DARWIN & SKINNER
PARALLEL Ė Scientific cross-over:
Darwin Ė set
the pattern behaviorism follows. Skinnerís concept of operant is
like Darwinís survival:
Survival of structures (particular structures)
Survival of behavior
A single set of
principals explains how we are physically built and how our
behaviors are built.
certain structures are propagated into the next generation that
promotes or facilitates survival:
cheetah gets food. Boney eye sockets/ridges protect us from injury,
blood clotting prevents bleeding to death, eye blink lubricates the
eye and clears vision, postural reflex keeps you up right, chewing
and swallowing prevent choking.
reflexes spread socially: yawning and vomiting.
probably facilitates survival as follows: when it gets dark thereís
not much stimulation going on the individual begins to get sleepy
and begins to yawn taking in large breaths of air. The oxygen may
keep the individual alert long enough to get to their group for
sleep. This would keep the groupís sleep time in synchronization
with each other, for there is safety in numbers and prevent straying
away from the group at night when itís dangerous.
probably facilitates survival as follows: when a member of a group
would eat something poisonous, they would begin to vomit it out
preventing death. As a result, the odor of the vomit would induce
vomiting amount the members of the group which would be beneficial
being that they probably eat from the same bad food source.
conditioning (acquired involuntary behavior): helps us to adapt to
the environment. The capacity to be classically conditioned is
inherited. All these things evolved. We are prepared to learn
quickly to things very dangerous. Itís an advantage to be
classically conditioned. The reason a dog salivates to a bell is
pairing. This happens because of selection.
conditioning (seemingly voluntary behavior) is also inherited by
genetic selection. The reason an animal will press a bar for food is
selection is all over. It gives us the capacity to learn these
doesnít taste good. It just tastes. Itís a powerful reinforcer. Lots
of sugar (keep spooning sugar in your mouth) doesnít taste good. It
looses itís reinforcing capacity with your changes in your sugar
blood content. Itís behavior functionalism changed.
something good when it is reinforcing (strengthening).
is a reinforcer; it increases the eating behavior of it.
water (alkaloid) is a punisher (suppressor) related to baking
chocolate (bitter); negative reinforcer to escape it. Feeling good
(mental state) is reinforcing Ė depends on bodyís state (blood
that isnít condition able are lobsters.
in intelligence in the following manner:
susceptibility to reinforcement is greater. We learn faster; our
behavior will modify faster. We are champion operant conditioning
learners with highly modifiable behavior.
talk to ourselves. (amplify stimuli)
IQ = rate your
behavior is modified which means highly susceptible to
understanding of nature at a profound level.
and liking chocolate share reinforcement.
CAUSAL BY SELECTION, DESCRIBES DARWIN AND SKINNER.
BETWEEN DARWIN AND SKINNER:
SKINNER: USE PARSIMONY Ė THE SIMPLEST CONCEPTS.
TWO TYPES OF
Mechanical causality (push/pull) as in physical and mental
Selective causality: Darwin and Skinner adopt this. The principal is
so simple and explains so much.
BETWEEN DARWIN & SKINNER:
CONTINGENCY OF REINFORCEMENT
CONTINGENCY OF SURVIVAL
the contingencies of reinforcement are what controls ďvoluntary
behaviorĒ Operant Behaviorís causes are generally unseen so people
tend to fall back on internal events. Ex. He plays golf well because
he is a natural - This is wrong. He plays gold well because of trial
and error (discrimination training) which involves reinforcement and
the contingencies of survival are what controls physical build of an
organism whose causes are generally unseen so people tend to fall
back on creationism. Ex. Fish have fins so they can swim - This is
wrong. This implies a premeditated plan; however, the future can not
control the past. Fish have fins because of inheritance of a genetic
gene that was passed on by the parent fish who had an advantage of
survival due to this trait and lived long enough to pass this gene
onto their offspring.