Learning Theories Power Point

Presented by: Chrissti Lacher
Mark Lam
Lacey Richards
Ashlynn Vance
B.F. Skinner – A History
 Believed that learning is a function of change in overt
behavior, and that behavior could be shaped gradually.
 Also believed that changes in behavior are the result of
an individual’s response to events that occur in the
 Behaviorist and a Social Philosopher.
 Moonlights as a Poet/Author/Inventor.
 A method of learning that occurs through rewards and
punishments for behavior.
 Associations are made between a behavior and a
consequence for that behavior.
 All about stimulus response.
Underlying Theories:
 Reinforcement (either positive or negative) is key to
this theory.
 Reinforcement – Anything that strengthens a desired
 Primary Reinforcers – Natural reinforcers; things that
affect behavior without having to learn anything.
 Secondary Reinforcers – social forms of reinforcement.
Key Components to OC
1) Positive Reinforcement
2) Negative Reinforcement
3) Punishment
4) Extinction
Positive Reinforcement
• In a nutshell, if you are presented with something
desirable the positive behavior will continue.
• > + +
 Recent studies have found that this type of
reinforcement is the most powerful.
 Ex. Training a Dog
Negative Reinforcement
< - +
 Remove the negative variable from a situation and you
will likely see an increase in the desired behavior.
 Ex. Nagging
More examples of Reinforcement
 Fixed interval schedule – reinforcement schedule in
which desired behavior is rewarded following a
constant amount of time.
 Example - This is best for a classroom. Assign short
quizzes rather than infrequent major exams - this
encourages them to give their best efforts all of the
time instead of pulling all nighters.
> -  Presenting a subject with a negative action in order to
decrease a response/behavior.
 Ex. Rebel Child
< +  Removing a stimulus completely in order to eliminate
a specific behavior.
 Ex. Candy, Starbucks, The Biggest Loser
Works Cited
 Heffner, Christopher. "All Psych Online." Learning Theory
and Behavioral Psychology . N.p., 01 04 2001. Web. 24
Feb 2011.
 Huitt, W., & Hummel, J. (1997). An introduction to
operant (instrumental) conditioning. Educational
Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State
University. Retrieved [21 Feb 2011] from,
 Slavin, Robert. (2009). Educational Psychology Theory
and Practice. New York: Allyn & Bacon.
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