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Chapter 6- Learning (Parts 2 and 3)

by: Aya Ibrahim

Chapter 6- Learning (Parts 2 and 3) PSY 201

Marketplace > Creighton University > Psychlogy > PSY 201 > Chapter 6 Learning Parts 2 and 3
Aya Ibrahim
Introductory Psychology
Dustin Stairs

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About this Document

More notes on Chapter 6, covering the entirety of 6.2 in the Gazzaniga textbook. Detailed, concise and great for test revision!
Introductory Psychology
Dustin Stairs
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This 5 page Bundle was uploaded by Aya Ibrahim on Monday October 5, 2015. The Bundle belongs to PSY 201 at Creighton University taught by Dustin Stairs in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see Introductory Psychology in Psychlogy at Creighton University.


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Date Created: 10/05/15
Operant Conditioning Learning based on the consequences of responding Law of effect Thorndike The probability of a response is altered by the effect it has Behavior that leads to a satisfying state of affairs is more likely to occur again Behavior that leads to a negative state of affairs is less likely to occur again Other important terms Reinforcer a stimulus that occurs after a response and increases the chances that a response will be repeated The Skinner Box Small chamber or cage invented by B F Skinner to hold an animal to assess operant conditioning Beinforcers can be conditioned Most obvious primary reinforcers are vital for survival such as food and water From an evolutionary standpoint animals that repeatedly perform behaviors reinforced by food or water are more likely to survive and therefore pass on their genes Eventsobjects serve as secondary reinforcers established through classical conditioning Reinforcer Potency Some reinforcers are more powerful than others David Premack Determined the key is the amount of time an organism when free to do anything engages in a specific behavior associated with the reinforcer Eg children are more likely to spend more time eating icecream than spinach Premack s theory acknowledges the differences in individuals values the example above can be reversed for people who prefer to eat spinach ResponseContingent Reinforcement comes in two main sections Positive Positive reinforcement is commonly called a reward Positive reinforcement increases the probability that a behavior will be repeated Negative Increases behavior through removal of an unpleasant stimulus Negative reinforcement is different from punishment when a rat is required to press a lever to turn off an electric shock the pressing of the level has been negatively reinforced Regardless of whether it is positive or negative reinforcement increases the likelihood of a behavior while punishment decreases the likelihood of a behavior Punishment Positive Punishment Decreases the behavior s probability through administration of a usually unpleasant stimulus Negative Punishment Decreases the behavior s probability through removal of a usually pleasant stimulus A reinforcement or punishment is positive if something is applied or given and negative if something is removed or terminated Operant Conditioning is Influenced by Schedules of Reinforcement Continuous Reinforcement Used for fast learning behavior might be reinforced each time it occurs Not very applicable in real life situations Animals do not always find food when looking Humans don t always get praised for behaving appropriately Partial Reinforcement The intermittent reinforcement of behavior The effect of partial reinforcement on conditioning is dependent on the reinforcement schedule Ratio amp Interval Schedules Ratio schedule based on the number of times the behavior occurs eg when a behavior is reinforced on every fourth or tenth occurrence Interval schedule based on a specific unit of time eg when a behavior is reinforced when it performed every minute or hour Fixed amp Variable Schedules Fixed schedule the reinforcer is given consistently after a specify number of occurrences or amount of time hence the rate of reinforcement is completely predictable Variable schedule the reinforcer is given at different rate or different times the responser is unaware of how many behaviors need to be performed or the time distance before reinforcement will occur Behavioral Persistence The schedule of reinforcement also affects the persistence of behavior Continuous reinforcement is effective for teaching a behavior If the reinforcement is stopped however the behavior extinguishes quickly Partialreinforcement extinction effect refers to the greater persistence of behavior under partial reinforcement than under continuous reinforcement During continuous reinforcement the learner can easily detect when the reinforcement has stopped During partial reinforcement the learner needs to repeat the behavior many more times in order to detect the absence of reinforcement This means that the less frequent the reinforcement the greater the resistance to extinction Behavior Modification The use of Operantconditioning techniques to eliminate unwanted behaviors and replace them with desirable ones General rationale most unwanted behaviors are learned and therefore can be unlearned Conditioning strategies are commonly used amongst parents teachers and animal trainers Eg people can be taught how to conserve energy and drive safely Operant techniques can also be used to treat depression and anxiety disorders Chimpanzee scenario Chimpanzees can be trained to perform tasks in exchange for tokens which they can later trade for food Thus the tokens reinforce behavior and the chimps work as hard to obtain the tokens as they work to obtain food Prisons mental hospitals schools and classrooms often use token economies in which people earn tokens for completing tasks and lose tokens for behaving in an unacceptableundesirable manner These tokens can later be traded for objects or rewards Token economies reinforce good behavior and give participants a sense of control over their environment In mental hospitals token economies can encourage good social behavior and discourage bizarre behavior Biology amp Cognition Influence Operant Conditioning Reinforcement schedules explain only a certain amount of human behavior Biology constrains learning and reinforcement does not always have to be present for learning to take place Biological Constraints Behaviorists believed that any behavior could be shaped through reinforcement We now know animals have a hard time countering evolutionary behaviors Psychologist Robert Bolles argued that animals have builtin defense reactions to threatening stimuli Conditioning is most effective when the association between the response and the reinforcement is similar to the animal s build in predispositions AcquisitionPerformance Distinction Edward Tolman an early cognitive theorist argued that reinforcement has more impact on performance than learning This is seen as another challenge to the belief that that reinforcement is responsible for all behavior Tolman conducted an experiment with rats the rats had to learn to run through complex mazes to obtain food Tolman believed that each rat developed a cognitive map meaning that throughout the experiment the rat held a visualspacial representation of the particular maze in their brain This knowledge would help the rat find the food quickly Latent learning refers to learning that takes place without reinforcement Eg latent learning occurs when a person learns something simply by observing it An example of this is someone learning to drive for the first time even though it has never been reinforced they know that in order to turn the car the steering wheel must turn


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