Operant Conditioning

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Operant Conditioning
The Learner is NOT passive.
Learning based on consequence!!!
The Law of Effect
Click picture to see a better
explanation of the Law of Effect.
• Edward Thorndike
• Locked cats in a cage
• Behavior changes because
of its consequences.
• Rewards strengthen
behavior.
• If consequences are
unpleasant, the StimulusReward connection will
weaken.
• Called the whole process
instrumental learning.
B.F. Skinner
• Influence of
Nurture
• Used a Skinner Box
(Operant
Conditioning
Chamber) to prove
his concepts.
Skinner Box
• Cumulative Recorder- attached to the Skinner
box and it graphs the organisms response rate
– Steep slope- fast response rate
– Shallow slope- slow response rate
Reinforces
• A reinforcer is anything
the INCREASES a
behavior.
Positive Reinforcement:
• The addition of something
pleasant.
Negative Reinforcement:
• The removal of something
unpleasant.
• Two types of NR
• Escape Learning
• Avoidance Learning
(Getting kicked out of class
versus cutting class)
Positive or Negative?
Putting your seatbelt on.
Faking sick to
avoid AP Psych
class.
Studying for a test.
Having a headache and
taking an aspirin.
Breaking out
of jail.
Getting a kiss
for doing the
dishes.
Punishment
Meant to decrease a
behavior.
Positive Punishment
• Addition of something
unpleasant.
Negative Punishment
(Omission Training)
• Removal of something
pleasant.
Punishment works best
when it is immediately
done after behavior
and if it is harsh!
How do we actually use Operant
Conditioning?
Do we wait for the
subject to deliver the
desired behavior?
Sometimes, we use a
process called
shaping.
Shaping is reinforcing
small steps on the way
to the desired
behavior.
To train a dog to get
your slippers, you would
have to reinforce him in
small steps. First, to
find the slippers. Then
to put them in his
mouth. Then to bring
them to you and so
on…this is shaping
behavior.
To get Barry to become a better student, you
need to do more than give him a massage when
he gets good grades. You have to give him
massages when he studies for ten minutes, or
for when he completes his homework. Small
steps to get to the desired behavior.
Chaining Behaviors
• Subjects are taught a
number of responses
successively in order
to get a reward.
Click picture to see a rat chaining behaviors.
Click to see a cool example of chaining behaviors.
Big Bang Theory
Same Terminology as Classical
Conditioning
• Acquisition
If I wanted to
• Extinction
reinforce my son’s
dancing by giving him • Spontaneous
Recovery
lollipops when he
• Generalization
dances. Identify
the following….
• Discrimination
Primary v. Secondary Reinforcers
Primary Reinforcer
• Things that are in
themselves rewarding.
Secondary Reinforcer
• Things we have learned to
value.
• Money is a special
secondary reinforcer
called a generalized
reinforcer (because it
can be traded for just
about anything)
Token Economy
• Every time a desired
behavior is performed,
a token is given.
• They can trade tokens
in for a variety of
prizes (reinforcers)
• Used in homes, prisons,
mental institutions and
schools.
Premack Principle
Hamburgers might
be a great positive
reinforcer for
some, but it would
not work well on a
vegetarian.
• You have to take
into consideration
the reinforcers
used.
• Is the reinforcer
wanted….or at least
is it more preferable
than the targeted
behavior.
Reinforcement Schedules
How often to you give
the reinforcer?
• Every time or just
sometimes you see
the behavior.
Continuous v. Partial
Reinforcement
•
•
•
•
Continuous
Reinforce the behavior
EVERYTIME the behavior
is exhibited.
Usually done when the
subject is first learning
to make the association.
Acquisition comes really
fast.
But so does extinction.
Partial
• Reinforce the behavior
only SOME of the times
it is exhibited.
• Acquisition comes more
slowly.
• But is more resistant to
extinction.
• FOUR types of Partial
Reinforcement
schedules.
Fixed- set amount
Ratio-
Variable- random
amount
FR
Based on •FR-15 (reinforcer
certain # of every 15th
responses response)
•Paid
by the job
Interval
FI
Based on • FI-15 (reinforcer
time
after every 15
seconds if 1 correct
response is made)
•Paid by the hour
VR
• VR-15 (reinforcer over an
average of 15 responses,
not every 15
•Gambling
•Hardest to extinguish
VI
•
VI- 15 (reinforcer over
an average interval of
15 seconds)
•Pop quiz
Observational Learning
• Albert Bandura and his
BoBo Doll
• We learn through
modeling behavior from
others.
• Observational learning +
Operant Conditioning =
Social Learning Theory
Click pic to see some observational learning.
Latent Learning
Edward Tolman
Three rat experiment.
Latent means hidden.
Sometimes learning is
not immediately
evident.
• Rats needed a reason
to display what they
have learned.
• Cognitive Maps
•
•
•
•
Insight Learning
• Wolfgang Kohler and
his Chimpanzees.
• Some animals learn
through the “ah ha”
experience.
Click pic to see insight learning.
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