Operant conditioning is a type of learning based on the association of consequences with one's behavior.
Edward Thorndike was the first to research this type of learning.
Thorndike had a cat in a puzzle box.
A hungry cat is locked in a cage next to a dish of food.
The cat had to get out of the cage to get food.
Thorndike found that the amount of time required for the cat to get out of the box decreased over time.
The amount of time decreased as the cat didn't seem to know how to get out of the cage.
Thorndike claimed that the cat learned the new behavior without mental activity, but rather through a response and a stimulation.
The law of effect states that if the consequences of a behavior are pleasant, the S-R connection will be strengthened and the likelihood of the behavior will increase.
The S-R connection will weaken if the consequences of a behavior are unpleasant.
He used the term instrumental learning to describe his work because he believed the consequence was instrumental in shaping future behaviors.
Negative reinforcement and punishment are confused by students.
Reinforcement results in the behavior being more likely to be repeated.
The negative reinforcement refers to the fact that something is taken away.
Positive punishment means that something is added.
The removal of aversive stimuli is what is reinforcing.
The best-known psychologist to research operant conditioning is B. F. Skinner.
The Skinner box was invented to be used in Skinner's research of animal learning.
A Skinner box has a way to deliver food to an animal and a lever to press or disk to peck in order to get the food.
The food is called a reinforcer and the process of giving it is called reinforcement.
Anything that makes a behavior more likely to occur is a reinforcer.
Positive reinforcement is used when we give a rat a Skinner box food.
Negative reinforcement is used if we use a loud noise or shock in response to a lever press.
Escape learning allows one to escape aversive stimuli while avoidance learning allows one to avoid unpleasant stimuli altogether.
If Sammy is asked to leave the English class he hates, he will escape learning.
If Sammy cut English class, it would be an example of avoidance learning.
It is possible to affect behavior with unpleasant consequences.
Such an approach is called punishment.
Punishment is anything that makes a behavior less likely.
Positive punishment is the addition of something unpleasant, and omission training or negative punishment is the removal of something pleasant.
We use punishment if we give a rat an electric shock every time it touches the lever.
We are using omission training if we remove the rat's food when it touches the lever.
The rat will stop touching the bar after the two procedures.
Operant conditioning principles can be used to modify your behavior.
If your parents wanted to increase the likelihood of you repeating the behavior, they could use either of the types of reinforcement described in Table 6.4.
If your parents wanted to discourage you from doing something, they could use either of the types of punishment described in Table 6.5.
The same ends can be achieved through punishment and reinforcement.
If I want my students to be on time to class, I can punish them for lateness or arrive on time.
Operant conditioning is similar to aversive conditioning.
If it is harsh, it is the most effective punishment.
Fear and anger can result from harsh punishment.
Most psychologists recommend that certain kinds of punishment be used lightly.
How does the rat in the Skinner box learn to push the lever?
We try to speed up the process by using shaping, rather than waiting for an animal to perform the desired behavior.
The steps used to reach the desired behavior are reinforced by shaping.
The rat might be reinforced for going to the side of the box.
The rat might be reinforced for touching the lever with any part of its body.
By rewarding approximations of the desired behavior, we increase the likelihood that the rat will find the behavior we want.
Animals can be taught to perform a number of responses in order to get a reward.
This process is called chaining.
A famous example of chained behavior was a rat named Barnabus who learned to run through an obstacle course in order to get a food reward.
The goal of shaping is to mold a single behavior, whereas the goal of chaining is to link a number of separate behaviors into a more complex activity.
In our discussion of operant conditioning, the terms acquisition, extinction, smil recovery, discrimination, and generalization can be used.
Acquisition occurs when the rat learns to press the lever to get the reward.
The rat ceases to press the lever when the reward is no longer relevant.
It is not necessary to punish the rat for pushing the lever.
The extinction schedule says that behaviors that are not reinforced will stop.
If the rat began to press the bar again after extinguishing the bar press response, there would be a recovery.
If the rat began to press other things in the Skinner box or the bar in other boxes, generalization would happen.
The rat would have to be taught to only press a certain bar under certain conditions.
The tone is called a discriminative stimulation.
Not all reinforcers are food.
The two main types of reinforcers are primary and secondary.
Primary reinforcers are rewarding.
They include things that are reinforcing.
We value the chance to play a video game as a secondary reinforcer.
Money is a generalized reinforcer because it can be traded for virtually anything.
A token economy is a practical application of generalized reinforcers.
Every time people perform a desired behavior, they are given a token.
They can trade their token for any one of the reinforcers.
In prisons, mental institutions, and even schools, token economies have been used.
Students sometimes think that if there is no consequence to a behavior, its likelihood will stay the same.
It is likely that what functions as a reinforcer for some may not have the same effect on others.
Depending on how hungry they are, primary reinforcers will affect different animals in different ways.
The Premack principle states that the reinforcing properties of something depend on the situation.
The activity that is not preferred can be reinforced by whichever of two activities is preferred.
If Peter likes apples but doesn't like to practice for his piano lesson, his mother could use apples to reinforce practicing the piano.
The preferred activity is eating an apple.
Mitchell does not like fruit, but he loves to play the piano.
His mother can use playing the piano to reinforce to him that he should eat an apple.
It's best to reward a new behavior each time you teach it.
Continuous reinforcement is a process.
When the behavior is learned, higher response rates can be obtained using partial-reinforcement schedules.
According to the partial-reinforcement effect, behaviors will be more resistant to extinction if the animal has not been reinforced continuously.
The number of responses made or the passage of time determine when reinforcement is delivered.
The pattern of reinforcement is either constant or changing.
A fixed-ratio schedule provides reinforcement after a set number of responses.
If a rat is on an FR-5 schedule, it will be rewarded after the fifth bar press.
A variable-ratio schedule provides reinforcement based on the number of bar presses.
After the second press, the ninth press, the third press, the sixth press, and so on, the average number of presses required to receive a reward will be five.
A bar press will result in a reward if a certain amount of time elapses before.
The rat will be reinforced for the first bar press after three minutes have passed.
The amount of time required to respond varies from schedule to schedule.
The rat will be reinforced for the first response after an average of three minutes.
Variable schedules are more resistant to extinction than fixed schedules.
Variable schedules are more resistant to extinction than fixed schedules.
A break in the pattern will lead to extinction once an animal becomes accustomed to a fixed schedule.
It is more difficult to notice a break in the pattern if the reinforcement schedule is variable.
Variable schedules encourage continued responding if only one more response is needed to get the reward.
Encouraging high rates of responding is more important than resistance to extinction.
Someone who employs factory workers to make widgets wants them to make as many as possible.
Interval schedules have lower rates of responding than ratio schedules.
It makes sense that when people are reinforced based on the number of responses they make, they will make more responses than if the passage of time is also a precondition for reinforcement.
Workers were paid for each completed task rather than by the hour and were thus motivated to work as quickly as possible.
Interval schedules result in lower response rates.
Limits seem to exist when it comes to what animals can learn through operant conditioning.
Some behaviors that go against their natural inclinations will not be performed by animals.
Rats won't walk backward.
The pigs tend to bury the disks in the ground instead of putting them into a banklike object.
The tendency for animals to forgo rewards is called instinctive drift.
Skinner asserts that learning occurs without thought.
Cognitive theorists argue that classical and operant conditioning have a cognitive component.
In classical conditioning, theorists argue that the subjects respond to the CS because they expect it to be followed by the US.
In operant conditioning, cognitive psychologists suggest that the subject is aware of the consequences of their responses and can act to maximize their reinforcement.
The contiguity model of classical conditioning is based on the idea that the more times two things are combined, the better the learning will be.
The strength of the response is determined by togetherness.
Robert Rescorla revised the model to account for more complex circumstances.
A dog is presented with a bell and food ten times in a row.
Dog 2, Sparky, also experiences bell and food.
There are five trials in which food is presented without the bell and five more trials in which the bell is rung but no food is presented.
Even though a model based on contiguity would assume that the two dogs would respond the same, you will most likely see that Rocco will.
According to the model of classical conditioning, the strength of an association between two events is related to the number of times they have been together.
Rescorla's contingency model of classical conditioning suggests that it is necessary for one event to reliably predict another for a strong association between the two to result.
Rescorla's model rests on a cognitive view of classical conditioning.
A depends upon B and vice versa.
The presence of one event reliably predicts the presence of the other.
The food is contingent on the presentation of the bell, and one does not appear without the other.
Sometimes the bell rings and no snacks are served, other times snacks appear without the bell, and sometimes they appear together.
In her case, the relationship between the US and the CS is unclear.
The difference in their responses suggests that their thoughts and expectations influence their learning.
There are a number of different kinds of learning described by cognitive theorists.
Observational learning, latent learning, abstract learning, and insight learning are included.
People and animals learn a lot by observing others.
Watching children play house gives us an indication of what they have learned from watching their families.
Albert Bandura studied observational learning a lot in formulating his social-learning theory.
This type of learning only occurs between members of the same species.
Modeling consists of observation and imitation.
A young boy can learn how to hit a ball by watching his older sister.
He watched her play baseball with the children in his backyard.
He tried to imitate her behavior by picking up a bat.
A mental representation of observed behavior is needed in order to enable the person or animal to imitate it.
Children learn violent behaviors from watching violent television programs and violent adult models.
Bandura, Ross, and Ross's classic Bobo doll experiment illustrated the connection.
The inflatable Bobo doll that would bounce back up after being hit was one of the things that children were exposed to.
The children who had witnessed the aggressive adult models exhibited similar aggressive behavior when they were given the chance to play alone in a room full of toys.
The control group's children were less likely to aggress against Bobo than the adults in the experimental condition.
Edward Tolman studiedtent learning.
Latent learning is learning that is hidden until a reinforcement is given.
The famous experiment conducted by Tolman showed that sometimes learning occurs, but not immediately.
Three groups of rats ran through a maze on a series of trials.
Each time a group completed the maze, it received a reward, and the rats' performance improved over time.
The performance of another group of rats improved slightly over the course of the trials, but they never got a reward.
The first half of the trials did not reward a third group of rats, but they were given a reward in the second half.
The group that never got a reward was very similar to this group during the first half of the trials.
The third group's performance improved dramatically when it began to be rewarded for finishing the maze.
The rats must have learned their way around the maze during the first set of trials.
They had no reason to run the maze quickly.
Tolman said the improvement in maze-running time was due to learning.
He suggested that they made a mental representation of the maze during the first half of the trials and that they would get a reward for it.
Learning simply to press a bar or peck a disk in order to get a reward is not abstract learning.
Animals in Skinner boxes seem to be able to comprehend certain concepts.
Pigeons have learned topeck pictures if they are pictures of chairs.
Pigeons have been shown a particular shape and rewarded in one series of trials when they picked the same shape out of two choices and in another set of trials when they pecked at the different shapes.
Thorndike and Skinner had argued that pigeons can understand concepts and not just form S-R connections.
Wolfgang Kohler studied insight learning in Chimpanzees.
Insight learning happens when someone learns how to solve a problem.
You may have had the experience of skipping over a problem on a test only to realize later how to solve it.
Kohler argued that the sudden strength of the S-R connection suggested by the behaviorists caused learning to happen in this way.
He watched how Chimpanzees solved problems.
Kohler suspended a banana from the ceiling in a study.
The boxes in the room were not high enough to allow the Chimpanzees to reach the banana.
The Chimpanzees spent most of their time not working toward a solution.
They would run around, jump, and be generally upset about their inability to grab the snack until they pile the boxes on top of each other and grab the banana.
Kohler believed that the solution wouldn't happen until the Chimpanzees had a clue about how to solve the problem.
Five suggested answers or completions are followed by each of the questions or incomplete statements.
Pick the one that is the best.
They play scary-sounding music just before a scary film.
I dread the event when I hear the music.
You can't teach your dog to do a somersault.
Tina likes to play with animals, but she can't find them in the rain.
Before the doors of the elevator close, a coworker enters the elevator.
Mumbling about forgetting something, you immediately leave.
Many psychologists think that children of parents who beat them are more likely to beat their own children.
His parents gave him a quarter every day he made his bed.
He helped with other chores and started to make his siblings' beds.
Before his parents will read him a story, he has to brush his teeth, put on his pajamas, kiss his grandmother, and put away his toys.
There is a girl poking a boy in Mr.Clayton's class.