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UA / MUTH / MUTH 361 / What is the difference between operant and respondent behavior?

What is the difference between operant and respondent behavior?

What is the difference between operant and respondent behavior?


School: University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa
Department: MUTH
Course: Psychology of Learning
Professor: Craig cummings
Term: Spring 2017
Cost: 50
Name: PY 361 Exam 1 Study Guide
Description: Chapters 1-3
Uploaded: 02/01/2017
8 Pages 3 Views 6 Unlocks

PY 361 1.1.2017 Exam 1 Study Guide: Chapters 1-3

What is the difference between operant and respondent behavior?

∙ 1.1 Distinction between operant and respondent behavior

o Respondent: occurs when a neutral or meaningless stimulus is paired with an unconditioned  stimulus (a respondent is a behavior that is elicited by a conditioned stimulus)

 Example: dogs hear sound of doorbell  go to door

∙ Conditioned stimulus elicits a respondent behavior

∙ The environment is acting on the organism

∙ The result is the behavior of going to the door

o Operant: involves a change in operant response as a function of consequences (any behavior  that operates on the environment to produce an effect is called an operant)

 Coined by B.F. Skinner  Type S Reflex = respondent reflexes elicited by a stimulus; Type  R Reflex = operant reflex emitted by an organism (the organism’s behavior (operate) on  the environment to produce an effect, or consequence)

How elements involved in learning are labelled/classified when studying each form of behavior?

Don't forget about the age old question of An hypothetical island lies from other what?

 Example: dog go to the door  get to drink from the water bowl outside

∙ The behavior precedes the environment stimulus

∙ Organism emits the behavior

∙ Organism’s behavior is operating on the environment to produce an effect

∙ 1.1 How elements (stimuli and/or behavior) involved in learning are labelled/classified when studying  each form of behavior (e.g., response, consequence, CS, NS, US, etc.)

o Learning through association – classical conditioning

o Learning through consequences – operant conditioning

o Learning through observation – modeling/observational learning

∙ 1.2 The reason Watson and Skinner wanted to rely on observable, rather than unobservable, behavior;  1.3 Watson and Skinner pioneered the school of psychology and upon which the field of behavior  analysis was developed

What is The reason Watson and Skinner wanted to rely on observable?

o Watson relied on Stimulus-Response (S-R) psychology; S-R theories are mechanistic in the sense that an organism is compelled to respond when a stimulus is presented

o Skinner rejected the purely mechanistic S-R psychology for a Darwinian selection model  Operants are selected by their consequences If you want to learn more check out What, in essence, does a judicial branch of government do?

 The principle of selection states that an individual emits behavior that produces  consequences

 Those operants that produce appropriate consequences increase while inappropriate  forms decline

o Watson: strongly influenced by Pavlov and his idea of Habit and proposed that psychology  should be science based on observable behavior; thoughts, feelings, and intentions had no  place in a science of behavior

o Skinner: largely responsible for modern behavior analysis; The Behavior of Organisms (1938)  distinguishes between Pavlov’s conditioning (respondent) learning and Thorndike’s trial-and error (operant) learning; proposed a science of behavior; suggested that thinking, feeling, and  remembering are all classes of behavior, not causes

∙ 2.1 The appropriate meaning of positive, negative, aversive, and appetitive, as they relate to operant  behavior

o Positive Reinforcers – stimuli that increase the rate/frequency of a response when presented  following the response

 Example: getting paid

o Negative Reinforcers – stimuli that increase the rate/frequency of a response when removed  following the response

 Example: taking headache medicine when you have a headache; taking it removes the  stimuli Don't forget about the age old question of  Why do infants fear strangers and separation from caregivers?

o Positive Punishers – stimuli that decrease the rate/frequency of a response when presented  following the response

 Example: when you act up (stimuli) and your parents yell at you (adding to the situation)

PY 361 1.1.2017  Example: speeding and getting a ticket

(adding to the situation resulting in a lower likelihood that you’ll speed in the future) o Negative Punishers – stimuli that decrease the

Behavior (R)

Context (SD) 

rate/frequency of a response when removed following the response

 Example: when you don’t do your chores and your parents change the wifi password (removing from the situation)

Consequence (Sr)

o Appetitive Stimulus – an event that an organism will seek out; a pleasant or wanted event or  stimulus, one that a person will naturally try to approach

o Aversive Stimulus – an event that an organism will avoid

 Example: loss of money; getting a penalty/fine

∙ 2.2 The distinction between response topography and response class

o Topography: the form of the behavior; determined by the function of the behavior  Structural Approach – the form of the behavior is analyzed to reveal the underlying  “stage” of development/growth We also discuss several other topics like What is Phatos?

 Functional Approach – behavior is analyzed based on how it interacts with the  environment, including both topography and consequence

o Response Class – all the forms of the performance that have a similar function  Turning on a light is a response class that includes: flipping a switch, lighting a candle,  pushing a button

 Responses in a class may have close physical resemblance (topography), but not always  (flipping a switch, lighting a candle)

∙ 2.2 Definition of a stimulus class Don't forget about the age old question of What is the purpose of conducting an experiment?

o The stimuli that influence behavior are not exactly the same every time they occur (traffic lights show slight variations in size, color, and shape)

o All the dimensions of a stimulus (size, shape, loudness, brightness) that have a common effect  on behavior

Type of Conditioning Stimulus Function Temporal Location Effect on Behavior Respondent Unconditioned Before Elicits  Response

Conditioned Before Elicits Response We also discuss several other topics like - What are the three parts of the marketing concept?

Operant Discriminative Before Occasions Response Reinforcement After Increases  


∙ 2.3 The research questions that are appropriately suited to reversal designs and what is not o Appropriate: “will treatment help a child with self-injurious behavior?” – able to use A-B-A-B  design

o Inappropriate: “what sort of advertising campaign is most effective for getting people in LA to  recycle garbage?” – the IV might be type of advertising and the DV the number of citizens in AL  who recycle their waste but the central question is concerned with how many people recycle  and a group experiment is the appropriate way to approach the problem

∙ 2.4 Two-Term vs. Three-Term Contingency

o Two-Term Contingency – relationship with behavior (1st term) and consequence (2nd term); the 3rd term in the three-term contingency accounts for changes in the two-term contingency when the  environment is different. Like having a question to ask which leads to raising your hand (1st  term) and receiving an answer (2nd term) in class (3rd term) vs. raising your hand (1st term)  and receiving confused looks from your friends (2nd term) when you are out to dinner with

PY 361 1.1.2017

friends (3rd term). The same behavior is associated with different consequences which depend  on the context

o Three-term contingency: in order to experimentally analyze human and animal behavior, each  behavioral act can be broken down into 3 key parts; these 3 parts constitute Skinner’s 3-term  contingency (discriminative stimulus, operant response, reinforcer/punisher)

 Example: The bell, which serves as the discriminative stimulus, is sounded at the end of  the school day. When the bell rings, students exit the classroom. Exiting the classroom is  the operant response. Reinforcement of leaving the classroom at the proper time results  from the other behaviors in which students can engage now that the school day is over  SD = Context; R = Behavior; Sr = Consequence

∙ 2.5 Real-world examples of operant contingency (i.e., positive or negative reinforcement or  punishment)

o Positive Reinforcers – getting paid after work

o Negative Reinforcers – taking headache medicine when you have a headache; taking it removes the stimuli

o Positive Punishers – when you act up (stimuli) and your parents yell at you (adding to the  situation); speeding and getting a ticket (adding to the situation resulting in a lower likelihood  that you’ll speed in the future)

o Negative Punishers – when you don’t do your chores and your parents change the wifi password  (removing from the situation)

∙ 3.1 The appropriate meaning of phylogenetic and ontogenetic behavior

o Phylogenetic Behavior – behavioral relations based on genetic endowment; acquired on the  basis of species history; includes the repertoire of responses evoked by environmental  conditions

o Ontogenetic Behavior – behavior relations based on environmental experience; acquired on the  basis of individual history; the experience of the individual alters the behavior an organism is  born with

∙ 3.2 The distinction between fixed action patterns, response chains, and modal action patterns o Fixed/Modal Action Patterns – sequences of

behavior phylogenetic in origin; all members of

species engage in the behavior; behavior

evoked by releasing or “sign” stimuli; initiated

sequence is completed even if evoking stimulus

is removed

o Fixed Action Patterns (FAPs) are not flexible

whereas, Modal Action Patterns (MAPs) are

flexible behavior patterns

o Reaction Chains – a series of species typical

behaviors that requires a unique stimulus to

trigger each response in the sequence

∙ 3.3 The following terms as they relate to respondent


o Habituation – repeated presentation of the US results in a gradual decline in the magnitude of  the UR

 The initial decrease in the habituated response is large but gets smaller as it continues  If the US is withheld for some time, the habituated response recovers

 When habituation is repeatedly produced, each series of stimulus presentations  generated progressively faster habituation

 Example: the boy who cried wolf; the boy cried wolf so many times that he conditioned  the town to habituate

o Sensitization – non-associative learning process in which repeated administration of a stimulus  results in the progressive amplification of a response; often is characterized by an enhancement of response to a whole class of stimuli in addition to the one that is repeated

o Extinction – the original CS becomes associated with a new US

PY 361 1.1.2017

 The important consequence is that the previous CR no longer occurs (aka., it is  extinguished)

 Example: the tone (CS) is repeatedly presented without the food (US) therefore  eliminating the salivation response (CR) when just the tone is played

o Spontaneous recovery – temporary recovery of previous CR to CS following extinction of the CR  Example: the next day after a rest period, the tone (NS) is played and it elicits salivation o Acquisition – gradual formation of the US – CS association

 Example: pairing the tone (NS) with the food (US) so that in the end the NS become a CS  which elicit the CR (food)

o Asymptote – the maximum amount of conditioning that can take place in a particular situation o Second-order conditioning – involves pairing a neutral stimulus with a CS, rather than pairing a  neutral stimulus and US

 CS1 paired with US

 CS2 paired with CS1, CS2 never paired with US

∙ Occurrence in natural environments with phobia-producing events

∙ Evaluative conditioning

o Discrimination – occurs when an organism shows a CR to one stimulus but not similar events  A discrimination-training procedure involves positive and negative conditioning trails  Example: a positive trial occurs when a CS+ such as a 60-dB tone is associated with an  unconditioned stimulus like food

o Generalization – occurs when an organism shows a CR to values of the CS that were not trained  during acquisition

 Researchers test for generalization by varying some dimension of the CS and measuring  the produced response

∙ 3.4 The appropriate terminology for the stimuli and behaviors involved in respondent conditioning o Magnitude – the strength/intensity of the CR elicited by the presentation of the CS o Latency – the time that elapses between the presentation of the CS and the onset of the CR o Conditioned Place Preference – an acquired preference for a geographical location where a  pleasant stimulus (e.g., reinforcement) has been presented in the past

 Inverse of CPP – tend to avoid places after you end a relationship  you associate some  places with your EX

o Contiguity of Stimuli

 Stimuli are said to be “contiguous” when they occur close together in time and location  Contiguous often become associated due to their close occurrence

 Much of human behavior is due to the contiguity of events

 Without contiguity, conditioning is very hard to make happen

o Respondent Acquisition

 Acquisition of the CS  CR relation occurs as the NS (CS) is paired with the US ∙ The magnitude of the CR increases over repeated pairings

∙ The amount the magnitude of the CR changes on each trial decreases with each  pairing

 The maximum magnitude of the CR (asymptote) is the magnitude of the UR

 The strength of the UR and the asymptote for the CR are both a function of intensity of  the US

o Conditioned and Unconditioned Responses

 Stimulus Substitution Theory

∙ CS becomes a substitute for US

Sign-tracking theory

 Is the CR the same as UR? NO 

∙ Size and temporal patterns differ

∙ Not all components are present

∙ CR can be opposite in direction

o Temporal Relations and Conditioning

 Delayed Conditioning

∙ Involves the presentation of a CS a few seconds before the US

PY 361 1.1.2017

∙ The most effective way to condition simple autonomic reflexes like salivation

∙ The interval between the onset of the CS and the presentation of the US  

determines the effectiveness of conditioning

∙ Most effective

 Simultaneous Conditioning

∙ The CS and the US are presented at the same time

∙ Produces a weaker conditioned response

∙ Unlikely to occur

 Trace C

∙ Trace conditioning the CS is presented for a brief period, and after some time the  US occurs

∙ The term comes from a so-called “memory trace” and refers to the fact that the  organism must remember the presentation of the CS

∙ Generally, as the time between the CS and US increases, the conditioned  

response becomes weaker

∙ Easy to condition for important consequences

 Backward Conditioning

∙ Occurs when the US comes before the CS

∙ Appears to be effective only with a biological relevant CS

∙ Most researchers suggest that backward conditioning does not produce reliable  conditioning

Chapter 1 Sample Questions (answers on last page):

1. _______ is the alteration (or maintenance) of an organism’s behavior due to _______ a. Behavior; causes

b. Learning; lifetime events

c. Culture; social norms

d. Evolution; genes

2. The experimental analysis of behavior is:

a. A natural-science approach to understanding behavior regulation

b. Concerned with controlling and changing factors that affect behavior

c. Concerned with the principle of reinforcement

d. All the above

3. A _______ is behavior that is elicited by a biologically relevant stimulus, while a _______is behavior  that is controlled by its consequences

a. Reflex; respondent

b. Respondent; voluntary

c. Reflex; operant

d. Operant; respondent

4. Selection by consequences occurs at three levels. What are these?

a. Natural selection, behavior selection, cultural selection

b. Artificial selection, culture, linguistic selection

c. Natural selection, artificial selection, cultural selection

d. Artificial selection, natural selection, linguistic selection

5. What does a duckling inherit in terms of imprinting?

a. The behavior of following its mother

b. The behavior of following a “duck-sized object”

c. The capacity to be reinforced by reducing the distance between itself and a moving object d. The capacity to follow its mother as she obtains food in an ecological area

PY 361 1.1.2017

6. Skinner stated that behavior (including human behavior) resulted from _______ a. Genes

b. Environment

c. Self-determination

d. Both A and B

7. According to Baer, Wolf and Risley (1968), what is the difference between basic and applied  behavior analysis?

a. Basic research is likely to look at any behavior and any variable

b. Applied research looks at variables that could improve behavior

c. Both A and B

d. None of the above

8. Which of the following statements is true of Pavlov and his contributions?

a. He won the Nobel Prize

b. He investigated the salivary reflect

c. He discovered the conditioned (or conditional) reflex

d. All the above

9. Which of the following statements are true of the new-style behaviorists (behavior analysts) and  their views?

a. They adopted the behaviorism of John B. Watson

b. They studied behavior for its own sake

c. They rejected genetic influences

d. All the above

10. How are thinking and feeling treated from a behavioral perspective?

a. More behavior to be explained

b. The causes of overt behavior

c. The relationship between the mental and the physical

d. The mind and its regulation of behavior

Chapter 2 Sample Questions (answers on last page):

1. In terms of finding an object that is missing or hidden:

a. A structural account points to stages of development and object permanence b. A behavioral account points to a particular history of reinforcement

c. The form or structure of behavior is used by behavior analysts to infer mental stages d. Both A and B are true

2. The term _______ refers to behavior that is elicited, and the term _______ refers to behavior that is  emitted

a. Operant; respondent

b. Respondent; operant

c. Reflexive; flexible

d. Flexible; reflexive

3. Any stimulus (or event) that follows a response and increases its frequency is said to have: a. A reinforcement function

b. A discriminative function

c. A conditioned-stimulus function

d. A consequence function

4. In functional analysis, positive and negative reinforcers are examples of:

a. Response classes

b. Stimulus classes

c. Conditioned stimuli

d. Conditioned stimuli

5. In terms of behavior-environment relations, establishing operations:

a. Are used to construct the foundations of behavior

b. Increase the momentary effectiveness of reinforcement

c. Increase momentarily responses that produce reinforcement

d. Both B and C

6. The variable manipulated by the experimenter is the _______, and the measured effect is the  _______.

a. Dependent; independent

PY 361 1.1.2017

b. Extraneous; dependent

c. Independent; dependent

d. Independent; extraneous

7. In terms of the reversal design and behavioral experiments:

a. The A-phase is called the baseline

b. The B-phase is the experimental manipulation

c. The design is used in single-subject experiments

d. All the above are true

8. Baseline sensitivity means that:

a. Behavior is sensitive to a low dose of drug

b. Behavior is sensitive to a high dose of drug

c. Behavior is sensitive to both high and low doses of drug

d. Behavior is sensitive to stimuli that accompany the drug dose

9. The presence of trend in baseline measures:

a. Refers to a systematic rise or decline in the baseline values

b. Is problematic when the treatment is expected to produce a change in the direction of the  trend

c. Can be helpful when inferring that an independent variable has produce and effect d. Is characterized by both answers A and B

10. In terms of the Stroop Effect, behavior analysts point to _______ and _______ as reasons for hesitation a. Response competition; learning

b. Learning; reinforcement

c. Response competition; history of reinforcement

d. History of reinforcement; memory

Chapter 3 Sample Questions (answers on last page):

1. Behavior relations based on the genetic endowment of the organism are described as: a. Operants

b. Reflexes

c. Ontogenetic

d. Phylogenetic

2. Complex sequences of released behaviors are called:

a. Traits

b. Reaction chains

c. Fixed action patterns

d. Second-order conditioned reflexes

3. Reflexive behavior is said to be _______ and _______.

a. Built in; flexible

b. Involuntary; elicited

c. Respondent; emitted

d. Voluntary; inflexible

4. Primary laws of the reflex do not include:

a. The law of latency

b. The law of threshold

c. The law of habituation

d. The law of magnitude

5. A diminution of the UR due to repeated presentation of the US is called:

a. Habituation

b. Extinction

c. Forgetting

d. Sensitization

6. Respondent conditioning might also be called:

a. S-R conditioning

b. S-S pairing

c. CS-CR association

d. R-S learning

7. To do away with unwanted CR, one should:

a. Present the CS without the CR

PY 361 1.1.2017

b. Present the CR without the US

c. Present the US without the CS

d. Present the CS without the US

8. Drug tolerance has been shown to be a result of:

a. Generalization

b. Metabolization

c. Elicited CRs

d. US habituation

9. Which of the following is not a traditional way of relating the CS and a US?

a. Trace

b. Simultaneous

c. Delayed

d. Overshadowing

10. The Rescrola-Wagner theory suggests that a CS becomes effective:

a. Gradually

b. Through backward conditioning

c. By conditioned inhibition

d. Following tolerance

Chapter 1 Answers: 1-b; 2-d, 3-c; 4-a; 5-c; 6-d; 7-c; 8-d; 9-b; 10-a

Chapter 2 Answers: 1-d; 2-b; 3-a; 4-b; 5-d; 6-c; 7-d; 8-a; 9-d; 10-c

Chapter 3 Answers: 1-d; 2-c; 3-b; 4-c; 5-a; 6-b; 7-d; 8-c; 9-d; 10-a

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