Edwin Ray Guthrie (1886

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Edwin Ray Guthrie
(1886-1959)
Chapter 8
1
Edwin Ray Guthrie
1. Guthrie was born in
Lincoln, Nebraska on
Jan. 9, 1886.
2. He received his PhD in
philosophy from the
University of
Pennsylvania (1912),
and joined University of
Washington (1918) as
an assistant professor.
(1886-1959)
2
Edwin Ray Guthrie
3. Published Psychology of
Learning (1935).
4. Collaborated with Horton
(1936-39) on stereotypical
behavior of cats in a puzzle
box.
5. Revised The Psychology of
Learning (1952).
(1886-1959)
3
1
Edwin Ray Guthrie
6. received a gold medal form
American Psychological
Foundation (1958).
7. Died in 1959.
(1886-1959)
4
Aristotle’s Principle of Contiguity
Law of Association
1. A thought (or an idea) that was originally
experienced along with other thoughts, will on
their recurrence will lead to the recall of the
associated thoughts.
2. Contiguity principle asserts that the basis for
items to be associated are closeness in time
and/or space.
Aristotle (384-322 BC)
5
Association of Ideas
6
2
Association of Ideas
Because the sensory experiences were spatially
and temporally contiguous for the child, they
formed associations. Later when one idea was
triggered, other associated ideas were recalled.
7
Guthrie’s Principle of Contiguity
Learning Principle
1. A combination of stimuli which accompany a
movement will on its recurrence, will be
followed by that movement.
2. Contiguity principle says, when stimuli associate
themselves with a movement -- their
recurrence, is followed by the movement.
Guthrie (1886-1959)
8
Pavlov & Watson
Learning
1. Pavlov and Watson believed that bell (S) and
weak acid (S) were contiguous. Association
between the two led to learning (conditioning).
2. Guthrie criticized Pavlov and Watson on their
explanation of learning (conditioning) and
suggested that, combination of stimuli (bell &
weak acid) associated themselves with a
response (salivation). Whenever the stimuli
occurred, response followed.
9
3
Comparison
Pavlov & Watson
S
Bell
R
Salivation
S
Weak Acid
Contiguous Association
Guthrie
S
Bell
R
Salivation
S
Weak Acid
Contiguous Association
10
Stimulus Pattern
Stimuli combine to form a stimulus pattern.
Stimuli can be external or internal or both when
they form an association with a movement.
11
Probability of Response
Stimulus pattern cannot be predicted by
absolute certainty, thus movements (responses)
will always be probabilistic.
Initial Stimulus Pattern
S
S
S
S
s
S
Change in Pattern
S
S
S
s
S
S
S
S
S
Movements
Movements
(probabilistic)
12
4
Signal
This stimulus pattern thus becomes the signal
for a movement or behavior. “What is being
noticed becomes the signal for what is being
done (Guthrie, 1959).”
13
Aristotle’s Law of Frequency
Law of Frequency
1. Stimuli and their resulting responses have to be
repeated frequently for a strong association to
form between them.
2. Repetition of stimulus and a response
strengthens the bond between them.
14
Guthrie’s One Trial Learning
One Trial Learning
Guthrie however proposed, that stimulus pattern
gains its full associative strength on its first pairing
with the movement (response).
Aristotle (Repetitive Trials)
SR
SR
SR
SR
Strong Association
Guthrie (Single Trial)
SR
Strong Association
15
5
Recency Principle
1. If associations between stimuli and movements
(responses) are contiguous and require a single
trial to learn, then a “Recency Principle” is
necessary.
2. Recency principle states that recent stimuli will
form associations with an action or movement
than previous stimuli.
16
Recency Principle
A stimulus pattern consists of previous (older) and
recent stimuli in temporal order. It is more recent
stimuli that get associated with movement.
Stimulus Pattern
S
s
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
s
S
S
S
S
S
Older Stimuli
S
S
S
S
Movement
S
S
S
S
Recent Stimuli
17
Movement-Produced Stimuli
1. At times the difference between an external
stimulus and an overt response is delayed. How
does Guthrie explains delayed response?
2. He says an external stimulus leads to a sequence
of movement-produced stimuli, which are
movements in the body serving as stimuli for a
sequence of responses to culminate in a final
delayed response.
18
6
Movement-Produced Stimuli
An delayed external stimulus triggers an internal
movement in the individual which serves as a
stimulus (M/S) for the next movement, till the final
movement is made.
Internal
Stimuli
External
Stimuli
S
s
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
S
s
S
S
Movement
S
S
M/S
M/S
M/S
M/S
S
M/S
Older Stimuli
M/S
S
M/S
Recent Stimuli
19
Movement-Produced Stimuli
External Stimulus
“Ring”
Final
Response
Picking-up
the phone
response
Head and body
turning response
Head and body
turning response
causes movement
produced stimuli
Moving out
of chair
response
Movement-produced
internal stimuli
Moving out
of chair response
Causes movement
Produced stimuli
Walking to the
phone response
Causes movement
produced stimuli
Walking to
The phone
response
20
Movements, Acts & Skills
1. Movements are minute responses made by the
muscles that get associated with impinging
stimuli. Movements are learnt responses.
2. Acts are a conglomerate of a number of learnt
movements. Acts are learnt behaviors, like
learning to press keys on a keyboard.
3. Skills are made up of many acts that are
repeated (practice) to develop performance
proficiency. Fast typing is a skill.
21
7
Thorndike & Animal Learning
Thorndike believed that cats learnt to escape the
puzzle box through trial and error (practice) and
reinforcement (food) when the animal made the
correct response.
22
Guthrie-Horton Study (1946)
Guthrie and Horton used a puzzle box similar to
Thorndike, and recorded 800 escapes in cats.
Horton took photographs. Guthrie took notes.
23
Guthrie-Horton Study (1946)
1. Each cat learned its own peculiar stereotypical
movement to escape the box. Thus Guthrie
suggested it reflected one-trial learning, unlike
Thorndike’s proposal that cats learnt through
repetition.
2. Guthrie also proposed that cats did not need
reinforcement to learn. This also opposed
Thorndike’s idea that reinforcement was
required. To Guthrie, reinforcement was a
potent stimulus that prevented unlearning.
24
8
Forgetting
Like one-trial learning, forgetting also occurs in just
one trial. In the presence of a stimulus pattern
when an old movement is replaced by new
movement forgetting takes place.
S
S
s
S
S
S
S
New movement
Old movement
25
Breaking Habits
To break habits determine the cues (pattern of
stimuli) that initiate the undesired habit. Replace
the undesired habit with a desired habit in the
presence of those cues.
1. Threshold/Tolerance Method
2. Fatigue/Exhaustion Method
3. Incompatible Response Method
26
Threshold/Tolerance Method
Introduce a stimulus, weak in strength so that it
does initiate the bad habit. Increase the intensity of
the stimulus slowly making sure that the animal
tolerates the stimulus and does not engage in the
undesired behavior before moving on to the next
stronger stimulus.
Examples: 1. Spitting peas. 2. Horse breaking
27
9
Fatigue/Exhaustion Method
The undesired habit needs to repeated for long
periods to cause fatigue or tiredness. Undesired
habit will be removed by the negative
consequences of fatigue or exhaustion. Similar to
flooding (Pavlov).
Examples: 1. Bronco-busting. 2. Dog chasing
chickens.
28
Incompatible Response Method
Stimuli that cause undesired responses are
presented with other stimuli that produce a desired
response. Incompatibility of a desired response
removes the undesired response. Similar to counter
conditioning.
Example: Removal of fear from a toy panda with the
introduction of mother’s warmth.
29
Sidetracking Habits
Guthrie suggested that breaking undesirable habits
was difficult, so avoiding stimuli that cause
undesirable habits was to sidetrack them.
Undesirable behavioral patterns (like smoking) in
one environment can be sidetracked by going to a
completely new environment (where
cigarettes/tobacco is not available).
30
10
Punishment
1. Punishment needs to convey information, what
the individual needs to do, e.g., dog chasing car.
Pain during punishment is meaningless.
2. Punishment should produce an incompatible
behavior to the unwanted behavior.
3. Punishment must be applied along with other
stimuli, and it should be salient enough to
change the undesired behavior.
4. If 2 or 3 are not met then punishment is
ineffective, and in fact may strengthen the
31
undesired behavior.
Drives & Intentions
1. For Guthrie, food (external stimulus) and hunger
drive (internal stimulus) were parts of a stimulus
pattern. Drives like hunger are maintaining
stimuli that keep the individuals going till the
goal is reached.
2. Though maintaining stimuli like hunger are
internal, they can also be external like praise.
3. Intentions are conditioned responses (purposive
behaviors), associated with maintaining stimuli
leading the individual to reach goals.
32
Transfer of Training
1. Guthrie like Thorndike, did not believe in
transfer of training as proposed by formal
discipline.
2. Guthrie accepted Thorndike’s Identical Element
Theory in explaining how contextual stimuli
have similarity in producing the same response
in a familiar and an unfamiliar situation. Adding
2+2 on the blackboard is different than adding
2+2 on the seat or at home. But one comes up
with the same response (4) because important
elements (2+2) remain the same.
33
11
Voeks’ Postulates
Postulate I: Principle of Association
Any stimulus pattern which once accompanies a
response, and/or immediately precedes it by onehalf second or less, becomes a full-strength direct
cue for that response.
34
Voeks’ Postulates
Postulate II: Principle of Postremity
A stimulus which has accompanied or immediately
preceded by two or more incompatible responses is
a conditioned for only the last response made while
that stimulus was still present.
35
Voeks’ Postulates
Postulate III: Principle of Response Probability
The probability of any particular response occurring
at some specified time is a function of the
proportion of the stimuli present, which were
present at the time when the response was
originally made.
36
12
Voeks’ Postulates
Postulate IV: Principle of Dynamic Situations
The stimulus pattern is not static but dynamic, and
changes from time to time. The pattern is modified,
due to changes that result from the subject’s
making a response, accumulation of fatigue
products, visceral changes and other internal
processes of the subject.
37
Evaluation
Strengths
Weaknesses
Parsimonious – one
law explains a lot.
Not falsifiable – one
law explains too
much. No observation
can refute it.
Practical – easily
applied to fear and
other behaviors.
Understandable.
Lack experimental
control and internal
consistency.
38
Questions
12. Summarize Guthrie's views on punishment.
13. Why do law of contiguity and one trial
learning necessitates recency principle.
14. Describe Voeks’ postulates in formalizing
Guthrie’s theory.
39
13
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