AP Psychology: Opening Skinner’s Box (Chapters 1-8), Lauren Slater
You MUST read the first eight chapters in this book AND watch the corresponding YouTube videos. These short videos can be used before or after the chapter, but you will be responsible for both the book and the videos.
Please answer the following questions that go along with each chapter. This will be collected and graded.
CHAPTER ONE: OPENING SKINNER’S BOX, BF SKINNER’S RAT RACE Note in this chapter: Do not confuse the “baby in the box” with a Skinner box!
READ THE CHAPTER AND WATCH: BF Skinner shapes a pigeon with reinforcement/reward. The light goes on when he gives it food. It’s on YouTube. Search for “BF Skinner Foundation - Pigeon Turn”
What was the connection Skinner made with behavior and reward (reinforcement)?
What did Skinner try to prove about human behavior by using rats?
What did Skinner think about the concept of “free will”?
CHAPTER TWO: OBSCURA, STANLEY MILGRAM AND OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY READ THE CHAPTER AND WATCH: The real Stanley Milgram and real footage of the experiment in the YouTube video “Milgram Obedience Study.” The video is 9 minutes and 54 seconds, but you only have to watch from 1:31 to 9:00.
How often did his test subjects go all the way through to the most shocks?
How was deception used in his method of experimentation?
Even though no one actually was shocked, what might be considered unethical in this experiment?
What does Milgram prove about how humans respond to authority?
Using the chapter and the video, list the three most important ideas from Milgram’s experiment about OBEDIENCE. In other words, list the three most important conclusions about human behavior that came from this experiment.
CHAPTER FOUR: IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF A WATER LANDING, DARLEY AND LATANE READ THE CHAPTER AND WATCH: Find “the smoke filled room study” on YouTube and be able to explain what is going on. There is no sound in the video and the subjects did not know they were being filmed.
How was the Kitty Genovese case an example of the “bystander effect” (also known as “diffusion of responsibility”)?
Explain how each of Darley and Latane’s experiments: (1) the fake seizure and (2) the smoke filled room help explain the bystander effect and diffusion of responsibility.
In each of the previous experiments, they used actors, which are called confederates, to pretend that they were in the experiment, just like the subject. Why did they need actors instead of just other subjects?
CHAPTER FIVE: QUIETING THE MIND, THE EXPERIMENTS OF LEON FESTINGER READ THE CHAPTER AND WATCH: Cognitive dissonance is a difficult concept, so go to YouTube and watch the video “Cognitive Dissonance - Psychology Photo Story Project by Bill Hsiao”
AND the video “A Lesson in Cognitive Dissonance”
Cognitive dissonance is the conflict one has when their actions do not match their beliefs. Think of it as justifying your behavior.
Try to explain how each example in the book relates to cognitive dissonance:
The Sanada cult when the Great Event didn’t actually occur.
CHAPTER EIGHT: LOST IN THE MALL, THE FALSE MEMORY EXPERIMENT READ THE CHAPTER AND WATCH: Loftus explains her research on the YouTube video “False memories - Lost in a shopping mall - Elizabeth Loftus”
Why is Elizabeth Loftus’ research important for crime investigations?
Memories play a very important part of out life. Please list and explain the three most important conclusions from Loftus on our memory.
You are now finished with the assignment and the book. You do not have to read chapters nine and ten. Please be ready to discuss the book when school begins. If you have any questions, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com