Published on February 7, 2014
Maslow's hierarchy of needs Representations Maslow's hierarchy of needs is predetermined in order of importance.It is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels: the first lower level is being associated with Physiological needs, while the top levels are termed growth needs associated with psychological needs. Deficiency needs must be met first. Once these are met, seeking to satisfy growth needs drives personal growth. The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus when the lower needs in the pyramid are met. Once an individual has moved upwards to the next level, needs in the lower level will no longer be prioritized. If a lower set of needs is no longer being met, the individual will temporarily re-prioritize those needs by focusing attention on the unfulfilled needs, but will not permanently regress to the lower level. For instance, a businessman at the esteem level who is diagnosed with cancer will spend a great deal of time concentrating on his health (physiological needs), but will continue to value his work performance (esteem needs) and will likely return to work during periods of remission.  Deficiency needs The lower four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called "deficiency needs" or "Dneeds". With the exception of the lowest needs, physiological ones, if the deficiency needs are not met, the body gives no indication of it physically, but the individual feels anxious and tense. These deficiency needs are: physiological, safety and security, love and belonging, and esteem. Physiological needs For the most part, physiological needs are obvious - they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met (with the partial exception of sex), the human body simply cannot continue to function. Physiological needs include: • • • • • • • Breathing Homeostasis Water Sleep Food Excretion Sex Safety needs
With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual's safety needs take over and dominate their behavior. These needs have to do with people's yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, these safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the like. For the most part, physiological and safety needs are reasonably well satisfied in the "First World". The obvious exceptions, of course, are people outside the mainstream — the poor and the disadvantaged. If frustration has not led to apathy and weakness, such people still struggle to satisfy the basic physiological and safety needs. They are primarily concerned with survival: obtaining adequate food, clothing, shelter, and seeking justice from the dominant societal groups. Safety and Security needs include: • • • • Personal security Financial security Health and well-being Safety net against accidents/illness and the adverse impacts Social needs After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow's hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as: • • • friendship intimacy having a supportive and communicative family Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs ("Safety in numbers"), or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and Clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging. Esteem All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect, and to respect others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or
activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others. It may be noted, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels. Aesthetic needs / Self Actualization The motivation to realize one's own maximum potential and possibilities is considered to be the master motive or the only real motive, all other motives being its various forms. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the need for self-actualization is the final need that manifests when lower level needs have been satisfied. Self-transcendence Near the end of his life Maslow revealed that there was a level on the hierarchy that was above self-actualization: self-transcendence. "[Transcenders] may be said to be much more often aware of the realm of Being (B-realm and B-cognition), to be living at the level of Being… to have unitive consciousness and “plateau experience” (serene and contemplative B-cognitions rather than climactic ones) … and to have or to have had peak experience (mystic, sacral, ecstatic) with illuminations or insights. Analysis of reality or cognitions which changed their view of the world and of themselves, perhaps occasionally, perhaps as a usual thing." Herzberg Motivation – Hygiene Theory Frederick Irving Herzberg (1923 - 2000) was a noted psychologist who became one of the most influential names in business management. He is most famous for introducing job enrichment and the Motivator-Hygiene theory. His 1968 publication "One More Time, How Do You Motivate Employees?" had sold 1.2 million reprints by 1987 and was the most requested article from the Harvard Business Review. Herzberg attended City College of New York, but left part way through his studies to enlist in the army. As a patrol sergeant, he was a firsthand witness of the Dachau concentration camp. He believed that this experience, as well as the talks he had with other Germans living in the area was what triggered his interest in motivation. Herzberg graduated from City College in 1946 and moved to the University of Pittsburgh to undertake post-graduate studies in science and public health. He earned his PhD in psychology with a dissertation entitled "Prognostic variables for electroshock therapy". He started his research on the workplace while teaching as a professor of psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and later moved to the University of Utah where he held the position of professor of management in the college of business.
Two factor theory Herzberg proposed the Motivation-Hygiene Theory, also known as the Two factor theory (1959) of job satisfaction. According to his theory, people are influenced by two factors: Motivator Factors • • • • • • Achievement Recognition Work Itself Responsibility Promotion Growth Hygiene Factors • • • • • • • • Pay and Benefits Company Policy and Administration Relationships with co-workers Physical Environment Supervision Status Job Security Salary 1. People are made dissatisfied by a bad environment, but they are seldom made satisfied by a good environment. 2. The prevention of dissatisfaction is just as important as encouragement of motivator satisfaction. 3. Hygiene factors operate independently of motivation factors. An individual can be highly motivated in his work and be dissatisfied with his work environment. 4. All hygiene factors are equally important, although their frequency of occurrence differs considerably. 5. Hygiene improvements have short-term effects. Any improvements result in a short-term removal of, or prevention of, dissatisfaction. 6. Hygiene needs are cyclical in nature and come back to a starting point. This leads to the "What have you done for me lately?" syndrome. 7. Hygiene needs have an escalating zero point and no final answer.[3
McClelland’s Theory of Needs McClelland proposes that each of us have three fundamental needs that exist in different balances. These affect both how we are motivated and how we attempt to motivate others. n-ach: Need for achievement: Seeks achievement, attainment of goals and advancement. Strong need for feedback, sense of accomplishment and progress n-affil: Need for affiliation: Need for friendships, interaction and to be liked. n-pow: Need for power Authority motivated needs to influence and make an impact. Strong need to lead and to increase personal status and prestige. It seems that some people have a very strong need to achieve, whilst the majority of people are not motivated in this way. McClelland was so interested by this that he focussed his research on the need to achieve. In a famous experiment, people were asked to throw rings over a peg (like at a fair). The distance that one should throw from was not specified, and as a result most people threw their rings from random distances. However, people with a high need for achievement chose their location carefully so that they stood a realistic chance of getting the ring on the peg, but that it was not too easy. They set an achievable goal that would stretch them. This seems to be the nub of the whole thing - achievement motivated people set goals where they feel that they can influence the outcome and ensure that those goals are balanced between challenge and realism. An achievement motivated person sees the achievement of a goal as the reward; it is more satisfying than praise or monetary reward. Money is seen as good only in that it is seen as a measure of their achievement. This idea of feedback is essential to the achievement motivated person: the feedback needs to be informative to enable them to use it to improve their achievement. In addition there is an element of competition - it is important for the individual to be able to compare their achievement against others. The key differentiator between this group and others is that achievement motivated people frequently spend time thinking how things could be improved. Rather than being the preserve of a privileged few with these characteristic, Mclelland believed that these characteristics could be taught and developed training programmes. Dave is someone who has a high need for achievement and I must admit that it does explain a lot to me. I can normally see very quickly how to improve a system, and struggle to understand why others might not want to improve it too. I also find it difficult to understand why people do the things that they do more generally. Maybe it is because
rather than wanting to make everything as good as it can possibly be they have higher needs for power or affiliation. It seems that I might not be alone in my difficulties as although n-ach people make good business leaders and entrepreneurs their management style can suffer because they expect everyone to be motivated in the same way as themselves. However, it is the need for power that I have the most difficulty with. It seems very destructive to have a need for power without a strong need to achieve as well. Surely having a strong motivation to increase personal status and prestige will always lead to destructive and competitive tendencies? Vroom’s Expectency Theory of Motivation The expectancy theory of motivation is suggested by Victor Vroom. Unlike Maslow and Herzberg, Vroom does not concentrate on needs, but rather focuses on outcomes. Whereas Maslow and Herzberg look at the relationship between internal needs and the resulting effort expended to fulfil them, Vroom separates effort (which arises from motivation), performance, and outcomes. Vroom, hypothesises that in order for a person to be motivated that effort, performance and motivation must be linked. He proposes three variables to account for this, which he calls Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality. Expectancy is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i.e. if I work harder then this will be better. This is affected by such things as: 1. Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time) 2. Having the right skills to do the job 3. Having the necessary support to get the job done (e.g. supervisor support, or correct information on the job) Instrumentality is the belief that if you perform well that a valued outcome will be received i.e. if I do a good job, there is something in it for me. This is affected by such things as:
1. Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes – e.g. the rules of the reward ‘game’ 2. Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome 3. Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome Valence is the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome. For example, if I am mainly motivated by money, I might not value offers of additional time off. Having examined these links, the idea is that the individual then changes their level of effort according to the value they place on the outcomes they receive from the process and on their perception of the strength of the links between effort and outcome. So, if I perceive that any one of these is true: 1. My increased effort will not increase my performance 2. My increased performance will not increase my rewards 3. I don’t value the rewards on offer ...then Vroom’s expectancy theory suggests that this individual will not be motivated. This means that even if an organisation achieves two out of three, that employees would still not be motivated, all three are required for positive motivation. Here there is also a useful link to the Equity theory of motivation: namely that people will also compare outcomes for themselves with others. Equity theory suggests that people will alter the level of effort they put in to make it fair compared to others according to their perceptions. So if we got the same raise this year, but I think you put in a lot less effort, this theory suggests that I would scale back the effort I put in. Crucially, Expectancy theory works on perceptions – so even if an employer thinks they have provided everything appropriate for motivation, and even if this works with most people in that organisation it doesn’t mean that someone won’t perceive that it doesn’t work for them. At first glance this theory would seem most applicable to a traditional-attitude work situation where how motivated the employee is depends on whether they want the reward on offer for doing a good job and whether they believe more effort will lead to that reward. However, it could equally apply to any situation where someone does something because they expect a certain outcome. For example, I recycle paper because I think it's important to conserve resources and take a stand on environmental issues (valence); I think that the more effort I put into recycling the more paper I will recycle (expectancy); and I think that the more paper I recycle then less resources will be used (instrumentality) Thus, this theory of motivation is not about self-interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes. Other theories, in my opinion, do not allow for the same degree of individuality between people. This model takes into account individual perceptions and thus personal histories,
allowing a richness of response not obvious in Maslow or McClelland, who assume that people are essentially all the same. Expectancy theory could also be overlaid over another theory (e.g. Maslow). Maslow could be used to describe which outcomes people are motivated by and Vroom to describe whether they will act based upon their experience and expectations. B. F. Skinner’s Reinforcement Theory B. F. Skinner’s entire system is based on operant conditioning. The organism is in the process of “operating” on the environment, which in ordinary terms means it is bouncing around its world, doing what it does. During this “operating,” the organism encounters a special kind of stimulus, called a reinforcing stimulus, or simply a reinforcer. This special stimulus has the effect of increasing the operant -- that is, the behavior occurring just before the reinforcer. This is operant conditioning: “the behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms tendency to repeat the behavior in the future.” Imagine a rat in a cage. This is a special cage (called, in fact, a “Skinner box”) that has a bar or pedal on one wall that, when pressed, causes a little mechanism to release a food pellet into the cage. The rat is bouncing around the cage, doing whatever it is rats do, when he accidentally presses the bar and -- hey, presto! -- a food pellet falls into the cage! The operant is the behavior just prior to the reinforcer, which is the food pellet, of course. In no time at all, the rat is furiously peddling away at the bar, hoarding his pile of pellets in the corner of the cage. A behavior followed by a reinforcing stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future. What if you don’t give the rat any more pellets? Apparently, he’s no fool, and after a few futile attempts, he stops his bar-pressing behavior. This is called extinction of the operant behavior. A behavior no longer followed by the reinforcing stimulus results in a decreased probability of that behavior occurring in the future. Now, if you were to turn the pellet machine back on, so that pressing the bar again provides the rat with pellets, the behavior of bar-pushing will “pop” right back into existence, much more quickly than it took for the rat to learn the behavior the first time. This is because the return of the reinforcer takes place in the context of a reinforcement history that goes all the way back to the very first time the rat was reinforced for pushing on the bar! Schedules of reinforcement Skinner likes to tell about how he “accidentally -- i.e. operantly -- came across his various discoveries. For example, he talks about running low on food pellets in the
middle of a study. Now, these were the days before “Purina rat chow” and the like, so Skinner had to make his own rat pellets, a slow and tedious task. So he decided to reduce the number of reinforcements he gave his rats for whatever behavior he was trying to condition, and, lo and behold, the rats kept up their operant behaviors, and at a stable rate, no less. This is how Skinner discovered schedules of reinforcement! Continuous reinforcement is the original scenario: Every time that the rat does the behavior (such as pedal-pushing), he gets a rat goodie. The fixed ratio schedule was the first one Skinner discovered: If the rat presses the pedal three times, say, he gets a goodie. Or five times. Or twenty times. Or “x” times. There is a fixed ratio between behaviors and reinforcers: 3 to 1, 5 to 1, 20 to 1, etc. This is a little like “piece rate” in the clothing manufacturing industry: You get paid so much for so many shirts. The fixed interval schedule uses a timing device of some sort. If the rat presses the bar at least once during a particular stretch of time (say 20 seconds), then he gets a goodie. If he fails to do so, he doesn’t get a goodie. But even if he hits that bar a hundred times during that 20 seconds, he still only gets one goodie! One strange thing that happens is that the rats tend to “pace” themselves: They slow down the rate of their behavior right after the reinforcer, and speed up when the time for it gets close. Skinner also looked at variable schedules. Variable ratio means you change the “x” each time -- first it takes 3 presses to get a goodie, then 10, then 1, then 7 and so on. Variable interval means you keep changing the time period -- first 20 seconds, then 5, then 35, then 10 and so on. In both cases, it keeps the rats on their rat toes. With the variable interval schedule, they no longer “pace” themselves, because they can no longer establish a “rhythm” between behavior and reward. Most importantly, these schedules are very resistant to extinction. It makes sense, if you think about it. If you haven’t gotten a reinforcer for a while, well, it could just be that you are at a particularly “bad” ratio or interval! Just one more bar press, maybe this’ll be the one! This, according to Skinner, is the mechanism of gambling. You may not win very often, but you never know whether and when you’ll win again. It could be the very next time, and if you don’t roll them dice, or play that hand, or bet on that number this once, you’ll miss on the score of the century! Shaping A question Skinner had to deal with was how we get to more complex sorts of behaviors. He responded with the idea of shaping, or “the method of successive approximations.” Basically, it involves first reinforcing a behavior only vaguely similar to the one desired. Once that is established, you look out for variations that come a little closer to what you want, and so on, until you have the animal performing a behavior that would never show
up in ordinary life. Skinner and his students have been quite successful in teaching simple animals to do some quite extraordinary things. My favorite is teaching pigeons to bowl! I used shaping on one of my daughters once. She was about three or four years old, and was afraid to go down a particular slide. So I picked her up, put her at the end of the slide, asked if she was okay and if she could jump down. She did, of course, and I showered her with praise. I then picked her up and put her a foot or so up the slide, asked her if she was okay, and asked her to slide down and jump off. So far so good. I repeated this again and again, each time moving her a little up the slide, and backing off if she got nervous. Eventually, I could put her at the top of the slide and she could slide all the way down and jump off. Unfortunately, she still couldn’t climb up the ladder, so I was a very busy father for a while. This is the same method that is used in the therapy called systematic desensitization, invented by another behaviorist named Joseph Wolpe. A person with a phobia -- say of spiders -- would be asked to come up with ten scenarios involving spiders and panic of one degree or another. The first scenario would be a very mild one -- say seeing a small spider at a great distance outdoors. The second would be a little more scary, and so on, until the tenth scenario would involve something totally terrifying -- say a tarantula climbing on your face while you’re driving your car at a hundred miles an hour! The therapist will then teach you how to relax your muscles -- which is incompatible with anxiety. After you practice that for a few days, you come back and you and the therapist go through your scenarios, one step at a time, making sure you stay relaxed, backing off if necessary, until you can finally imagine the tarantula while remaining perfectly tension-free. This is a technique quite near and dear to me because I did in fact have a spider phobia, and did in fact get rid of it with systematic desensitization. It worked so well that, after one session (beyond the original scenario-writing and muscle-training session) I could go out an pick up a daddy-long-legs. Cool. Beyond these fairly simple examples, shaping also accounts for the most complex of behaviors. You don’t, for example, become a brain surgeon by stumbling into an operating theater, cutting open someone's head, successfully removing a tumor, and being rewarded with prestige and a hefty paycheck, along the lines of the rat in the Skinner box. Instead, you are gently shaped by your environment to enjoy certain things, do well in school, take a certain bio class, see a doctor movie perhaps, have a good hospital visit, enter med school, be encouraged to drift towards brain surgery as a speciality, and so on. This could be something your parents were carefully doing to you, as if you were a rat in a cage. But much more likely, this is something that was more or less unintentional. Aversive stimuli An aversive stimulus is the opposite of a reinforcing stimulus, something we might find unpleasant or painful.
A behavior followed by an aversive stimulus results in a decreased probability of the behavior occurring in the future. This both defines an aversive stimulus and describes the form of conditioning known as punishment. If you shock a rat for doing x, it’ll do a lot less of x. If you spank Johnny for throwing his toys he will throw his toys less and less (maybe). On the other hand, if you remove an already active aversive stimulus after a rat or Johnny performs a certain behavior, you are doing negative reinforcement. If you turn off the electricity when the rat stands on his hind legs, he’ll do a lot more standing. If you stop your perpetually nagging when I finally take out the garbage, I’ll be more likely to take out the garbage (perhaps). You could say it “feels so good” when the aversive stimulus stops, that this serves as a reinforcer! Behavior followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus results in an increased probability of that behavior occurring in the future. Notice how difficult it can be to distinguish some forms of negative reinforcement from positive reinforcement: If I starve you, is the food I give you when you do what I want a positive -- i.e. a reinforcer? Or is it the removal of a negative -- i.e. the aversive stimulus of hunger? Skinner (contrary to some stereotypes that have arisen about behaviorists) doesn’t “approve” of the use of aversive stimuli -- not because of ethics, but because they don’t work well! Notice that I said earlier that Johnny will maybe stop throwing his toys, and that I perhaps will take out the garbage? That’s because whatever was reinforcing the bad behaviors hasn’t been removed, as it would’ve been in the case of extinction. This hidden reinforcer has just been “covered up” with a conflicting aversive stimulus. So, sure, sometimes the child (or me) will behave -- but it still feels good to throw those toys. All Johnny needs to do is wait till you’re out of the room, or find a way to blame it on his brother, or in some way escape the consequences, and he’s back to his old ways. In fact, because Johnny now only gets to enjoy his reinforcer occasionally, he’s gone into a variable schedule of reinforcement, and he’ll be even more resistant to extinction than ever! Behavior modification Behavior modification -- often referred to as b-mod -- is the therapy technique based on Skinner’s work. It is very straight-forward: Extinguish an undesirable behavior (by removing the reinforcer) and replace it with a desirable behavior by reinforcement. It has been used on all sorts of psychological problems -- addictions, neuroses, shyness, autism, even schizophrenia -- and works particularly well with children. There are examples of back-ward psychotics who haven’t communicated with others for years who have been conditioned to behave themselves in fairly normal ways, such as eating with a knife and fork, taking care of their own hygiene needs, dressing themselves, and so on.
There is an offshoot of b-mod called the token economy. This is used primarily in institutions such as psychiatric hospitals, juvenile halls, and prisons. Certain rules are made explicit in the institution, and behaving yourself appropriately is rewarded with tokens -- poker chips, tickets, funny money, recorded notes, etc. Certain poor behavior is also often followed by a withdrawal of these tokens. The tokens can be traded in for desirable things such as candy, cigarettes, games, movies, time out of the institution, and so on. This has been found to be very effective in maintaining order in these often difficult institutions. There is a drawback to token economy: When an “inmate” of one of these institutions leaves, they return to an environment that reinforces the kinds of behaviors that got them into the institution in the first place. The psychotic’s family may be thoroughly dysfunctional. The juvenile offender may go right back to “the ‘hood.” No one is giving them tokens for eating politely. The only reinforcements may be attention for “acting out,” or some gang glory for robbing a Seven-Eleven. In other words, the environment doesn’t travel well! Walden II Skinner started his career as an English major, writing poems and short stories. He has, of course, written a large number of papers and books on behaviorism. But he will probably be most remembered by the general run of readers for his book Walden II, wherein he describes a utopia-like commune run on his operant principles. People, especially the religious right, came down hard on his book. They said that his ideas take away our freedom and dignity as human beings. He responded to the sea of criticism with another book (one of his best) called Beyond Freedom and Dignity. He asked: What do we mean when we say we want to be free? Usually we mean we don’t want to be in a society that punishes us for doing what we want to do. Okay -- aversive stimuli don’t work well anyway, so out with them! Instead, we’ll only use reinforcers to “control” society. And if we pick the right reinforcers, we will feel free, because we will be doing what we feel we want! Likewise for dignity. When we say “she died with dignity,” what do we mean? We mean she kept up her “good” behaviors without any apparent ulterior motives. In fact, she kept her dignity because her reinforcement history has led her to see behaving in that "dignified" manner as more reinforcing than making a scene. The bad do bad because the bad is rewarded. The good do good because the good is rewarded. There is no true freedom or dignity. Right now, our reinforcers for good and bad behavior are chaotic and out of our control -- it’s a matter of having good or bad luck with your “choice” of parents, teachers, peers, and other influences. Let’s instead take control, as a society, and design our culture in such a way that good gets rewarded and bad gets extinguished! With the right behavioral technology, we can design culture.
Both freedom and dignity are examples of what Skinner calls mentalistic constructs -unobservable and so useless for a scientific psychology. Other examples include defense mechanisms, the unconscious, archetypes, fictional finalisms, coping strategies, selfactualization, consciousness, even things like hunger and thirst. The most important example is what he refers to as the homunculus -- Latin for “the little man” -- that supposedly resides inside us and is used to explain our behavior, ideas like soul, mind, ego, will, self, and, of course, personality. Instead, Skinner recommends that psychologists concentrate on observables, that is, the environment and our behavior in it. kolb learning styles David Kolb's learning styles model and experiential learning theory (ELT) Having developed the model over many years prior, David Kolb published his learning styles model in 1984. The model gave rise to related terms such as Kolb's experiential learning theory (ELT), and Kolb's learning styles inventory (LSI). In his publications - notably his 1984 book 'Experiential Learning: Experience As The Source Of Learning And Development' Kolb acknowledges the early work on experiential learning by others in the 1900's, including Rogers, Jung, and Piaget. In turn, Kolb's learning styles model and experiential learning theory are today acknowledged by academics, teachers, managers and trainers as truly seminal works; fundamental concepts towards our understanding and explaining human learning behaviour, and towards helping others to learn. See also Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and VAK learnings styles models, which assist in understanding and using Kolb's learning styles concepts. In addition to personal business interests (Kolb is founder and chairman of Experience Based Learning Systems), David Kolb is still (at the time I write this, 2005) Professor of Organizational Development at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, where he teaches and researches in the fields of learning and development, adult development, experiential learning, learning
style, and notably 'learning focused institutional development in higher education'. kolb's experiential learning theory (learning styles) model Kolb's learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles (or preferences), which are based on a four-stage learning cycle . (which might also be interpreted as a 'training cycle'). In this respect Kolb's model is particularly elegant, since it offers both a way to understand individual people's different learning styles, and also an explanation of a cycle of experiential learning that applies to us all . Kolb includes this 'cycle of learning' as a central principle his experiential learning theory, typically expressed as four-stage cycle of learning , in which 'immediate or concrete experiences' provide a basis for 'observations and reflections'. These 'observations and reflections' are assimilated and distilled into 'abstract concepts' producing new implications for action which can be 'actively tested' in turn creating new experiences. Kolb says that ideally (and by inference not always) this process represents a learning cycle or spiral where the learner 'touches all the bases', ie., a cycle of experiencing, reflecting, thinking, and acting. Immediate or concrete experiences lead to observations and reflections. These reflections are then assimilated (absorbed and translated) into abstract concepts with implications for action, which the person can actively test and experiment with, which in turn enable the creation of new experiences. Kolb's model therefore works on two levels - a four-stage cycle :
1. Concrete Experience - (CE) 2. Reflective Observation - (RO) 3. Abstract Conceptualization - (AC) 4. Active Experimentation - (AE) and a four-type definition of learning styles , (each representing the combination of two preferred styles, rather like a two-by-two matrix of the fourstage cycle styles, as illustrated below), for which Kolb used the terms: 1. Diverging (CE/RO) 2. Assimilating (AC/RO) 3. Converging (AC/AE) 4. Accommodating (CE/AE) diagrams of kolb's learning styles Here is a new improved (May 2006) free diagram illustrating Kolb's learning cycle and learning types (MSWord). (Also as a pdf.) Kolb diagrams also in colour (like the image below): Kolb learning styles colour diagram MSWord, and Kolb colour diagram PDF. (Kolb diagrams updated May 2006)
See also the personality styles and models section for help with understanding how Kolb's theory correlates with other personality models and psychometrics (personality testing). learning styles (This interpretation was amended and revised March 2006) Kolb explains that different people naturally prefer a certain single different learning style. Various factors influence a person's preferred style: notably in his experiential learning theory model (ELT) Kolb defined three stages of a person's
development, and suggests that our propensity to reconcile and successfully integrate the four different learning styles improves as we mature through our development stages. The development stages that Kolb identified are: 1. Acquisition - birth to adolescence - development of basic abilities and 'cognitive structures' 2. Specialization - schooling, early work and personal experiences of adulthood - the development of a particular 'specialized learning style' shaped by 'social, educational, and organizational socialization' 3. Integration - mid-career through to later life - expression of non-dominant learning style in work and personal life. Whatever influences the choice of style, the learning style preference itself is actually the product of two pairs of variables, or two separate 'choices' that we make, which Kolb presented as lines of axis, each with 'conflicting' modes at either end: Concrete Experience - CE (feeling) -----V-----Abstract Conceptualization - AC (thinking) Active Experimentation - AE (doing)-----V----- Reflective Observation - RO (watching) A typical presentation of Kolb's two continuums is that the east-west axis is called the Processing Continuum (how we approach a task), and the north-south axis is called the Perception Continuum (our emotional response, or how we think or feel about it). These learning styles are the combination of two lines of axis (continuums) each formed between what Kolb calls 'dialectically related modes' of 'grasping experience' (doing or watching), and 'transforming experience' (feeling or thinking):
The word 'dialectically' is not widely understood, and yet carries an essential meaning, namely 'conflicting' (its ancient Greek root means 'debate' - and I thank P Stern for helping clarify this precise meaning). Kolb meant by this that we cannot do both at the same time, and to an extent our urge to want to do both creates conflict, which we resolve through choice when confronted with a new learning situation. We internally decide whether we wish to do or watch, and at the same time we decide whether to think or feel. The result of these two decisions produces (and helps to form throughout our lives) the preferred learning style, hence the two-by-two matrix below. We choose a way of 'grasping the experience', which defines our approach to it, and we choose a way to 'transform the experience' into something meaningful and usable, which defines our emotional response to the experience. Our learning style is a product of these two choice decisions:
1. how to approach a task - ie., 'grasping experience' - preferring to (a) watch or (b) do , and 2. our emotional response to the experience - ie., 'transforming experience' - preferring to (a) think or (b) feel. In other words we choose our approach to the task or experience ('grasping the experience' ) by opting for 1(a) or 1(b): • 1(a) - though watching others involved in the experience and reflecting on what happens ('reflective observation' - 'watching' ) or • 1(b) - through 'jumping straight in' and just doing it ('active experimentation' - 'doing' ) And at the same time we choose how to emotionally transform the experience into something meaningful and useful by opting for 2(a) or 2(b): • 2(a) - through gaining new information by thinking, analyzing, or planning ('abstract conceptualization' - 'thinking' ) or • 2(b) - through experiencing the 'concrete, tangible, felt qualities of the world' ('concrete experience' - 'feeling' ) The combination of these two choices produces a preferred learning style. See the matrix below. kolb's learning styles - matrix view It's often easier to see the construction of Kolb's learning styles in terms of a twoby-two matrix. The diagram also highlights Kolb's terminology for the four learning styles; diverging, assimilating, and converging, accommodating:
doing (Active Experimentation - AE) watching (Reflective Observation - RO) feeling (Concrete Experience - CE) accommodating (CE/AE) diverging (CE/RO) thinking (Abstract Conceptualization AC) converging (AC/AE) assimilating (AC/RO) Thus, for example, a person with a dominant learning style of 'doing' rather than 'watching' the task, and 'feeling' rather than 'thinking' about the experience, will have a learning style which combines and represents those processes, namely an 'Accommodating' learning style, in Kolb's terminology. kolb learning styles definitions and descriptions Knowing a person's (and your own) learning style enables learning to be orientated according to the preferred method. That said, everyone responds to and needs the stimulus of all types of learning styles to one extent or another it's a matter of using emphasis that fits best with the given situation and a person's learning style preferences. Here are brief descriptions of the four Kolb learning styles: • Diverging (feeling and watching - CE/RO) - These people are able to look at things from different perspectives. They are sensitive. They
prefer to watch rather than do, tending to gather information and use imagination to solve problems. They are best at viewing concrete situations several different viewpoints. Kolb called this style 'Diverging' because these people perform better in situations that require ideasgeneration, for example, brainstorming. People with a Diverging learning style have broad cultural interests and like to gather information. They are interested in people, tend to be imaginative and emotional, and tend to be strong in the arts. People with the Diverging style prefer to work in groups, to listen with an open mind and to receive personal feedback. • Assimilating (watching and thinking - AC/RO) - The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. Ideas and concepts are more important than people. These people require good clear explanation rather than practical opportunity. They excel at understanding wide-ranging information and organising it a clear logical format. People with an Assimilating learning style are less focused on people and more interested in ideas and abstract concepts. People with this style are more attracted to logically sound theories than approaches based on practical value. These learning style people is important for effectiveness in information and science careers. In formal learning situations, people with this style prefer readings, lectures, exploring analytical models, and having time to think things through. • Converging (doing and thinking - AC/AE) - People with a Converging learning style can solve problems and will use their learning to find solutions to practical issues. They prefer technical tasks, and are less concerned with people and interpersonal aspects. People with a Converging learning style are best at finding practical uses for ideas and theories. They can solve problems and make decisions by finding solutions to questions and problems. People with a Converging learning style are more attracted to technical tasks and problems than social or interpersonal issues. A Converging learning style enables specialist and
technology abilities. People with a Converging style like to experiment with new ideas, to simulate, and to work with practical applications. • Accommodating (doing and feeling - CE/AE) - The Accommodating learning style is 'hands-on', and relies on intuition rather than logic. These people use other people's analysis, and prefer to take a practical, experiential approach. They are attracted to new challenges and experiences, and to carrying out plans. They commonly act on 'gut' instinct rather than logical analysis. People with an Accommodating learning style will tend to rely on others for information than carry out their own analysis. This learning style is prevalent and useful in roles requiring action and initiative. People with an Accommodating learning style prefer to work in teams to complete tasks. They set targets and actively work in the field trying different ways to achieve an objective. As with any behavioural model, this is a guide not a strict set of rules. Nevertheless most people clearly exhibit clear strong preferences for a given learning style. The ability to use or 'switch between' different styles is not one that we should assume comes easily or naturally to many people. Simply, people who have a clear learning style preference, for whatever reason, will tend to learn more effectively if learning is orientated according to their preference. For instance - people who prefer the 'Assimilating' learning style will not be comfortable being thrown in at the deep end without notes and instructions. People who like prefer to use an 'Accommodating' learning style are likely to become frustrated if they are forced to read lots of instructions and rules, and are unable to get hands on experience as soon as possible.
relationships between kolb and other behavioural/personality theories As with many behavioural and personality models, interesting correlations exist between Kolb's theory and other concepts. For example, Kolb says that his experiential learning theory, and therefore the learning styles model within it, builds on Carl Jung's assertion that learning styles result from people's preferred ways of adapting in the world. Among many other correlations between definitions, Kolb points out that Jung's 'Extraversion/Introversion' dialectical dimension - (which features and is measured in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI]) correlates with the 'Active/Reflective' (doing/watching) dialectic (east-west continuum) of Kolb's model. Also, the MBTI 'Feeling/Thinking' dimension correlates with the Kolb model Concrete Experience/Abstract Conceptualization dimension (north-south continuum). honey and mumford's variation on the kolb system Various resources (including this one in the past) refer to the terms 'activist', 'reflector', 'theorist', and 'pragmatist' (respectively representing the four key stages or learning steps) in seeking to explain Kolb's model. In fact, 'activist', 'reflector', 'theorist', and 'pragmatist' are from a learning styles model developed
by Honey and Mumford, which although based on Kolb's work, is different. Arguably therefore the terms 'activist', 'reflector', 'theorist', and 'pragmatist' effectively 'belong' to the Honey and Mumford theory. Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed their learning styles system as a variation on the Kolb model while working on a project for the Chloride corporation in the 1970's. Honey and Mumford say of their system: "Our description of the stages in the learning cycle originated from the work of David Kolb. Kolb uses different words to describe the stages of the learning cycle and four learning styles..." And, "...The similarities between his model and ours are greater than the differences.." (Honey & Mumford) In summary here are brief descriptions of the four H&M key stages/styles, which incidentally are directly mutually corresponding and overlaid, as distinct from the Kolb model in which the learning styles are a product of combinations of the learning cycle stages. The typical presentation of these H&M styles and stages would be respectively at north, east, south and west on a circle or four-stage cyclical flow diagram. 1. 'Having an Experience' (stage 1), and Activists (style 1): 'here and now', gregarious, seek challenge and immediate experience, openminded, bored with implementation. 2. 'Reviewing the Experience' (stage 2) and Reflectors (style 2): 'stand back', gather data, ponder and analyse, delay reaching conclusions, listen before speaking, thoughtful. 3. 'Concluding from the Experience' (stage 3) and Theorists (style 3): think things through in logical steps, assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories, rationally objective, reject subjectivity and flippancy.
4. 'Planning the next steps' (stage 4) and Pragmatists (style 4): seek and try out new ideas, practical, down-to-earth, enjoy problem solving and decision-making quickly, bored with long discussions. There is arguably a strong similarity between the Honey and Mumford styles/stages and the corresponding Kolb learning styles: • Activist = Accommodating • Reflector = Diverging • Theorist = Assimilating • Pragmatist = Converging JOHARI WINDOW A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise. When performing the exercise, the subject is given a list of 55 adjectives and picks five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid. Charles Handy calls this concept the Johari House with four rooms. Room 1 is the part of ourselves that we see and others see. Room 2 is the aspect that others see but we are not aware of. Room 3 is the most mysterious room in that the unconscious or subconscious bit of us is seen by neither ourselves nor others. Room 4 is our private space, which we know but keep from others. Quadrants Adjectives are selected by both the participant and his or her peers and are placed into the Arena quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the participant of which both they and their peers are aware. Adjectives selected only by the participant, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Façade quadrant, representing information about the participant of which their peers are unaware. It is then up to the participant whether or not to disclose this information.
Adjectives that are not selected by the participant but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information of which the participant is not aware, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these "blind spots". Adjectives which were not selected by either the participant or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant's behaviors or motives which were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply, or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of said trait. Johari adjectives: A Johari Window consists of the following 55 adjectives used as possible descriptions of the participant. In alphabetical order they are: • • • • • • • • • • able accepting adaptable bold brave calm caring cheerful clever complex • • • • • • • • • • dependable dignified energetic extroverted friendly giving happy helpful idealistic independent • • • • • • • • • • intelligent introverted kind knowledgeable logical loving mature modest nervous observant • • • • • • • • • • patient powerful proud quiet reflective relaxed religious responsive searching self-assertive • • • • • • • • • • sensible sentimental shy silly spontaneous sympathetic tense trustworthy warm wise • confident • ingenious • organized • self-conscious • witty Nohari variant A Nohari window is the inversion of the Johari window, and is a collection of negative personality traits instead of positive. • • • • • • • • • Violent insecure hostile needy ignorant blasé embarrassed insensitive dispassionate • inattentive • • • • • • • • • • intolerant aloof irresponsible selfish unimaginative irrational imperceptive loud self-satisfied over dramatic • unreliable • • • • • • • • • inflexible glum vulgar unhappy inane distant chaotic vacuous passive • timid unhelpful brash childish impatient panicky smug predictable • • • • • • • • • cowardly simple withdrawn cynical boastful weak unethical rash callous • • • • • • • • dull • foolish • humorless
Johari Window Known to Self Not Known to Self Known to Others Not Known to Others The Johari Window, named after the first names of its inventors, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is one of the most useful models describing the process of human interaction. A four paned "window," as illustrated above, divides personal awareness into four different types, as represented by its four quadrants: open, hidden, blind, and unknown. The lines dividing the four panes are like window shades, which can move as an interaction progresses. In this model, each person is represented by their own window. Let's describe mine: 1. The "open" quadrant represents things that both I know about myself, and that you know about me. For example, I know my name, and so do you, and if you have explored some of my website, you know some of my interests. The knowledge that the window represents, can include not only factual information, but my feelings, motives, behaviors, wants, needs and desires... indeed, any information describing who I am. When I first meet a new person, the size of the opening of this first quadrant is not very large, since there has been little time to exchange information. As the process of getting to know one another continues, the window shades move down or to the right, placing more information into the open window, as described below. 2. The "blind" quadrant represents things that you know about me, but that I am unaware of. So, for example, we could be eating at a restaurant, and I may have unknowingly gotten some food on my face. This information is in my blind quadrant because you can see it, but I cannot. If you now tell me that I have something on my face, then the window shade moves to the right, enlarging the open quadrant's area. Now, I may also have blindspots with respect to many other much more complex things. For example, perhaps in our ongoing conversation, you may notice that eye contact seems to be lacking. You may not say anything, since you may not want to embarrass me, or you may draw your own inferences that perhaps I am being insincere. Then the problem is, how can I get this information out in the open, since it may be affecting the level of trust that is developing between us? How can I learn more about myself? Unfortunately, there is no readily available answer. I may notice a slight hesitation on your part, and perhaps this may lead to a question. But who knows if I will pick this up, or if your answer will be on the mark.
3. The "hidden" quadrant represents things that I know about myself, that you do not know. So for example, I have not told you, nor mentioned anywhere on my website, what one of my favorite ice cream flavors is. This information is in my "hidden" quadrant. As soon as I tell you that I love "Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia" flavored ice cream, I am effectively pulling the window shade down, moving the information in my hidden quadrant and enlarging the open quadrant's area. Again, there are vast amounts of information, virtually my whole life's story, that has yet to be revealed to you. As we get to know and trust each other, I will then feel more comfortable disclosing more intimate details about myself. This process is called: "Self-disclosure." 4. The "unknown" quadrant represents things that neither I know about myself, nor you know about me. For example, I may disclose a dream that I had, and as we both attempt to understand its significance, a new awareness may emerge, known to neither of us before the conversation took place. Being placed in new situations often reveal new information not previously known to self or others. For example, I learned of the Johari window at a workshop conducted by a Japanese American psychiatrist in the early 1980's. During this workshop, he created a safe atmosphere of care and trust between the various participants. Usually, I am terrified of speaking in public, but I was surprised to learn that in such an atmosphere, the task need not be so daunting. Prior to this event, I had viewed myself and others had also viewed me as being extremely shy. (The above now reminds me of a funny joke, which I cannot refrain from telling you. It is said that the number one fear that people have is speaking in public. Their number two fear is dying. And the number three fear that people have, is dying while speaking in public.) Thus, a novel situation can trigger new awareness and personal growth. The process of moving previously unknown information into the open quadrant, thus enlarging its area, has been likened to Maslow's concept of self-actualization. The process can also be viewed as a game, where the open quadrant is synonymous with the win-win situation. Much, much more has been written on the Johari window model of human interaction. The process of enlarging the open quadrant is called self-disclosure, a give and take process between me and the people I interact with. Typically, as I share something about myself (moving information from my hidden quadrant into the open) and if the other party is interested in getting to know me, they will reciprocate, by similarly disclosing information in their hidden quadrant. Thus, an interaction between two parties can be modeled dynamically as two active Johari windows. For example, you may respond to my disclosure that I like "Cherry Garcia" by letting me know what your favorite ice cream is, or where a new ice cream shop is being built, kinds of information in your hidden quadrant. Incidentally, it is fattening, so be careful on how much you eat! We believe disclosure to be healthy, at least that's the impression one gets after reading Freud. However, Anita Kelly recently wrote that self-disclosure of personal secrets has its dangers. We are often better off not telling secrets regarding our sexual behavior, mental health problems or large-scale failures. "If you give people information about yourself, you give them power over you," she says. Monica Lewinsky's disclosure to Linda Tripp and the ensuing scandal that enveloped President Clinton is a case in point. Be forewarned that most secrets get passed along to at least two more parties. People also
misjudge how others respond to secrets. Sometimes you get negative feedback. For example, a women who reveals that she was raped may be seen in the future as a victim, or by men as damaged goods. Now, if you must tell your secret to someone, chose that person very carefully. Chose someone whose response will give you some insight into your problem. Unfortunately, such a person is often hard to find. So if you cannot find anyone appropriate, consider this: that keeping secrets is healthy and tasteful, because it is a way of managing your identity, and indicates you are secure and have self-control. But it takes energy, because you have to be on constant guard not to accidentally reveal something that is potentially damaging. As ones level of confidence and self esteem develops, one may actively invite others to comment on one's blind spots. A teacher may seek feedback from students on the quality of a particular lecture, with the desire of improving the presentation. Active listening skills are helpful in this endeavor. On the other hand, we all have defenses, protecting the parts of ourselves that we feel vulnerable. Remember, the blind quadrant contains behavior, feelings and motivations not accessible to the person, but which others can see. Feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, impotence, unworthiness, rejection, guilt, dependency, ambivalence for loved ones, needs to control and manipulate, are all difficult to face, and yet can be seen by others. To forcibly reveal what another wishes not to see, is "psychological rape," and can be traumatic. Fortunately, nature has provided us with a variety of defense mechanisms to cope with such events, such as denial, ignoring, rationalizing, etc. The Johari window, essentially being a model for communication, can also reveal difficulties in this area. In Johari terms, two people attempt to communicate via the open quadrants. On the simplest level, difficulties may arise due to a lack of clarity in the interaction, such as poor grammar or choice of words, unorganized thoughts, faulty logic etc. This induces the receiver to criticize you, the sender, by revealing something that was in your blind quadrant. Then, if the feedback works, you correct it immediately, or perhaps on a more long term approach take a course in reading and writing. On a deeper level, you may be in a group meeting, and while you secretly sympathize with the minority viewpoint, you voted with the majority. However, blind to you, you actually may be communicating this information via body language, in conflict with your verbal message. On an even deeper level, you in an interaction with others, may always put on a smiling, happy face, hiding all negative feelings. By withholding negative feelings, you may be signaling to your friends to withhold also, and keep their distance. Thus, your communication style may seem bland or distant. And let's not forget the parable of the blind men and the elephant. Our society is constructed so that many of us get very specialized, knowing only a small academic field very well, while being virtually ignorant of all others. This specialization is blinding many of us to what is happening in the world today. According to R. Buckminister Fuller, this system of education was done on purpose, to channel the most intelligent people into specialties, enabling them to be more easily controlled. Noam Chomsky has made similar comments with regards to the manufacturing enterprise, and how Adam Smith's writings have been purposely misrepresented. See my webpage On Education.
In the construction of this website, I am putting more of my knowledge into the open quadrant. I am consciously using the Johari model to improve my awareness of the world. If you see one of my blind spots, please feel free to contact me, and let me know! FIRO B Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO) is a theory of interpersonal relations, introduced by William Schutz in 1958. Contents [hide] • • • 1 Description 2 Further Development 3 Correlations with MBTI • 4 References Description According to the theory, three dimensions of interpersonal relations are necessary and sufficient to explain most human interaction. The dimensions are called Inclusion, Control and Affection. These categories measure how much interaction a person wants in the areas of socializing, leadership and responsibilities, and more intimate personal relations. FIRO-B was created, based on this theory, a measurement instrument with scales that assess the behavioral aspects of the three dimensions. Scores are graded from 0-9 in scales of expressed and wanted behavior, which define how much a person expresses to others, and how much he wants from others. Schutz believed that FIRO scores in themselves were not terminal, and can and do change, and did not encourage typology; however, the four temperaments were eventually mapped to the FIRO-B scales, which led to the creation of a theory of Five Temperaments. Schutz himself discussed the impact of extreme behavior in the areas of inclusion, control, and affection as indicated by scores on the FIRO-B. For each area of interpersonal need the following three types of behavior would be evident: (1) deficient, (2) excessive, and (3) ideal. Deficient was defined as indicating that an individual was not trying to directly satisfy the need. Excessive was defined as indicating that an individual
was constantly trying to satisfy the need. Ideal referred to satisfaction of the need. From this, he identified the following types: Inclusion types. 1. the undersocial (low EI, low WI) 2. the oversocial (high EI, high WI) 3. the social (moderate EI, moderate WI) Control types 1. the abdicrat (low EC, high WC) 2. the autocrat (high EC, low WC) 3. the democrat (moderate EC, moderate WC) Affection types 1. the underpersonal (low EA, low WA) 2. the overpersonal (high EA, high WA) 3. the personal (moderate EA moderate WA) In 1977, a clinical psychologist who worked with FIRO-B, Dr. Leo Ryan, produced maps of the scores for each area, called "locator charts", and assigned names for all of the score ranges in his Clinical Interpretation of FIRO-B: Score Inclusion Low e and The Loner w Control Affection Temperament by APS (all 3 areas) The Rebel The Pessimist Melancholy "Image Intimacy" Tendency High low w e, Now You See Him, Mission Now You Don't Impossible Image/(Mask) of Choleric Intimacy high e, The Conversationalist "Mission Living Up of Phlegmatic Melancholy Phlegmatic Choleric "Now You See Him, moderate Now You Don't" Self-Confident e, low w Tendencies To Sanguine /
moderate w Impossible" with Narcissistic Expectations Tenden
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