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FIU / English / ENG 3002 / What is the meaning of nominal fallacy?

What is the meaning of nominal fallacy?

What is the meaning of nominal fallacy?


School: Florida International University
Department: English
Course: Introduction to the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Professor: Adam ventura
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: Psychology
Cost: 50
Name: Unofficial Behavior Analysis Midterm Study Guide
Description: This study guide covers what Prof. Ventura said in class would be on the midterm.
Uploaded: 02/23/2017
7 Pages 42 Views 2 Unlocks

Behavior Analysis  

What is the meaning of nominal fallacy?

Unofficial Midterm Study Guide


∙ Behavior: Everything a subject does

∙ Response: One instance of a behavior

∙ Fallacies:  

o Nominal Fallacy: Explaining a behavior by naming it

o Teleology: Explaining behavior by appealing to future, un-experienced events

o Reification: Explaining behavior by appealing to a non-existent entity o Circular Reasoning: Explaining a behavior by appealing to some  entity, the evidence for which lies in the behavior

 Why is Jimmy aggressive? He has anger management issues.  Why does Jimmy have anger management issues? He is  

What is the meaning of teleology?


∙ Stimulus: Any event or energy change

∙ Environment: All the stimuli that can affect a subject and change behavior ∙ Assumptions of Science:  

o Determinism: Behavior is caused by some event(s)

o Empiricism: Behavior can be measured, observed

o Philosophic Doubt: Question what is considered scientific fact o Law of Parsimony: Simplest solution is used first

o Scientific Manipulation: Test behavior with experiments

∙ Functional Analysis: Focuses on behavior-environment relations o Behavior is defined in terms of its purpose or desired effect

What is the meaning of reification?

Don't forget about the age old question of What is the meaning of the enlightenment in sociology?

∙ Structural Analysis: Focuses on what behavior looks like, form or shape ∙ Topography: Characteristics of a behavior

∙ Response Class: All forms of behavior that have similar function ∙ Topographical Response Class: A group of two or more responses which  share a common form

∙ Shaping (through successive approximation): Rewarding successive  occasions of behavior that is close to the desired behavior

o If you want your dog to stop peeing on the rug, reward them for peeing on or around the newspaper

∙ Premack Principle: Higher-frequency behavior will function as  reinforcement for a lower frequency behavior

o Being able to eat ice cream after dinner reinforces you eating your  vegetables

Contingencies of Operant Behavior 

Punishment/Reinforce ment


Add stimulus


Remove stimulus


Increase Behavior

Add desirable stimulus to  increase instance of  


Remove unpleasant  

stimulus to increase  

instance of behavior


Decrease Behavior

Add unpleasant stimulus  to decrease instance of  behavior

Remove desirable  

stimulus to decrease  instance of behavior

Don't forget about the age old question of Why does eeg have poor spatial resolution?

∙ Reinforcement is always preferable to punishment

∙ Punishment should always be used with reinforcement

∙ Punishment is only effective by itself if it is very extreme

∙ Reinforcement/Punishment should always be immediately after behavior ∙ Positive reinforcement: Add desirable stimulus to increase behavior o Going to Disney for getting good grades

∙ Negative reinforcement: Remove undesirable stimulus to increase  behavior

o No chores this week because you tutored your sister

∙ Positive punishment: Add undesirable stimulus to decrease behavior o You get a spanking because you got bad grades

∙ Negative punishment: Remove desirable stimulus to decrease behavior o No TV because you didn’t do your chores

∙ Extinction: Desirable stimulus is not delivered, leads to decrease in behavior o Withhold reinforcement for behavior

o Not to be confused with negative punishment

∙ Effects of Extinction:  We also discuss several other topics like What is the process of reproducing new dna and dna molecules?

o Extinction Burst: When extinction begins, subject increases  frequency of behavior

 Angelito called and texted a lot more

o Operant Variability: Subject changes responses in attempt to receive reinforcement

 Angelito starts messaging on Facebook, liking Instagram photos,  showing up to her job or home

o Force of Response: Subject changes the force with which it responds  Results in response differentiation We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of hemoglobinometer and hematocrit?

 Angelito gets mad, starts being aggressive to her friends,  

banging on her door

o Emotional Response: Subject behaves in desperate, emotional ways  in attempt to get reinforcement

 Angelito starts calling her names, says she used him

o Spontaneous Recovery: Increase in behavior after extinction period  has completely occurred

 Few months later, she texts him for a booty call, then Angelito  starts up again and behavior returns to baseline levels

∙ Methods of Making Punishment More Effective:  

o Abrupt Introduction of Punishment: Punishment must be delivered immediately, cannot be threatened or delivered at low levels and  brought up to higher level.\

o Intensity of Punishment: Punishment must be used at moderate  intensity on first occasion

 Too low and it will not be effective, too high and it will  

permanently change behavior

o Immediacy of Punishment: Punishment must be delivered directly  after behavior

 Behavior reduced by punishment after a delay recovers much  quicker than immediate punishment We also discuss several other topics like What are polette main points?

o Skinner found that punishment only temporarily suppresses behavior,  but it usually returns to pre-punishment levels over time

o Most punishments are immediately reinforcing (drugs), but punishment is delayed or uncertain

o Only very severe punishment can produce long-term suppression of  behavior Don't forget about the age old question of What are ksatriyas?

o Response Alternatives: If behavior continues responding regardless  of punishment, providing them with an alternative, non-punished route  to reinforcer can reduce behavior

Schedule of  


Stimulus that precedes  operant and consequence that follows


After a set number or  period


Varying numbers or  



Based on a period of time

After a fixed amount of  time, subject is given  reinforcement

After a varying amount of time, subject is given  reinforcement


Based on number of  


After a fixed number of  responses, given  


After a varying number of responses, given  


Effects of Schedules of Reinforcement 

∙ Assumption of Generality: Assume that all animal subjects behave in same way humans do

∙ Fixed Ratio: After reinforcement is given, small decline or pause in  responses is observed, this is called a Post-Reinforcement Pause ∙ Variable Ratio: Varying interval between responses produces highest rate of responses

o Pausing is reduced or eliminated on VR schedules, but can still occur

o VR schedules are numbered based on their AVERAGE number of  responses

 VR 5 schedule can have responses of 1- 10, but an average of 5 ∙ Fixed Interval: Reinforcement is given a period of time after response is  made

o Causes scalloping: After reinforcement is delivered, subject makes a  few probe responses, then rate of response increases until next  reinforcement is given

∙ Variable Interval: Produces consistent rate of response without scallop, but  not as much as VR

o VR schedules are numbered based on their AVERAGE number of  responses

 VR 10 second schedule can have responses of 1-20 seconds, but average of 10 seconds

∙ Continuous Schedule of Reinforcement (CRF, or FR1): Behavior is  reinforced after every correct response

o Used to increase occurrence of behavior, way of training

∙ Intermittent Schedule of Reinforcement: Behavior is reinforced after  certain number of responses  

o Used to strengthen and maintain behaviors

∙ Progressive Ratio Schedule (PR): The number of responses required to  achieve a reinforcer are systematically increased with each successful  response

o Reinforcer is given after 5 successful responses, then after 15, then  after 25, etc.

Mechanisms of Avoiding Punishment 

∙ Aversive Stimulus: Event that a subject will try to escape from o Primary Aversive Stimulus: Aversive stimulus that has acquired  aversive properties based on species history (phylogenetic,  


 Loud noises, pain, extreme hot or cold

o Conditional Aversive Stimulus: Became aversive based on subject’s history of conditioning (ontogenetic, conditioned)

 Traffic, social anxiety, social pressure, criticism

∙ Escape: Response is made  

∙ Avoidance: Operant prevents aversive stimulus

o Discriminated Avoidance: Subject responds to warning signals  before aversive stimulus is presented

 If you know that when your significant other starts talking about  his/her parents he/she gets angry, when they start talking about  their parents you change the subject or leave the situation

o Nondiscriminated Avoidance: Subject is given no warning signals,  but prevents occurrence of aversive behavior anyway

 Rats that are given an electric shock a period of time after they  press a lever continuously press the lever to refresh the timer to  avoid the shock

o Timeout from Avoidance: Taking a “timeout” from having to keep up the avoidance contingencies

 Taking a vacation from work serves as a negative reinforcer

∙ Effects of Avoidance

o Behavioral Persistence: Continued punishment alters behavior  You get stung by a bee several times so you associate buzzing  noises with getting stung by bees and it gives you anxiety. You  will not only avoid places where bees gather, but also buzzing  

noises, things that look like bees, etc.

o Learned Helplessness: After subject is given an unavoidable and  severe aversive stimulus, subject will cease to engage in escape  procedures, even after an escape response can be made easily

 Baby elephant grows up with chain tied around its leg, so it can’t escape. As it grows older, the chain is replaced with a string,  

but the elephant still doesn’t escape

∙ Aggression

o Reflexive Aggression: When two subjects are placed in the same  location and are delivered aversive stimuli, they may begin to attack  each other

 A couple in financial hardship, over time, may begin to fight a lot o Operant Aggression: When a subject’s behavior is punished, the  subject may fight back against the punishment  

 A couple is arguing. The woman gets frustrated and takes a  frying pan and hits the man over the head with it, stopping him  from arguing. The woman sees this as negative reinforcement,  the man stops arguing with her, and she is more likely to repeat  this behavior in the future.

Respondent Conditioning 

∙ Elicited: Response is unconditioned, when presented with food, you salivate ∙ Emitted: Response occurs without an observable stimulus

∙ Evoked:  

∙ Phylogenetic: Acquired by species based on history

∙ Fixed-Action Patterns (FAP): Behavior that is phylogenetic in origin o Squirrels bury nuts, some male animals become aggressive about  territory or mates

o Even if a step in the pattern is removed, the animal will still continue  and finish the pattern

 If nut is taken from squirrel, it will still dig a hole and bury  


∙ Reaction Chain: Like FAP, but requires stimulus to activate

o Process of courtship of some animals, mating dances or rituals

o You go to a bar, find an attractive person, flirt, go home, have sex,  wake up in the morning and the process is terminated

∙ Unconditioned Stimulus (US): Stimulus does not depend on subject’s  experience or learning

∙ Unconditioned Response (UR): Response does not depend on subject’s  experience or learning

∙ Reflexive Behavior: US causes UR

Meat Powder elicits salivation •

1 US elicits UR • 

the CS

Tone with meat powder makes tone •


2Neutral Stimulus paired with • 

Tone elicits salivation •

3 CS elicits UR (now CR) • 

∙ Laws of the Reflex:  

o Law of Threshold: If stimulus is too weak, it will not produce a  response, but once it reaches significant levels, it will elicit a response  Your mom will yell at increasing levels of loudness until you hear  her

o Law of Intensity-Magnitude: As the intensity of the US increases, so does the UR

 If your mom yells REALLY loudly for you, you yell REALLY loudly  back at her

o Law of Latency: As the intensity of the US increases, the time before  the UR appears (latency) decreases

 If your mom yells REALLY loudly for you to do something, you do  it immediately

∙ Habituation: When US is repeatedly presented, UR may decline or even  cease

Operant Conditioning 

∙ Ontogenetic: Behavior learned based on a subject’s experiences ∙ Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Arbitrary stimulus is paired with US, causes  arbitrary stimulus to become CS, CS serves same purpose as US ∙ Conditioned Response (CR): CS produces the same response that an US  would

∙ Respondent Conditioning: Presenting an US with a CS to produce a CR ∙ Operant Conditioning: Increase or decrease in behavior based on  reinforcement or punishment

∙ Three-Term Contingency: Schedule that defines how events set occasion  for behavior, operant class, and consequence of behavior

o Discriminative Stimulus (SD): Stimulus that precedes an operant  and sets occasion for the behavior

 S-delta: Stimulus that precedes a response when an operant  does not produce reinforcement

o Operant Class: Behavior that may increase or decrease in frequency,  based on contingencies of reinforcement

o Consequence: Result of the behavior that is either reinforcing or  punishing

o Example: Phone rings, you pick up phone, you talk to someone on the  phone

∙ Temporal Relations:  

o Delayed: CS is presented a few seconds before US is presented  Most effective

o Simultaneous: CS and US are presented at the same time o Trace: CS is presented, then after some time, the US is presented o Backward: CS is presented after the US

 General consensus that it is not very effective

∙ Response Generalization: Subject responds maximally to desired stimulus, but similar stimuli also produce lesser effects

o Getting your favorite food is great and makes you extremely, but  getting a different food that is also good is still good and still makes  you happy, but not as much

∙ Response Discrimination: Subject responds only to stimulus and not  similar stimuli

o At a vending machine, you want only the option that you chose, and no others will satisfy you

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