Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pavlov vis-à-vis Piaget Essay

Looking at the history, many names flourished in the area of psychology in the desire to learn about man and behavior.   These names have contributions that are of significance even to the present-day studies in the field of psychology. This paper deals with two of the notable names in this realm – Ivan Pavlov and Jean Piaget. Ivan Pavlov was a Russian psychologist, physician, and physiologist. He had substantial contributions to the various fields of neurology and physiology. His researches were mostly focused on conditioning, temperament and involuntary reflex actions. He bagged the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his researchers and experiments on digestion which became the foundation of a more extensive research on the digestive system. In his work on involuntary reactions to stress and pain, he broadened the description of the four temperament types: phlegmatic, choleric, sanguine, and melancholic. The study of TMI or transmarginal inhibition was also started by Pavlov and his researchers. TMI is the body’s instinctive reaction of shutting down when exposed to overwhelming stress or pain. Of his contributions, Pavlov is widely recognized for his demonstration of classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning. Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning started while he was working on his study of the digestive process in dogs. He observed that the dogs salivated before they received their food. Even just at the sight of the lab attendant, the dogs salivated. He called this phenomenon ‘psychic secretion.’ He made an experiment on this and used a bell and meat powder. He hit the bell and followed the ring with the meat powder. At the onset, only the meat powder made the dog salivate, but after repeating the practice, the ring of the bell made the dog salivate. Even when the meat powder was eliminated, the dog continued to salivate at the ring of the bell. In this theory, a living being learns to correlate one stimulus with one another. It is learned that the first stimulus is an indicator for the second stimulus. In the above experiment, the ring of the bell cued the dog that food might be coming. The following are the key concepts of Classical Conditioning:  · Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) – a stimulus that can already elicits a response, like the food in the experiment.  · Unconditioned Response (UR) – response that is elicited by the unconditioned stimulus, like the salivation of the dog in the experiment.  · Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – a new and neutral stimulus that when matched up with a UCS elicits a similar response, like the bell in the experiment.  · Condition Response (CR) – the learned response when the neutral CS is paired with the UCS, like the salivation of the dog to the ring of the bell after repeated pairing of it with the food. ( Although many evaluators criticize Pavlov’s theory as being tested only to animals, classical conditioning can actually be observed to a person’s behavior, even without the purpose. A person who experienced a traumatic vehicular accident would be frantic about the sound of screeching tires even at a normal situation. That person’s mind was condition that screeching tires mean accident. Jean Piaget was a biologist who was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland in 1896. He originally was studying mollusks but shifted to the study of developmental psychology and human intelligence from which he became a significant experimenter and theorist. At the age of 10 he published his first paper and at the young age of 22 he received his Ph.D. in science from the University of Neuchatel. Although he was technically a biologist and a philosopher, he regarded himself as a â€Å"genetic epistemologist.’ His interest was mainly focused on how an individual comes to know things. The thought process that lies beneath reasoning was his interest, particularly in the development of thinking.   Piaget believed that children have different way in responding compared to adults because of the difference in reasoning.   He started observing children of various ages and began working on his theory on the process of cognitive development. According to his theory, the development of children’s thinking is not a smooth process.   Before children learn new areas and abilities, there are particular stages at which it â€Å"takes off† and move to those new learning. These transitions transpire at about 18 months, 7 years and 11 or 12 years. Piaget’s key ideas include: schema, assimilation, accommodation, adaptation, egocentrism, and equilibrium. Schema are the set of sensori-motor skills which dictate the manner in which an infant discover his environment resulting to gaining more information of the world and more complicated exploratory skills.   These are the â€Å"representation in the mind of a set of perceptions, ideas, and/or actions, which go together.† ( Assimilation is â€Å"the process by which a person takes material into their mind from the environment, which may mean changing the evidence of their senses to make it fit.† ( Accommodation is â€Å"the difference made to one’s mind or concepts by the process of assimilation.† ( Adaptation is â€Å"learning† in layman’s term. Piaget believed that adaptation or learning is a biological process from which the two sides are assimilation and accommodation. Egocentrism is a part of the early stage of psychological development. It is a â€Å"belief that you are the center of the universe and everything revolves around you: the corresponding inability to see the world as someone else does and adapt to it.† ( According to his theory, there are four stages of cognitive development: sensori-motor stage, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage. The first stage, sensori-motor stage, lasts from birth to about 2 years of age. In this stage, the infant makes use of his motor abilities and senses to grasp his environment. During the end of this stage, the infant develops more complicated combinations of his sensori-motor skills. The second stage, pre-operational stage, lasts from about 2 until about seven years old. Because of the child’s new abilities, this is a short step to symbol usage. The child now has a clear idea of past and future. This is the stage, though, that a child is egocentric, seeing things only from his point of view. The third stage, concrete operational, lasts from about 7 to about 11. Aside from the representational use of symbols, a child already has the ability to manipulate those symbols sensibly in the context of tangible situations. In this stage is also where a child develops the skill to conserve length, number and liquid volume. The fourth stage, formal operations stage, takes place from about 12 and up. This is the stage where a child develops hypothetical thinking, or the use of logical operations in the abstract, instead of the concrete. Both of these theories talk about learning. Basically, Pavlov and Piaget believe that learning can be directly influenced by the stimuli found in the environment of an individual. Both of them also imply that an individual has an innate and natural response to a stimulus, the unconditioned response (UR) for Pavlov and the schema for Piaget. What differs one from another is the processes and methods of how an individual learns. In Pavlov’s theory, a new learning is acquired through mind conditioning. A normal response of an individual to a normal stimulus can be altered through introduction of another stimulus from which the normal stimulus can be associated to, like what transpire to his experiment with the dog. In Piaget’s theory, on the other hand, learning can also be acquired through exposure to the environment, but at a certain stage, especially to children. A child, for example, won’t have an idea of what is past and future until he reaches the age of around 2, which is called the pre-operational stage. Piaget’s theory implies that the extent of a child’s learning is restricted to the stage or the age of the child. During the early stage of a child, he is said to be egocentric. Having this characteristic, a child’s health and physical condition is put at risk. The schema of grab and thrust is applied by a child to any object, oblivious of any harm that it may cause. He may be used to grabbing his rattle and thrusting it in his mouth, but once he came across a new object, he may use this schema to it, like a small animal or a pointed thing. These two theories are bases of more comprehensive studies of human behavior. Both of them are true in the sense that they can be observed and applied. It is proper to say that these theories are two of the most significant concepts in the world of psychology.

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