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Learning and Behavior Analysis

by: Gabrielle Weaver

Learning and Behavior Analysis 2103

Marketplace > Temple University > Psychology (PSYC) > 2103 > Learning and Behavior Analysis
Gabrielle Weaver

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Week 1 notes
Foundations of Learning and Behavior analysis
Paul Neuman
Class Notes
Psychology, behavior, learning, analysis
25 ?




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gabrielle Weaver on Monday October 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2103 at Temple University taught by Paul Neuman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Foundations of Learning and Behavior analysis in Psychology (PSYC) at Temple University.


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Date Created: 10/17/16
Week 1 1. Two problematic questions:  A.  What is Learning  a. Pavlovian  b. Operative  B. What is Behavior  a. "you stop behaving when you're dead"  2. The World and the laboratory  A. A part of the world is captured in the laboratory  B. Enables us to look at one thing at a time  a. Why is that important?  i. You can look at things you can't in the real world  b. The principles of Behavior are not invalidated if we can't  account for every detail of an organism's performance on a particular  occasion because we often have insufficient information  3. Back to the definition of Behavior  A. Sometimes it is better to provide examples rather than to define – but the  definition is quite broad if we are to include events such as thinking  B. The Reflex – A relation made up of a stimulus and a response – and only one of many possible relations between behavior and Environment  C. The environment – broadly conceptualized  D. The three­term relation – ABC – stimulus­response­consequence  E. Stimuli can be anywhere – The skin as an arbitrary or artificial barrier  F. Response – Does not need to be to something – synonymous with behavior – Relations need not immediate prior events  4. The distinction between structure and Function  A. Movements – based on form or topography (structure)  B. Actions – based on functional relations (function)  C. Consequences – One of the most important is that it provides the  opportunity for other behavior  D. Behavioral Hierarchies – Preference  a. Appetitive/Aversive/Neutral  5. Taxonomy  A. The distinction between operation and process  B. Simplest operation is observation  C. Next simplest is to present stimuli (poke it and see what is does)  D. Then, arranging of consequences  E. Signaling the presentation of stimuli or the opportunity to produce  consequences  F. Establishing operations    6. Structure and Function in Learning  A. An aside – How is it that Punishment can be positive and Reinforcement can be Negative  B. Responses cover a broad range, not just movements  C. Multiple processes that are called learning  D. The distinction between Methodological Behaviorism (everybody in psych)  and Radical Behaviorism (Behavior Analysis)  E. The operational definition as an example of methodological behaviorism,  alive and well today. That which is explicitly rejected is implicitly embraced  (mediationism and temporal contiguity)  F. While organisms do different things (like talking) the same principles in  involved in the development and maintenance of behavior.  G. Structure and function being confused with the distinction between the  languages of cognitive psychology and behavior analysis (notice I did not  write behaviorism)  H. Structure and function as derivatives of selection, reciprocally constrained,  mutually determined by selection (relations between behavior and  environment)  I. Behavior is always a result of phylogeny and ontogeny; neither operates to  the exclusion of the other (the nature/nurture question is not a good one,  considering that complex behavior is always a function of both)  J. Behavior environment relations must be “mapped­out” so  neurophysiologists know what to look for in the nervous system  K. Favor description over models and theories  L. The distinction between elicit (produced by stimuli) and emit (independent  of stimuli)  a. Elicited (stimulus pairing/contingent)  i. Respondent conditioning  ii. Classical conditioning  iii. Pavlovian conditioning  iv. Open loop relations (defining)  b. Emitted (Behavior/ consequence)  i. Operant conditioning  ii. Instrumental conditioning  iii. Closed loop relation (defining)  7. The Language of Behavior Analysis  A. The psychotic, cultish nature of behavior analysis  B. Different from psychology is as much in the ways of speaking as what is  said  C. Simplistic account to those that know only the very basics (do you all know  what equivalence relations are?)  D. Characteristics of behavior analysis (formerly radical behaviorism) that  seem rigid or extreme (but necessary)  a. External events as explanations of behavior (past history,  current circumstances, evolutionary history of species).  i. mediating constructs often go unexplained, but  sometimes may be behavior that is a function of the same principles  of the behavior in question  ii. Not S­R psychology – linguistic bias for temporal  contiguity (old science) – the synergistic relationship between behavior and environment (operant is to operate).  b. Thinking, choosing, and discriminating as behavior to be  explained by the same kinds of functional relations as other behavior.  i. cognitive events not to be construed as different and  prior to other phenomena; part of the same phenomena – this way of  explaining behavior comes about from being part of a verbal  community  c. Human behavior that is social, educational, and political is  mostly behavior influenced by its consequences – operant principles that  include principles other than reinforcement.  i. Susceptibility to reinforcement a function of genetics,  and additional principles are needed to relate behavior to  environmental determinants.  d. The use of within subject designs  E. The language is awkward and impersonal, but important to maintain  a. The importance of precision (difference between instinctual  and intuitive)  b. Many learning people not concerned with precise language  (extinction as a procedure vs. change in behavior, without pointing out  the distinction between operation and process)  i. The distinction between reinforcing the organism and  reinforcing behavior  ii. Diesirability has nothing to do with whether a  response is reinforceable  iii. One must specify whose behavior is involved  c. Awareness and its special causal role is implied in  vernacular English (p. 75) – This is not the case in precise behavior­ analytic language – Examples of phrases that “imply too much” –  description of operative principles are typically independent of operative  principles  F. Functional analysis of language  a. Language as verbal behavior rather than tools that are used  b. Using a word vs. using a drop stroke – alleviates the problem of the location of representations when words are not being used  c. Nouns vs. verbs – We hunt for nouns that don’t exist rather  than studying verbs.  G. English is incompatible with the phenomena that we are dealing with  a. Actions must have agents, and by convention, the agent is  internal or mentalistic  b. Complex actions do not require a different vocabulary,  and operant can either involve a molecular or molar scale, depending on  environmental contingencies  c. Language patterns thwart the treatment of a person as an  interactive part of the environment  d. Flow diagrams with text in boxes, when the stuff of  importance is where the arrows are (We tend to ask what is learned  rather than how it is learned)  8. Selection by consequences (Work in groups of 3)  A. Three Levels of Selection?  a. Selection on the evolutionary scale (phylogeny)  b. Selection within the organism’s lifetime (ontogeny)  c. Selection on the cultural Level  B. Number 3 is typically covered by handled by anthropology  C. Number 1 is typically covered by biology and a subset of chemistry (one  could argue that Neuroscience is about the effects of natural selection on  behavior)  D. Psychologists typically address number 2 


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