Discourages from drinking

There are so many diverse theories in psychology about how we learn, and which methods are most effective. Some theories contradict others, which makes it difficult for managers to decide which method is best suited for training their existing staff and new recruits. Consequently learning has considerable implications for organisations. The main conflict is between associative and cognitive theories of learning, as associative theorists believe that complex learning can be understood in terms of fundamentally simple associative mechanisms, in contrast, cognitive theorists assume these processes are much more intricate. Recent research has shown that both these views may be right, learning may in fact involve simple habits and those which are a great deal more complex.

Behaviourism is a term introduced by John Watson, as he challenged introspection (a person’s examination of their own feelings and thoughts). Introspection’s first systematic application was the efforts of a German psychologist Wilhelm Wundt. His technique was very straight forward, his subjects were exposed to a stimulus and then asked to report any sensations that the stimulus aroused. However this is very problematical to analyse as a nave observer will report what they expect to see rather than what they actually see. Watson did not have faith that introspection produce quantifiable values on behaviour. He therefore began to study overt behaviour, that is behaviour we can see, rather than what we assume could be in occurrence inside a subject’s head. This is often known as stimulus-response psychology, of which there are two main categories; classical conditioning and operant conditioning.

Classical conditioning was developed by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian psychologist. His most renowned work was with his experiments on dogs. He conditioned dogs to produce a reflex response to a stimulus that it would not produce without the conditioning. Using meat, Pavlov would sound a buzzer and present a portion of meat to the dog, upon seeing the meat the dog would salivate and this would be collected in a tube. After many pairings of the meat with the sound of the buzzer the dogs eventually began to salivate to the buzzer alone. At first the buzzer was a neutral stimulus (NS) that when coupled with the presentation of the meat produced and unconditioned response (UCR) which was salivating. After a while the buzzer became a conditioned stimulus (CS) that produced a

conditioned response (CR) of salivating. The equation below illustrates this.This method has proved to be an effective method of learning, it has also been used in treating people with alcohol abuse problems. In the above equation, substituting the UCS for a saline solution and an emetic drug, the UCR and the CR with vomiting and the NS and CS with alcohol, people learn to associate the drinking of alcohol with the vomiting, which discourages them from drinking.

This form of learning can be adapted for use in the organisation. In order to complete a task efficiently and to the best of our ability we need to give it our full attention. In an organisation coercive or punitive supervisors may become the conditioned stimulus which produce negative emotions. This may be the result of generalization, meaning that the employee may associate the supervisor with a strict teacher which upset them in school. These bad feelings may be disruptive in the work place, hindering the progress completing tasks and may even be disturbing other employees.

Another form of conditioning is operant conditioning. B.F. Skinner’s (1904-1990) work is especially famous in this field. Skinner was the first to insist on a distinction between classical and operant conditioning. He claimed that in classical conditioning the behaviour of the animal is elicited by the conditioned stimulus but in operant conditioning the subject has much more control as their reactions can be considered voluntary. Skinner referred to these responses by the subjects as operants. The subject operate on their environment to bring about a change which leads to a reward (Glietman) and the tendency for this response to be repeated depended on the behaviours consequences.

Using this method Skinner was able to condition rats to press levers, and pigeons to press discs. The pigeons were rewarded for pecking a disc when a light was illuminated. When the pigeons pecked the disc when the light was on it was rewarded with access to a bowl of food. Pigeons were also conditioned to peck a disc whenever they saw something orange, and after they had been conditioned they were used in rescue operations, where a plane would fly over the sea, with pigeons in a glass bottomed tank suspended below the plane, then when the pigeons spotted the orange from the life belt or raft they would peck the disc and the pilot would then know where they were.

In explaining the development of be examined Psychology since the 19c, the subjects which will be examined are, Behaviourist, Cognitive and the Humanistic approaches. Behaviourism was developed by scientists in early to mid 19c and continued to be the dominant …

One of the most influential schools of thought in psychology was Behaviorism. This school was inspired by the work and writings of Ivan Pavlov (Hothersall, 1995 p. 103). Pavlov was able to demonstrate that a dog can be trained to …

Attachment describes a strong, emotional bond that endures over time between an infant and their caregiver. It is an important bond that results in desire to stay strong physically. One of the theories how attachment works and forms is called …

For hundreds of years philosophers speculated about “the mind” and in around the 1880’s the popular method of psychology dealt only with the conscious mind. The experiments carried out at this time were criticised for their lack of objectivity and …

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