Examine the psychological procedure of learning by conditioning called operant conditioning or learning by conditioning.This procedure is one form of the learning theory that was developed after the establishment of thebehavioral theoryby Watson. Conditioning theory is a psychological procedure that relies on the association between a stimulus that is presented to a subject and which is usually associated with an act that is the learned action. This procedure was discovered experimentally by research with animals such as monkeys, dogs and birds. This association theory is about learned reaction to an event -- and a learned response is valid due to the presence in the nervous systems of animals of neuronal forms of basic andprimitive reflexesthat are the main part of the nervous system in animals (not so much so with humans).
Study the neuroanatomicalstructures (related to nerve structure of an organism) in the human body, including such primitive reflexes asspinal reflexesand theautonomic reflexes.These are, however, just a minor part of the much more complicated, sophisticated nervous system that differentiates humans from animals. Learning by conditioning was formulated by B. F. Skinner who was an American psychologist. Contemporary research by Pavlov, a Russian psychologist, was of similar experiments on conditioning on animals in his laboratory. If this theory is applied to humans based on experiments that are done on animals, it may be considered overgeneralizing to form a theory. To directly compare humans to animals and attempt to put them at the same level of intelligence and living systems is not logical.
Contrast and compare the nervous systems of humans with that of animals in this analogy to see very debatable theory because humans are much more developed than animals.Instinctual behaviors of animals are governed by the primitive form of their nervous systems. The nervous systems of animals are composed mostly of neuronal connections that are predominantly associations of reflexes that are the main governing form of behavior that they have. Lower animals do not have the necessary neuronal machinery to think, reason and solve even simple physical problems, such as a dog has the instinctual reaction to continually pull harder, but not to independently, "think" of unwinding its cable or chain that becomes wrapped around a tree or a doghouse. These animals do not have that kind of logical form of reasonable behavior based on observing its own physical predicament, as opposed to the case in humans. Humans can solve much more complex physical issues, as well as abstract problems and then expand and extend conclusions. It is not acceptable scientifically to compare human behavior to that of instinctual animals as these two famous psychologists tried to imply.
Be familiar with the weakness of doing psychological research on animals and applying the results on humans as a type of scientific research that has questionable correlation and debatable applicability.
- This form of scientific research is not safe for humankind. Also to design pharmacological drugs by experimenting on animals is not well based scientifically nor would a product have medical value as a drug for humans because these experiments on animal samples cannot directly be extended to humans due to the big difference between the anatomical structures of the two living systems.
- Also the psychological subject in general is a very controversial scientific discipline that is full of very ambiguous concepts and definitions that are not supported on much experimental evidence.
Know the alternative subject should be replaced by the more rigorous science of medical studies of the nervous systems including brain scans.This should be performed at both the anatomical as well as on the molecular biological levels. This is a much more reliable subject of research than the subject of psychology that is completely full of abstract definitions that do not have scientific and material justification. An example of such a controversial concept in this psychological subject is the concept of the problems based in theunconscious stateof the mind in the theory of psychoanalysis. This concept is an abstract concept that is not supported by biological understanding of the experiment.
Know controversial concepts in psychology that are not biologically based.Also the concept ofdefense mechanismsis an abstract concept. For these reasons it is suggested to follow a strict form of scientific psychological studies that relies on biological facts that can support the mental findings in affected persons.
Study the scientific base and value of the concept ofinferiority complexof Alfred Adler's theory of psychoanalysis.This is a concept formed by case studies on observed persons, but not at either the molecular nor at the biochemical level.
Consider also the evidence for the concepts ofintroversionandextroversionof Jungian theory of psychoanalysis.Compare these to the maladjusted person exhibiting psychoneurosis (neurosis) -- a functional disorder characterized by feelings of anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsive activities, and often having health complaints without observable evidence of disease, in various degrees, dominating the personality, as a relatively mild personality disorder also typified by excessive anxiety, and/or indecision and a degree of social or interpersonal adjustment difficulties.In addition, concepts from the Jungian psychoanalysis are not on the biochemical nor molecular levels.
Realize that the scientific discipline of psychology is based on observation, data gathering and finding a pattern and making a generalization to other persons.It should be based on rigorous practice of double blind studies, observation and sometimes at the medical, biological and biochemical base, if possible.