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Module 2: The Study of Learning and Behavior

by: Brittany Woody

Module 2: The Study of Learning and Behavior EAB3002

Marketplace > University of Florida > EAB3002 > Module 2 The Study of Learning and Behavior
Brittany Woody
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Notes from module two (week 2) of EAB3002
Principles of Behavior Analysis
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Brittany Woody on Thursday September 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EAB3002 at University of Florida taught by Stagner in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 79 views.


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Date Created: 09/08/16
Chapter 2 The Study of Learning and Behavior - Operational definitions: defining a phenomenon (stimulus or behavior) in terms of its measurement • Examples: measure “lever press” in a rat, 21grams of force from rat counts as a press; fear response is a rise in heart, respiration change in electrical conductivity of the skin (GSR) - Behavior varies in form/ topography, but measures based on operational definitions can be objective and consistent - Learning is a change in behavior; must measure changes in behavior: • Measure reduction in errors • Measure topography: form of behavior (example: how well someone can trace a shape) Measure intensity (example: amount of pressure rat puts on lever) • • Measure speed (example: time for a rat to finish a maze) • Measure latency: amount of time it takes a subject to respond to a stimulus • Measure rate, frequency (example: number of letters per minute coded in Morse code) - The primary goal of behavior science is to explain behavior; why do we do what we do; can behavior be predicted; can behavior be controlled - Common-sense/ psychological approach: assume association between stimulus and response; may lead to circular explanation which can lead to explanatory fictions; cannot be positive response is caused by stimulus - Natural science approach: • all behavior is caused; behavior is the result of experience, physiological, and current events • causes precede their effects, a future event cannot cause a current event 1 • Causes are natural phenomena; soul, id, will, etc. are concepts, not natural phenomenon • The law of parsimony: the simplest explanation that fits the data is the best; simple means fewest assumptions, simplistic means to oversimplify or ignore complexities; goal is “simple” explanation - Descriptive study: describe characteristics of a population; use surveys, questionnaires, natural observations, etc; can determine correlation but not causation or cause-and-effect relations; no variables are manipulated - An experiment is a study in which variables are manipulated; the variable that is manipulated is the IV (independent variables); (DV) dependent variable is not changed and is measured; can determine cause-and-effect relationship because only one variable is changed - Between-subjects (group) experiment design: each group received a different level of IV; groups must be equivalent for valid conclusions - Within-subjects design: each participant receives all levels of IV; look for changes in each participant across levels of IV - Single-subject AB design: record behavior before, during, and after; A= baseline; B= treatment; compare same participant before and after treatment • strength: participant serves as their own control • weakness: single subject; not necessarily applicable to every instance - ABA design: find baseline, perform treatment, then go back to baseline conditions • if hypothesis is supported, participant will go back to baseline once treatment is withdrawn; can continue altering between A and B - Experiments allow control over variable; can rule out alternative explanations - Criticisms of experiments is that experimental setting is too artificially simple; but need to be simple in order to isolate variable; conduct laboratory and field research to compare natural and artificial settings - Objections of nonhuman research: people are not rats; no practical value; unethical; can use computer simulations - Reasons for nonhuman research: experimental control of heredity and learning history; can do studies that cannot be done with humans 2


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