Good Morning! For this week’s explore discussion, the influential Russian psychologist I have chosen to analyze and summarize is Ivan Sechenocv. Sechenocv had a challenging and difficult life growing up. At the age of ten, his father who happen to be a Russian nobleman passed away. He learned German and French and it potentially paved the way to his success. Sechenocv ended up going to the Military Engineering School. One could argue that he going to the Military Engineering School was the best thing that happened to him. Even though the love of his life married an engineer. After leaving the school he decided to study physiology. What makes Ivan Sechenov unique? Why is his work significant? It was difficult for Sechenov to actually study his desired field because of the death of Czar Nicholas. “Russian students were not allowed to travel abroad” (Kardas, 2014). Due to him obtain an inheritance he was able to leave Russia. He ended up travelling to Europe. “While outside of Russia, Sechenov conducted his own physiological research and discovered that reflexes could be inhibited via direct stimulation of some parts of the forebrain (thalamus) but not others (cerebral cortex). That discovery broadened the understanding of reflex action and demonstrated that the CNS played a role in the control of reflexes” (Kardas, 2014).
Ivan Sechenov’s work relates to behaviorism. “Behaviorism is the approach to psychology spearheaded by Watson that sought to eliminate consciousness and introspection and substituted objective methods that focused on animal and human behaviors only” (Kardas, 2014). His work explains the significant relationship between physiology and psychology. “His argued that because human psychology was so complex the natural starting place for his kind of psychology was the simpler animal models” (Kardas, 2014).
Kardas, E. P. (2014). History of psychology: The making of a science. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning
This week I went with the very first psychologist that practiced Neobehaviorism he went by the name of Edward Chase Tolman. Tolman born to a wealthy family in 1886 near Boston graduation from Massachusetts institute of technology. He went on to study psychology at Harvard, but unlike many of the other American psychologist Edward also study in Europe. While in his travels to learn he study with the psychologist Kurt Koffka he was also known to be the few to use the theoretical explanations from Gestalt in behaviorism. Tolman began his teaching career in 1918 at Berkeley. According to Kardas (2014), “He quickly discovered that neither Thorndike’s nor Watson’s approaches to learning satisfied him. Soon he developed his own theoretical approach: Purposive Behaviorism. His Version emphasized goal-seeking behavior and assumed that learning and performance were different from each other” (p.313). With time Tolman opened a program where he wanted to explore new concepts and introduce them to the school’s agenda. With one thought in mind Tolman wanted to separate psychology from physiology, but still find a better structure for Neobehaviorism. Kardas (2014) states, “One of his first contributions was to redefine behavior itself into two categories: molecular and molar” (p.314). He goes on to describe each category for example explaining that molecular behaviors such as muscle contractions or glandular secretions were linked to physiology. Then Tolman explains that Molar are behaviors that are learned and could be studied without having the any backing from physiological mechanism. Another great contribution that Tolman introduced to the world of psychology was a cognitive map that he obtained from Gestalt psychology. It’s a series of test that he performs using rats and he test their cognitive skills and he introduces food into a map that they must follow to reach the food. The rats go thru a series of pathways over and over until they can retain the knowledge of which is the correct pathway to the food. Tolman remained at Berkeley exploring and adding many concepts to the world of psychology until his death in 1959.
Kardas, E. P. (2014). History of psychology: The making of a science. (1st ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
I was curious to who Little Albert was and reading what was in the book wasn’t enough for me, so I went and looked for something in relation to this topic. The first article that popped up is called Correcting the record on Watson, Rayner, and Little Albert: Albert Barger as ‘Psychology’s lost boy’. The article mentions a brief on the study conducted on little Albert, how they used a white rat and then made a sound loud enough that it scared him as he saw the rat. Along with the all that he then picked up a fear of anything that resembled a white furry thing even if it wasn’t a rat. As you continue to read the article, they start throwing different speculations about Albert and the many names that come up about who really was little Albert.
They even mention the fact that some of the information about Alberts health could have been falsely written to alter the fact that he could have been suffering from many neurological impairments. With doing such thing of hiding the impairments could have hindered much of the study done on little Albert making it unreliable. That’s when they mention another little boy by the name of Douglas Merritte. They assumed Douglas was little Albert but couldn’t find any similarities and debunked that notion when doulas died three years after the experiment from hydrocephalus. It goes on to talk about looking or little Albert and the comparison to the other children and could they be little Albert. If you want to find out more about little this article takes you in to depth about who he really was and what was his real name. interviews with relatives that could have been of little Albert or Alberts correct age at the time of the experiment. If you got some questions about Little Albert, this article might answer some for you.
Powell, R. A. & Digdon, N. & Harris, B. & Smithson, C. (2014). Correcting the record on Watson, Rayner, and Little Albert: Albert Barger as ‘Psychology’s lost boy’. American Psychologist, 69(6). pp. 600-611. Retrieved from
For the assignment this week, I wanted to stay focus on the Russian psychologist Ivan Sechenocv. His ideas had a correlation with behaviorism. According to Kardas (2014), “Behaviorism is the approach to psychology spearheaded by Watson that sought to eliminate consciousness and introspection and substituted objective methods that focuses on animal and human behaviors only” (p. 300). So I wanted to conduct additional research on Behaviorism. The peer-reviewed journal article I chose to analyze is called “Learning Theories: Behaviorism”. The author is Kevin R. Clark. He focuses on learning and the numerous ways to learning According to Clark (2018), The differences in how educational theorists believe individuals acquire, retain, and recall knowledge resulted in the development of multiple learning theories” (p. 172).
The question to ask is what the correlation between learning theory and behaviorism is? Behaviorism shows people have some form of response when learning regardless if it is positive or negative. According to Clark (2018), “Behaviorists do not address memory and how new behaviors or changes in behaviors are stored or recalled for future use. Behaviorists refer to this type of learning, where a reaction is made to a particular stimulus, as conditioning. Two main types of conditioning include Pavlov’s classical conditioning and Skinner’s operant conditioning” (p. 172).
When it comes to classical conditioning, there are 4 stages. The stages are “Acquisition, extinction, generalization, and discrimination” (Clark, 2018). Classical conditioning correlates to the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov. He conducted a study that related to dog and how it relates to reactions with food. He noticed a certain behavior when the dogs were fed. He uses a bell every time they are fed. As a result when the dogs hear a bell they know they are about to eat.
Operant Conditioning stems from BF Skinner. Operant Conditioning focuses on reinforcement and punishment. It shows that we can change the behavior through reinforcement and punishment. Whether the behavior is positive or negative, it can potentially be changed through reinforcement or punishment.