Foundations of Individual Behavior
objective and easily obtained from personnel records.
Ability, Intellect, and Intelligence
AbilityAn individual’s capacity to perform the various tasks in a job.
Intellectual AbilityThe capacity to do mental activities.
Multiple IntelligencesIntelligence contains four subparts: cognitive, social, emotional, and cultural.
Dimensions of Intellectual Ability
Number aptitude – speedy and acc calculations
Verbal comprehension – understand what is read or heard
Perceptual speed – identify visual similarities and differences
Inductive reasoning – identify logical sequence
in problem and solve it
Deductive reasoning – use logic and assess
implications of argument
Spatial visualization – to imagine how an object
looks if its position is changed
Memory – retain and recall past experiences
The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics.
Nine Physical Abilities
Any relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs as a result of experience
Is relatively permanent
Is acquired through experience
Theories of Learning
A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response.
Unconditioned stimulus (meat)
Unconditioned response (salivation)
Conditioned stimulus (bell)
Conditioned response (salivation)
Classical Conditioning example
If a flavor is followed by an illness experience, we will not consume the flavor in the future
CS + UCS ----------> UCR
Taste Toxic event Nausea
CS -----> CR
Respondent Conditioning Learning Curve
The more often the pairing occurs, the stronger the response
Early pairings are more important than later pairings
If the conditioned stimulus is no longer followed by the unconditioned stimulus, responding will gradually slow down and finally cease.
The conditioned stimulus no longer signals the onset of an important event so it is ignored by the organism.
Operant Conditioning (B.F. Skinner)
A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.
• Behaviors are learned by making rewards contingent to behaviors.
• Behavior that is rewarded (positively reinforced) is likely to be repeated.
• Behavior that is punished or ignored is less likely to be repeated.
Social-Learning Theory Albert Bandura (extension of operant conditioning)
People can learn through observation and direct experience.
• Attentional: the attractiveness or similarity of the model
• Retention: how well the model can be recalled
• Motor reproduction: the reproducibility of the model’s actions
• Reinforcement: the rewards associated with learning the model behavior
Social Learning - Beyond Reinforcement
External reinforcement isn’t the only way in which behavior is acquired, maintained, or altered
We can also learn by observing, reading, or hearing about others’ behavior
– We develop anticipated consequences for our behaviors
• Even for behaviors we’re never engaged in
Our cognitive abilities give us the capability for insight and foresight
– New patterns of behavior can be acquired in the absence of external reinforcement
– We can pay attention to what others do, and repeat their actions
• i.e., We learn through observation, rather than through direct reinforcement
Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response.
Reinforcement - The administration of a consequence as a result of a behavior.
Proper management of reinforcement can change the direction, level, and persistence of an individual’s behavior is required to change behavior.
Some rewards are more effective than others.
The timing of reinforcement affects learning speed and permanence.
Methods of Shaping Behavior
Positive reinforcement – following a response with something pleasant
Negative reinforcement – following a response by termination or withdrawal
Punishment- causing an unpleasant condition to eliminate an undesirable behavior
Extinction – eliminating any reinforcement that is maintaining a behavior
Schedules of Reinforcement
Continuous reinforcement - desired behaviour is reinforced each time it is demonstrated. E.g. compliments
Intermittent reinforcement - desired behaviour is reinforced often enough to make the behaviour worth repeating but not every time it is demonstrated
Types of intermittent reinforcement
– Rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals- salary
– Rewards are distributed at random times; reinforcements are unpredictable e.g weekly pay packets
– Rewards are initiated after a fixed or constant number of responses (e.g. payment for piece-rate workers) e.g piece rate pay
– Rewards are varied relative to the behaviour of the individual. E.g commissioned sales
Nature of reinforcement
Effect on Behaviour
Reward given after each desired behaviour
Fast learning of new behaviour but rapid extinction
Reward given at fixed time intervals
Average and irregular performance with rapid extinction
Reward given at variable times
Moderately high and stable performance with slow extinction
Reward given at fixed amounts of output
High and stable performance attained quickly but also with rapid extinction
Reward given at variable amounts of output.
Very high performance with slow extinction.
The application of reinforcement concepts to individuals in the work setting.
Five Step Problem-Solving Model
Identify critical behaviors
Develop baseline data
Identify behavioral consequences
Develop and apply intervention
Evaluate performance improvement
Student of Rai Busiess School-New Delhi
Sanjeev Kumar Singh