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Week 6 notes

by: Gabrielle Weaver

Week 6 notes 2103

Gabrielle Weaver

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Discrimination and concept formation
Foundations of Learning and Behavior analysis
Paul Neuman
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Foundations of Learning and Behavior analysis

Popular in Psychology (PSYC)

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
Discrimination and Concept Formation I  1. Discriminated Operants  A. Reinforcement schedules are said to be correlated with a stimulus  B. No such thing as an operant class that is not a discriminated  operant  C. Discriminative stimuli set the occasion for responding to be  reinforced  D a. S     i. Discriminative stimulus  ii. Response has a consequence  b. S : Positive does not mean “good”  c. S     i. Green key produces food, red key produces nothing.  red key is S   ii. Nothing is gonna happen   d. S­: Negative does not mean “bad”  D. Lever pressing in the presence of the light is a discriminated  operant, the light functioned as a discriminative stimulus for lever pressing, lever pressing was under stimulus control of the light  E. Generalization – the spread of the effect of reinforcement from one  stimulus correlated with reinforcement to other stimuli  a. Kid learns to raise their hand, if it happens in another class  that is generalization  F. Discrimination – The name of the process when responding is  differentiated  G. Differentiation and Induction versus Discrimination and  Generalization – While both involve the operation of differential  reinforcement, there are two ways of talking that depend on the focus of the  resulting relation  H. Attending to Properties of Stimuli – Responding may involve  characteristics that are not critical to producing reinforcement  a. Salience – property of a stimulus and an organism’s behavior with respect to a stimulus  i. Properties that one might attend to but is not a  characteristic of the stimulus  b. Attention – Attending involves responding to some stimulus  properties and not others (Pigeon 105 attended to form and not color,  and pigeon 107 attended to color and not form; organisms attend to one  dimension but not the other)  2. Generalization Gradients  A. When responding is reinforced in the presence of a stimulus, and a property of the stimulus is varied, responding may depend on how much the stimulus has changed  a. Kid learns to raise his hand  B. Generalization – The effects of responding in the presence of  stimulus spread to other stimuli  C. Postdiscrimination gradients – Stimulus control gradients obtained from an operant discrimination procedure – Results in shift – Peak of  gradient shifts is displaced from reinforced stimulus away from extinction  stimulus  D. Feature positive discrimination – A conditional discrimination  where a stimulus dimension (e.g. a vertical line on a lit key) is present when  a reinforcement schedule is in place  a. Depends on some other thing  E. Feature negative discrimination ­ A conditional discrimination  where a stimulus dimension (e.g. a vertical line on a lit key) is absent when  a reinforcement schedule is in place  F. Fading – A gradual introduction or removal of a stimulus or  dimensions of a stimulus (e.g. dropping out variable­interval in favor of VI)  G. The language of discrimination:  H. Critical features – Properties of stimuli essential for discrimination  (e.g. symmetry, curvature, and closure of letters)  a. ­d b the critical feature is the l   I. Discriminated Operants – behavior classes defined by the stimuli  that occasion responding – the dimensions of stimuli may vary (e.g. a light  may vary in brightness) so we speak of classes rather than specific  instances  a. EX: the number on a classroom is the discriminant operant  i. Your class is in room 34 you don't go to room 32  J. Discrimination can be based on features – abstract or relational  (e.g. to the right)  a. Responding may be under the stimulus control of one’s own  behavior (e.g. as in self­awareness)  i. The relation between a response class and a stimulus  class  b. Behavior Analysis – Organism’s discriminate on some critical feature – Cognitive Psychologist – organism represents stimuli to itself in  terms of that feature  K. Concepts – generalization within classes of events of stimuli and  discrimination between classes of events of stimuli  a. Dogs have four legs, not all four legged animals are dogs  L. Probabilistic stimulus classes – classes in which each member  contains some subset of features, but none is common to all members, the  number of features may vary from one class member to another (also called  fuzzy sets) – Can be defined by reference to a prototype (psychological  diagnostics)  a. Fuzzy sets: not all the features of the set must be present for it to be part of the set  i. Door knobs, There are many types   b. Natural Concepts – an example of probabilistic stimulus  classes Pigeons’ discriminations of people  i. The stimuli being used are part of nature  M. Responses classes depend on the common contingencies that  created them (functional relations) rather than physical properties  (topography)  a. If you walk to work and bike to work, same response class  b. If you walk to work and bike to the supermarket, different  response classes  *Why so much detail on stimulus control?*  Intelligence is a hypothetical construct   3. It may have something to do with concept formation  A. Although the complexity of situation varies quite a bit depending  on the organism, all discriminate between classes of events and all  generalize within classes of events  B. Clusters of stimulus dimensions (an event) rather than a single  dimension are the basis for discrimination and generalization  a. Conditional Discriminations – The role of stimuli depend on  the presence or absence of other stimuli  b. Note: “Saying things” is treated as behavior, and it is said to  be reinforced, but nothing is said about how talking is reinforced  c. Matching­to­sample – sample stimuli and comparison  stimuli – variations in which stimulus has which role results in a  conditional discrimination (responding depends on the context)  C. Symbolic Behavior – Equivalence Relations – We call behavior  symbolic because of the arbitrary relation between stimuli (and because it is consistent with other vernacular explanations of behavior)  a. Equivalence Relations:  b. Reflexivity – match­to­sample  c. Symmetry – A=b, B=A  i. Transitivity – A=B, B=C, without training A=C, C=A  ii. Since the chapter was written – Sea Lions have shown  equivalent  d. What is awareness  i. The ability to describe events?  ii. Self­Awareness – The self description of one’s own  behavior   1. The contingencies that influence such talk are  different than those that the talk is about  2. We may say that if an individual’s description  matches their other actions, they are self­aware  3. The contingencies that shape our awareness talk are supplied by the verbal community  4. What about pigeons’ self­report – “I pecked slow  vs. I pecked fast?”  5. What about their view on when we speak of  awareness and symbolism (observer as discriminator)  6. Natural Concepts in pigeons  e. Natural stimulus classes vs. artificial classes  i. Fuzzy Sets as characteristic of natural stimuli  ii. Trees, water, and a particular person (by the way, I  think a machine could make these discriminations, but not as well as  an organism)  iii. Basic procedure including positive and negative  stimuli, and the use of VI 30 s schedules 


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