and believes that it is only

through environmental interaction that behavior is learned. According to this theory, all

behaviors can be physically explained with no need to reflect on consciousness or mental states

(David, 2007). Behaviorism works on the assumption that a learner is in essence unreceptive,

reacting to environmental stimuli. In the beginning, the learner is similar to a clean slate until

when he is instilled behavior through either positive reinforcement or through negative

reinforcement. Whether through positive or negative reinforcement, the probability of a person’s

antecedent behavior repeating itself is increased.

On the contrary, positive and negative punishment reduces the likelihood that antecedent

performance will occur again. Positive punishment is when there is appliance of a stimulus while

Negative punishment is when there is preservation of a stimulus. Majority of behaviorist work

was performed with animals such as the Pavlov’s dogs before being applied to humans.

Behaviorism leads the worldview of cognitivist. It supports logical positivism but it does not

support structuralism. Based on empirical research, Behaviorism only considers behaviors that

are observable. According to some behaviorists any person has the capability of being trained to

– 5 –

[no notes on this page]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 6

execute a task of any nature, despite of the hereditary background, character traits, and inside

thoughts. All that is needed in Behaviorism is right conditioning (Mills, 2010).

 

Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory consists of dissimilar cognitive learning theory and behavioral

learning theory. This combination was done by Psychologist Albert Bandura who created four

learning requirements that include observation which is environmental; retention which is

cognitive; reproduction which is also cognitive; and motivation which is a combination of

environmental and cognitive. This integrative learning approach was termed as social learning

theory. Bandura came up with a very famous experiment known as bobo doll experiment.

Children looked on as adults molded passive or cruelty conduct to the doll, and this surveillance

was established to regulate the technique in which the youth afterward interrelated with the

dolls. Youth that observed cruel performances on the doll ended up being violent toward the doll

while those that witnessed passive behavior were nice towards the doll.

The Social Learning Theory as per Bandura posits that people gain knowledge from one

another through imitation, modeling and watching others. “This theory is in many cases referred

to as a bridge between cognitive and behaviorist learning theories since it includes memory,

motivation and attention” (David, 2015). Bandura believed that behavior was influenced by

reciprocal determinism, meaning that the an individual’s behavior and the world cause one

another, while behaviorism on the other hand believed that one’s behavior is caused by one’s

environment. While studying aggression of teenagers, Bandura found out that addition affected

environment just like the environment caused addiction too. Bandura later discovered that

personality is communication between three apparatus that include the environment, personal

psychological processes and behavior. “Generally, Social learning theory is seen as a bridge

– 6 –

[no notes on this page]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 7

between cognitive and behaviorist learning theories since it includes memory, attention, and

motivation” (Grusec, 2012).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is true that every human being in the world since birth until the time of

death spends a huge amount of time learning new things. There are different theories that have

different thoughts on how learning is attained. According to B. F. Skinner through his theory of

Operant conditioning, learning occurs through punishments and rewards for behavior. There is a

link created between behaviors and consequences in operant conditioning. Classical conditioning

on the other hand is an automatic or reflexive form of learning where stimulus get the ability to

induce a response that originally was induced by a different stimulus. Behaviorism is a

methodical approach to understanding humans and animals behavior. It is a psychological

approach where objective and scientific methods of research are emphasized. Finally, Social

learning theory by Psychologist Albert Bandura is a combination of cognitive learning theory

and behavioral learning theory.

Reference

David, L. (2007). “Behaviorism,” in Learning Theories. Retrieved from https://www.learning-

theories.com/behaviorism.html

– 7 –

1

2

1. 2012).

Only include page numbers

with direct quotes. [Jeral

Kirwan]

2. Conclusion

You described the four

theories pretty well, but some

statements need more

elaboration as noted in

previous comments. [Jeral

Kirwan]

 

 

DISCIPLINE-BASED LITERATURE REVIEW 8

David, L. (2015) “Social Learning Theory (Bandura),” in Learning TheoriesRetrieved from

Grusec, J. (2012). “Social learning theory and developmental psychology: The legacies of

Robert Sears and Albert Bandura”. Developmental Psychology

Lumen, L. (2017). Problems of Operant Conditioning; Problems with Operant Conditioning and

Human Behavior. Retrieved from

https://lumen.instructure.com/courses/170090/pages/problems-of-operant-conditioning

Mills, J. (2010). Control: A History of Behavioral Psychology. New York: NYU Press

Moore, J. (2012). A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Classical Conditioning, Springer Science &

Business Media

Saul, M. (2014). Classical Conditioning. Retrieved from

https://www.simplypsychology.org/classical-conditioning.html

Saul, M. (2015). Skinner – Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from

https://simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html

– 8 –

1

1. M. (2014). Classical

Conditioning. Retrieved

from

https://www.simplypsychol

ogy.org/classical-

conditioning.html

Saul, M. (2015). Skinner –

Operant Conditioning.

Retrieved from

https://simplypsychology.or

g/operant-conditioning.html

These are not scholarly peer-

reviewed sources. [Jeral

Kirwan]

"Is this question part of your assignment? We can help"

ORDER NOW