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Custom Neal Miller's Work Essay

Neal. E. Miller was an American Psychologist and was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1909. Miller’s initial work largely focused on the investigation of Freudian theory and clinical phenomenon using experimental analysis of behavior techniques. Through his research, he concluded that fear is a learnable drive and he began to examine other automatic behaviors through instrumental conditioning. In addition, he also used behavioral methodologies, and neurophysiological techniques to investigate hunger and thirst. His ideas laid to the foundation of modern neuroscience.

Miller’s pioneering efforts in the field of psychology and neuroscience is exemplary. Miller was a leading force in the studies of learning, motivation, and reward. His knowledge in the areas of biofeedback and behavioral medicine was equally valuable. He was closely associated with APA (American Psychological Association), the Society for Neuroscience, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine, and the Biofeedback Society of America. In addition, he was a well-known professor of psychology who was honored with various awards and titles, including the National Medal of Science, The Millennial ANDP Award in Neuroscience Education, James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale, Professor Emeritus at Rockefeller.

Learning And Motivation: Miller’s contribution in the area of learning and motivation was both extensive and revolutionary. In collaboration with Dollard (an American Psychologist), Miller identified four fundamental aspects of instrumental learning: drive (or motivation: a person want something), cue (stimulus: a person must notice something), response (a person must do something), and reward (or reinforcement: a person must get something that is wanted). In addition, he showed that fear can be a learned response and work as a reinforcing agent.

From the above study, Miller made the following conclusion: a) Fear As a Learned Drive – he showed that fear during learning process becomes attached to cues and then function to strengthen whatever responses get away or avoid these cues. Later, he also showed that hunger could become a learned drive. b) Approach-Avoidance Conflict – Using a rat as an experimental model, an approach to a goal for food and avoidance of the same goal for fear of shock, he studied the resulting conflict between the approach and the avoidance gradients. c) Displacement – The point in the hovering was then studied as a manifestation of displacement i.e., to what degree of similarity of another object to the desired goal object would the rat approach before the goal objects aversiveness, he also suggested other objects similarity, would balance out the approach. d) Premonitory of the Rescoria-Wagner Model: -- He conducted a study of the informativeness of a reward as it affects its reinforcing value. e) Discoveries emerging from his tests of Clark Hull’s Strong Form of the Drive Reduction Hypothesis of Reward. His involvement in the field of learning and motivation are exemplary – he had published papers on various such topics, including conflict behavior, psychological research on pilot training, theories of learning, and learning resistance to pain and fear among others.

Psychoanalysis And Science: Miller’s contribution in psychoanalysis largely comes from the examination of Feudian concepts from a learning perspective. Miller explained notions such as frustration, aggression, and approach-avoidance conflict behavior via learning technology. Mental in his Ph. D dissertation in 1935 demonstrated that mental acts such as thoughts are themselves responses that function as response-produced cues to which other responses can be associated.

Behavioral Medicine: From the Mid1970s until a few years before his death in 2002, Miller’s work was focused on the role of learning in psychosomatic illness and the uses of biofeedback and learned behavior in maintaining homeostasis and minimizing stress. He investigated about the behavioral conditions and the neural and hormonal mechanisms involved.

Custom Neal Miller's Work Essay

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