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Id, Ego and Superego
Perhaps Freud's single most enduring and important idea was that the human psyche (personality) has more than one aspect. Freud (1923) saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e. tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.
These are systems, not parts of the brain, or in any way physical.
The id (or it)
The id is the primitive and instinctive component of personality. It consists of all the inherited (i.e. biological) components of personality, including the sex (life) instinct – Eros (which contains the libido), and the aggressive (death) instinct - Thanatos.
The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts. The personality of the newborn child is all id and only later does it develop an ego and super-ego.
The id demands immediate satisfaction and when this happens we experience pleasure, when it is denied we experience ‘unpleasure’ or pain. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world.
On the contrary, it operates on the pleasure principle (Freud, 1920) which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences.
The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented.
B.F. Skinner (1938) coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.
Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative. Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.
Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding. For example, if your teacher gives you £5 each time you complete your homework (i.e. a reward) you will be more likely to repeat this behavior in the future, thus strengthening the behavior of completing your homework.
The removal of an unpleasant reinforcer can also strengthen behavior. This is known as negative reinforcement because it is the removal of an adverse stimulus which is ‘rewarding’ to the animal or person. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience.
Punishment (weakens behavior)
Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it. It is an aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows
Skinner found that the type of reinforcement which produces the slowest rate of extinction (i.e. people will go on repeating the behavior for the longest time without reinforcement) is variable-ratio reinforcement. The type of reinforcement which has the quickest rate of extinction is continuous reinforcement.
(A) Continuous Reinforcement
An animal/human is positively reinforced every time a specific behaviour occurs, e.g. every time a lever is pressed a pellet is delivered and then food delivery is shut off.
Response rate is SLOW
Extinction rate is FAST
(B) Fixed Ratio Reinforcement
Behavior is reinforced only after the behavior occurs a specified number of times. E.g. one reinforcement is given after every so many correct responses, e.g. after every 5th response. For example a child receives a star for every five words spelt correctly.
Response rate is FAST Extinction rate is MEDIUM
..there are 3 more
A further important contribution made by Skinner (1951) is the notion of behaviour shaping through successive approximation. Skinner argues that the principles of operant conditioning can be used to produce extremely complex behaviour if rewards and punishments are delivered in such a way as to encourage move an organism closer and closer to the desired behaviour each time.
Behavior modification is a set of therapies / techniques based on operant conditioning (Skinner, 1938, 1953). The main principle comprises changing environmental events that are related to a person's behavior. For example, the reinforcement of desired behaviors and ignoring or punishing undesired ones.
Token economy is a system in which targeted behaviors are reinforced with tokens (secondary reinforcers) and later exchanged for rewards (primary reinforcers).
Tokens can be in the form of fake money, buttons, poker chips, stickers, etc. While the rewards can range anywhere from snacks to privileges or activities.
Operant Conditioning in the Classroom
In the conventional learning situation operant conditioning applies largely to issues of class and student management, rather than to learning content. It is very relevant to shaping skill performance.
A simple way to shape behavior is to provide feedback on learner performance, e.g. compliments, approval, encouragement, and affirmation. A variable-ratio produces the highest response rate for students learning a new task, whereby initially reinforcement (e.g. praise) occurs at frequent intervals, and as the performance improves reinforcement occurs less frequently, until eventually only exceptional outcomes are reinforced.
However, operant conditioning fails to take into account the role of inherited and cognitive factors in learning, and thus is an incomplete explanation of the learning process in humans and animals.
For example, Kohler (1924) found that primates often seem to solve problems in a flash of insight rather than be trial and error learning. Also social learning theory(Bandura, 1977) suggests that humans can learn automatically through observation rather than through personal experience.
Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
Think of a billionaire living in a town of 30k people. He would literally own the town, and everyone would know him and treat him like the king of the town.
But I have noted that if you can convince the folks on the lower half of the IQ scale, you can use them as your mob to convince the folks on the upper end of the IQ scale. You just have to create a seeming consensus by convincing people aren't really all that bright to begin with.
But please, feel free to go on regardless.
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan
I tried searching, and think I am having a problem formulating a search query using the correct vernacular.
Sociology is a complex field of study.