Instrumental & Operant Conditioning

What is extinction?
Associations are made between a neutral stimulus and an
unconditioned stimulus
Operant conditioning can be described as learning from the
consequences of behavior.
Classical conditioning
Conditioned response
Which psychiatrist is associated with Operant Conditioning?
 An organisms behavior is instrumental in producing
environmental change that in turn affects the
organisms behavior
 Fundamental principle is Thorndike’s Law of Effect
 Behaviors are encouraged when they are followed by
rewarding consequences and discouraged when they are
followed by punishing consequences
• Can be used to influence the likelihood of an
organisms response by controlling the consequences
of the response
• Developed by B.F. Skinner
 Practical Uses
 Educational Strategies
 Animal Training
 Behavior Modification Techniques
 Token Economies
 Behavior Therapy for Psychological Disorders
 Successive
approximations of a
behavior are reinforced
 Behaviors that come
closer and closer to the
final target behavior are
reinforced by the
 This technique makes
it possible to operantly
condition behaviors
that are not likely to
happen otherwise
 A stimulus that signals or
informs an organism of the
availability of reward or
 Ex the ringing of a phone
informs a person that the
behavior of answering is likely
to be met with the reward of a
 Ex the presence of a scowl
on a parents face signals a teen
that the behavior of asking a
favor of the parent is likely to
be met with rejection
 These stimuli are valuable when
determining when a particular
behavior will occur
 Positive Reinforcement
 When an appetitive (desired) stimulus
follows a behavior.
 This makes the behavior more likely to recur
 Negative Reinforcement
 When a aversive (not desired) stimulus is
prevented or eliminated following a behavior
 This makes the behavior more likely to recur
 Punishment
 When an aversive stimulus follows a behavior
 Results can be varied or controversial
 Theoretically, it makes the behavior less likely to
 Omission Training
 When an appetitive stimulus is prevented or
eliminated following a behavior
 This makes the behavior less likely to occur
 A child has his hand slapped for pulling a dogs tail
 Punishment, he will be less likely to repeat the behavior
 A child is given praise for picking up a toy
 Positive reinforcement, the behavior is more likely to recur
 A child grabs a toy from her sibling, her mother denies her
access to the TV for a period of time.
 Omission training, the behavior is less likely to recur
 A child takes out the garbage and her mother stops nagging
 Negative reinforcement, the behavior is more likely to recur
 Think about punishment as a parenting technique.
What are its advantages? Its disadvantages? Under
what circumstances is it appropriate? Inappropriate?
Are there effective alternative? What general principles
can be developed to govern the use of punishment?
 Biologically relevant
natural events that are
capable of increasing the
probability of behaviors
that produce them
 Satisfies a biological
 Ex water would be a
primary reinforcer for a
thirsty person
Secondary/ Conditioned
 Neutral event that has
taken on reinforcing
properties of a primary
reinforcer by being
associated with it
 Money is a secondary
reinforcer because
people have learned it
can be used to purchase
a variety of primary
 The organism is required
 When a behavior no
to perform several
different behaviors, in
sequence, before the
reward is administered
longer produces a
 Under these conditions a
behavior eventually
Continuous Reinforcement
• Every target response is rewarded
• Produces behavior that extinguishes easily
 Fixed Ratio (FR)
 A fixed number of target repsonse must
be made before reward is given
 Produces a “pause & run” response
 Variable Ratio (VR)
 Number of target responses required for
reward changes, and the organism never
knows how many responses are required
for the next reward
 Produces a consistent, high rate of
responding that is very resistant to
Reinforcement :
Only some correct
responses are
Fixed Interval (FI)
Variable Interval (VI)
 The first response after a
 Similar to the FI schedule,
fixed interval of time has
passed is rewarded
 Most of the responses on
a FI schedule occur at
the end of the interval
 This pattern is called
except that the length of
the interval of time
changes after each trial,
and the organism (you)
have no way of knowing
how long the next interval
will be
 Response tends to be
steady and at a moderate
 A student who studies every Thursday eventing for the
regularly scheduled Friday quiz will be rewarded with a
good grade. The interval is one week.
 Fixed Interval
 A gamblers schedule. No one knows how many lottery
tickets must be bought before winning.
 Variable Ratio
 A student in class where surprise quizzes are given on
random days is rewarded for studying
 Variable Interval
 “Buy 10, Get 1 Free!”
 Fixed Ratio
 Do you think that students would do school work if there were
no grading system? What reinforcements would operate if grades
were abolished
 Procedure
 Identify the types of reinforcers that operate in your classroom
 Make a chart that lists the type of reinforcer (primary, secondary,
positive, negative) and the classroom behavior it usually elicits
 Devise a system for your classroom that could replace the existing
reinforcers with new ones (and achieve the same results)
 Analysis
 Describe how the new reinforcers operate
 Indicate what responses the new reinforcers are supposed to elicit
 Punishment
 Use of punishment is controversial and it
effects vary widely
 When is works, punishment is often
intense & immediate
 Punishment many produce only
temporary suppression of the undesired
behavior or lead to aggressive behavior,
among other things
Training with
stimuli not desired
by the organism
 Occurs when a behavior
 Occurs when a behavior
terminates an aversive
 A person can escape a
headache (aversive
headache) by taking an
Both make the behavior
more likely in the future
happens in the presence of
a signal that informs the
organism that an aversive
event is more likely
 A person can avoid
behavior) by taking an
antacid(behavior) before
eating a spicy
dinner(signal that
indigestion is likely)
 A decrease in the responding that occurs after
exposure to uncontrollable aversive events
 A dog exposed to uncontrollable electric shocks are later
unable to learn a routine task
 Learned helplessness helps explain things such as
depression and varying levels of job performance
 Answer the following questions:
 How can an individual’s use of alcohol and other drugs
be explained as positive reinforcement? How can it be
explained as negative reinforcement?
 How could a high school student use principles of
operant conditioning to train his or her parents to set a
later curfew? Consider the effectiveness of pos
 On your own… come up with your own examples of
schedules of reinforcement
 Fixed interval
 Variable interval
 Fixed ratio
 Variable ratio
 Then share with a neighbor!
 When everyone has shared with their neighbor you
will have the choice to share out with the class
 Insight Learning
 The sudden awareness of the solution to a problem
 Wolfgang Kohler, The Mentality of Apes
 Latent Learning
 Learning in the absence of apparent reward
 Edward Tolman
 Ex rats given an opportunity to explore a maze will
develop a cognitive map even when there is no
motivation for learning
 When a reward is avaialbe later, rats that have done this
without reward already perform better
 Observational learning
 Albert Bandura
 Learning takes place by watch another individual model
the task
 What negative effects could this have with young
 Biological constraints on learning
including innate predispositions
influence the likelihood that
conditioning occur
 Rats are predisposed to learn waste
 Its difficult to train a pig (butnot a
raccoon) to put a wooden disk in a piggy
 Instinctive driftwhen an organisms
instintive behavior makes it easier or
harder to establish a learned response
than it would be if the instinctive
behavior were not present
Biology in
Learning is adaptive
in that enhances an
indivuals ability to
 Culture also influences the kind of learning that can
occur, and the environment may limit learning
 “Children learn to be more violent from watching
television violence.”
 Take a side.
 Complete think about it assignment
 You must include one source and cite it!
 Responses must be at least 3 paragraphs
 Quiz over learning on Thursday