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Operant Conditioning Compare and contrast the four methods used to modify behavior in operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement,

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Presentation on theme: "Operant Conditioning Compare and contrast the four methods used to modify behavior in operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Operant Conditioning Compare and contrast the four methods used to modify behavior in operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, and response cost), giving original examples of how each can be used in the classroom. Include in your answer a discussion of the four schedules of reinforcement, describing the likely response pattern associated with each. Give original examples of how each can be used in the classroom. Developed by W. Huitt (1998)

2 Operant Conditioning The major theorists for the development of operant conditioning are: Edward Thorndike John Watson B.F. Skinner

3 Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning investigates the influence of consequences on subsequent behavior. Operant conditioning investigates the learning of voluntary responses. It was the dominant school in American psychology from the 1930s through the 1950s.

4 Operant Conditioning Where classical conditioning illustrates S-->R learning, operant conditioning is often viewed as R-->S learning It is the consequence that follows the response that influences whether the response is likely or unlikely to occur again.

5 Operant Conditioning The three-term model of operant conditioning (S--> R -->S) incorporates the concept that responses cannot occur without an environmental event (e.g., an antecedent stimulus) preceding it. While the antecedent stimulus in operant conditioning does not ELICIT or CAUSE the response (as it does in classical conditioning), it can influence its occurance.

6 Operant Conditioning When the antecedent does influence the likelihood of a response occurring, it is technically called a discriminative stimulus. It is the stimulus that follows a voluntary response (i.e., the response's consequence) that changes the probability of whether the response is likely or unlikely to occur again.

7 Operant Conditioning There are two types of consequences: – positive (sometimes called pleasant) – negative (sometimes called aversive)

8 Operant Conditioning Two actions can be taken with these stimuli: – they can be ADDED to the learner’s environment. – they can be SUBRACTED from the learner’s environment. If adding or subtracting the stimulus results in a change in the probability that the response will occur again, the stimulus is considered a CONSEQUENCE. Otherwise the stimulus is considered a NEUTRAL stimulus.

9 Operant Conditioning There are 4 major techniques or methods used in operant conditioning. They result from combining: – the two major purposes of operant conditioning (increasing or decreasing the probability that a specific behavior will occur in the future), – the types of stimuli used (positive/pleasant or negative/aversive), and – the action taken (adding or removing the stimulus).

10 Operant Conditioning Outcomes of Conditioning Increase Behavior Decrease Behavior Stimulus Positive/ pleasant Negative/ Aversive Add Positive Reinforcement Subtract Response Cost Subtract Negative Reinforcement Add Punishment

11 Schedules of consequences Stimuli are presented in the environment according to a schedule of which there are two basic categories: Continuous Intermittent

12 Schedules of consequences Continuous reinforcement simply means that the behavior is followed by a consequence each time it occurs. Excellent for getting a new behavior started. Behavior stops quickly when reinforcement stops. Is the schedule of choice for punishment and response cost.

13 Schedules of consequences Intermittent schedules are based either on the passage of time OR number of correct responses

14 Schedules of consequences The consequence can be delivered based on a fixed amount of time or number of correct responses OR a slightly different amount of time or number of responses that vary around a particular number

15 Schedules of consequences This results in an four classes of intermittent schedules. Fixed Interval The first correct response after a set amount of time has passed is reinforced (i.e., a consequence is delivered). The time period required is always the same. Example: Spelling test every Friday.

16 Schedules of consequences Pattern of behavior for fixed interval schedule

17 Schedules of consequences Variable Interval The first correct response after a set amount of time has passed is reinforced (i.e., a consequence is delivered). After the reinforcement, a new time period (shorter or longer) is set with the average equaling a specific number over a sum total of trials. Example: Pop quiz

18 Schedules of consequences Pattern of behavior for variable interval schedule

19 Schedules of consequences Fixed Ratio A reinforcer is given after a specified number of correct responses. This schedule is best for learning a new behavior. The number of correct responses required for reinforcement remains the same. Example: Ten math problems for homework

20 Schedules of consequences Pattern of behavior for fixed ratio schedule

21 Schedules of consequences Variable Ratio A reinforcer is given after a set number of correct responses. After reinforcement the number of correct responses necessary for reinforcement changes. This schedule is best for maintaining behavior. Example: A student raises his hand to be called on.

22 Schedules of consequences Pattern of behavior for variable ratio schedule

23 Premack Principle The Premack Principle, often called "grandma's rule," states that a high-frequency activity can be used to reinforce low-frequency behavior. Access to the preferred activity is contingent on completing the low-frequency, non-preferred behavior.

24 Premack Principle The high frequency behavior to use as a reinforcer can be determined by: 1. Asking students what they would like to do. 2. Observing students during free time. 3. Knowledge of interests of a particular age group.

25 Rules In Analyzing Examples The following questions can help in determining whether operant conditioning has occurred. a. What behavior in the example was increased or decreased? b. Was the behavior – increased (if yes, the process has the be either positive or negative reinforcement), OR – decreased (if the behavior was decreased the process is either response cost or punishment).

26 Rules In Analyzing Examples The following questions can help in determining whether operant conditioning has occurred. c. What was the consequence / stimulus that followed the behavior in the example? d. Was the consequence (stimulus) added or removed? – If added, the process was either positive reinforcement or punishment. – If it was subtracted, the process was either negative reinforcement or response cost.

27 Analyzing An Example Billy likes to campout in the backyard. He camped- out on every Friday during the month of June. The last time he camped out, some older kids snuck up to his tent while he was sleeping and threw a bucket of cold water on him. Billy has not camped-out for three weeks. a. What behavior was changed? Camping out

28 Analyzing An Example Billy likes to campout in the backyard. He camped- out on every Friday during the month of June. The last time he camped out, some older kids snuck up to his tent while he was sleeping and threw a bucket of cold water on him. Billy has not camped-out for three weeks. b. Was the behavior strengthened or weakened? Weakened (Behavior decreased) Eliminate positive and negative reinforcement

29 Analyzing An Example Billy likes to campout in the backyard. He camped- out on every Friday during the month of June. The last time he camped out, some older kids snuck up to his tent while he was sleeping and threw a bucket of cold water on him. Billy has not camped-out for three weeks. Having water thrown on him. c. What was the consequence? d. Was the behavior consequence added or subtracted? Added

30 Analyzing An Example Billy likes to campout in the backyard. He camped- out on every Friday during the month of June. The last time he camped out, some older kids snuck up to his tent while he was sleeping and threw a bucket of cold water on him. Billy has not camped-out for three weeks. Since a consequence was ADDED and the behavior was WEAKENED (REDUCED), the process was PUNISHMENT.

31 Analyzing An Example Additional examples are provided in the web materials. An excellent web-based presentation on positive reinforcement is provided at: http://server.bmod.athabascau.ca/html/prtut/reinpair.htm


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