Thus far, we have discussed how psychology is the study of human behavior, and how our environment, as well as our genetic makeup affect the ways we act. We briefly discussed reasons people are altruistic. Finally, we discussed ways researchers can measure the reason for altruism. 

Today, we will discuss way to alter people’s behavior.

Part 1: Conditioning

Have you heard of Pavlov’s dogs? Discuss

  • How do we learn?
  • What has created your personality?
  • How do you know that you have free will?

Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov



Ok that was a lot of information. Here’s a simpler version:

Here is an example of altering behavior on humans: Little Albert, one of the earliest studies of human behavior modification.

What conclusions can you make from the Little Albert experiment?

Are there any flaws in the experiment?

In your table groups, can you list the:

  • UCS
  • UCR
  • CS
  • CR

Part 2: Now there are different ways a stimulus that can change a behavior:

  • Negative reinforcement occurs when a certain stimulus (usually an aversive stimulus) is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited. The likelihood of the particular behavior occurring again in the future is increased because of removing/avoiding the negative consequence. (source)
  • While a  positive reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened. (source)

In your groups, one real world example of  positive and negative reinforcement in your lives.

Part 3: Then, in groups of 2 or 3, read and complete the advertising question in the handout 

You will embed the videos here (9A) and present your findings to the class