Introduction To Developmental

Introduction To Developmental, Social, Personality, And Clinical Psychology


In Chapter Six of your textbook, one of the practical applications of behavioural psychology that we see is advertising. Advertisers will pair two stimuli (for example, Pepsi and an attractive person) so that the audience comes to have the same reaction to both (seeing attractive people makes me feel good, so now seeing a Pepsi bottle makes me feel good, and therefore more likely to buy one). We are introduced to Albert Bandura and social learning theory. Social learning theory is an extension of behavioural psychology by way of observational learning; organisms not only acquire habits of behaviour by experiencing classical and operant conditioning, but by observing others’ reactions to stimuli (for example, desiring something because we see others desiring it) and by observing others experiencing reinforcers or punishers in connection to a behaviour (as seen in Bandura’s famous “Bobo doll” study). These principles are called vicarious classical conditioning and vicarious operant conditioning.


In this project, you will be analyzing a series of media clips, showing how classical conditioning and social learning theory principles are used to manipulate audiences’ emotions and behaviours. Here are few basic principles to look for:

Classical conditioning: What stimuli are paired together (for example, happy background music paired with a car that is being sold)?

Vicarious classical conditioning: What emotional reactions are characters displaying (for example, a character shows a disgusted face when my political opponent is mentioned)?

Vicarious operant conditioning: What consequences do we see associated with certain behaviours (for example, a character becomes popular after purchasing the toothpaste that is being sold)?


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