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Skinner and Hull: Theories of Learning

1) Theoretical concepts associated with Skinner: Punishment: restate the definition in your own words. Discuss its contribution to the body of knowledge on learning.
2) Select two significant points you feel are important to note about Hull and his work, and put them in bullet point fashion, elaborate on your selection of these points. For example: How does his work compare or differ from other psychologists? What is interesting about this person and his ideas? Why is it interesting? How does this connect with functionalistic theory? How does he compare with Skinner?

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(1) Theoretical concepts associated with Skinner: Punishment: restate the definition in your own words. Discuss its contribution to the body of knowledge on learning.

Punishment as postulated by Skinner is a consequence that weakens responses. He postulated that punishment as a consequence will decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring again. Punishment occurs when an event following a response weakens the tendency to make that response. As an example, if a person asks for something and receives it, he or she would probably repeat the behavior. However, punishment typically involves presenting an aversive stimulant, such as taking away privileges. Skinner' concept of punishment is based on the principle of operant conditioning (Pavlov, 1935), which is a "form of learning in which voluntary responses are controlled by their consequences" (Weiten, p. 167). Based on this principle, punishment occurs anytime there are undesirable consequences that weakens a tendency response.

Debell & Harless (1992) caution that there are myths and misconceptions regarding Skinner's perception of punishment. They assert that Skinner did not view punishment as a preferable method ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the theories and work of B. F. Skinner and Clark Hull. The work of the two theorists are compared and contrasted, and their contribution to theories of learnng are described.

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