Law of effect.
- Operent conditioning is learning that takes place because of consequences of behaviour. This was investigated by Thorndike.
- He designed a puzzle box into it he would place a cat. The cat had to find away to escape.
- Inside the box was a piece of string attatched to a latch. When the string was pulled the door would open.
- When he first placed the cat in the box it wondered about and accidently pulled the string.
- This happened about 20 times before the cat pulled the string because it knew it would let him/her out.
- Thorndike suggested that the cat had learnt through trial and error learing.
- Escaping was a positive consequence so it encouraged the cat to pull the string.
Contribution of Classical Conditioning
- Classical conditioning is learning through association.
- Pavlov had noticed that when dogs heard the food bucket they started to salivate, this led him to try his investigation where by he would produce food and every time the food was presented a bell would ring.
- Each time the dogs saw the food they salivated and the saliva was measured.
- After a few days Pavlov rang the bell without presenting the food and the dogs salivated the same as they did when food was there.
- This shows that you can getting the same response using a different stimulus. (learning through association)
Contribution to Operant Conditioning.
- Skinner introduced the idea of reinforcement.
- He placed a hungry rat into a box.
- The rat would start sniffing and walking around and when it brushed up against the lever a food pellet would drop.
- The "lever pressing" was positively reinforced with a food pellet.
- Sometimes the rat would have to switch the lever in order to turn the shock off, this was negitve reinforcement.
Negative reinforcement: When an unpleasent expirience is removed after a behaviour action has been made. This increases the chance of the behaviour/action being repeated.
Positive reinforcement: A reward or pleasent consequence that encourages or strenghtens behaviour. This may bee seen as a reward.
Aim - To see if appearance of the victim would influence helping behaviour.
Method - A confederate pretended to collapse in a train carriage. His appearance was altered several times and the amount of help received each time was recorded by an observer.
Results - When the "victim" carried a walking stick, he received help within 70 seconds, 90% of the time. When he had an ugly facial scar this dropped to 60% and when he appeared to be drunk it dropped to 20%.
Conclusion - The appearance of the person needing help will affect whether and how quickly they get help.
Bateson et al
Aim - To discover if the similarity of a victim to the bystander will affect whether or not they receive help.
Method - Participants watched a women who they thought was receiving electric shocks. Each participant was made to think the woman was either like themselves or not like themselves. They were often given the opportunity to take the woman's place in order to stop her suffering.
Results - More participants were prepared to take the place of the women if they felt they were similar.
Conclusion - People are more likely to offer help to someone they feel is similar to themselves in some way than to someone they cannot relate to. If we feel greater empathy for people like ourselves and it causes us distress to see them suffering, helping them relieves this distress.
Schroeder et al
Aim - To explore different reasons for bystanders not helping
Method - They studied the findings and conclusions from many previous pieces of research.
Results - They were able to provide an alternative explanation for why bystanders did nothing to help when others were present.
Conclusion - Bystanders are distressed and concerned about victims but when other people are present, they believe that someone else might be more capable of helping or can help more easily than themselves.
Latane and Darley
Aim - To see if people are less likely to react in an emergency when there are others present
Method - They had participants sit in a room either alone or with others whilst completing a questionnaire. Whilst the participants were doing this smoke started pouring into the room.
Results - 75% of those sitting on their own went to tell someone about the smoke within 6 minutes, whereas only 38% of those in groups of three did.
Conclusion - If there are other people around you, it will make it less likely that you will react in an emergency.