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Learning – Operant Conditioning AP Psychology Chapter 6.

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1 Learning – Operant Conditioning AP Psychology Chapter 6

2 Operant Conditioning  Operant Conditioning  type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement or diminished if followed by punishment  Edward Thorndike  Puzzle Box – behaviors that resulted in escape and the acquisition of food would be “stamped in” and displayed in future similar situations. Puzzle Box  Law of Effect  Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely

3 Puzzle Box

4 Operant Conditioning  B.F. Skinner (1904-1990)  elaborated Thorndike’s Law of Effect  coined the term operant conditioning  Skinner Box  Punishment and reinforcement  chamber with a bar or key that an animal manipulates to obtain a food or water reinforcer  contains devices to record responses

5 Skinner Box RS80DVvrg

6 Operant Conditioning Reinforcer – Any event that strengthens the behavior it follows Positive Reinforcement – the addition of something pleasant (food) Negative Reinforcement – the removal of something unpleasant (termination of a loud noise or shock) 9GSBoMI

7 Operant Conditioning

8 Operant Conditioning - Punishment Punishment – anything that makes behavior less likely ▫Positive Punishment – the addition of something unpleasant (extra chores, spanking) ▫Negative Punishment (omission training) – the removal of something pleasant (take away cell phone)

9 Problems with Punishment Does not “erase” an undesirable habit; merely suppresses it. Sometimes produces unwanted side effects. Often ineffective unless given immediately after the response and each time the response is made. Can become aggression, even abuse, if administered in anger. Children are more likely to behave aggressively if frequently punished. Signals what is inappropriate behavior but does not specify correct alternative behavior.

10 Guidelines for Effective Punishment Specify why punishment is being given. Without being abusive, punishment should be immediate and noticeable enough to eliminate the undesirable behavior. Identify and reinforce more appropriate behaviors.

11 Skinner Squares Positive Reinforcement Presenting an appetitive stimulus Behavior increases Ex: Every time Jimmy gets an A on his report card, his parents give him $20. Positive Punishment Presenting an aversive stimulus Behavior decreases Ex: Every time Jimmy talks in class, he gets detention; therefore, he no longer speaks out of turn in class. Negative Punishment (Omission) Removing an appetitive stimulus Behavior decreases Ex: Every time Jimmy stays out past his curfew, his parents take away his car; therefore, he no longer stays out past his curfew. Negative Reinforcement Removing an aversive stimulus Behavior increases Ex: Every time Jimmy has a headache, he takes an aspirin. When his headache goes away, he is more likely to take aspirin in the future.

12 Reinforcement Schedules Continuous Reinforcement – reinforcement that occurs after every desired behavior is exhibited ▫Necessary during acquisition ▫Subject learns to expect the reinforcement (ie: spoiling a child) Partial Reinforcement – reinforcement for the desired behavior is given occasionally ▫Elicits a greater number of desired responses in the long term because it is unknown when the reinforcement will take place  Target behavior is less prone to extinction.

13 Reinforcement Schedules Fixed-Ratio (FR) – reinforcement is provided after a set number of the correct responses are performed Variable-Ratio (VR) – reinforcement is provided after a varying number of correct behaviors Fixed-Interval (FI) – reinforcement is provided for the first desired response after a set amount of time has elapsed Variable-Interval (VI) – reinforcement is provided after the first desired response after a varying amount of time has elapsed

14 Applications of Operant Conditioning Behavior modification – a change in a previous behavior to a newly desired behavior Token economy – an environment that reinforces desirable behavior by rewarding the behavior with secondary reinforcers that can be exchanged for other reinforcers

15 Cognitive Learning Learned helplessness – failure to continue exerting effort for an outcome because all previous attempts have failed Latent learning – learning that may not be displayed until a later time – Tolman Cognitive maps – mental representations people rely on to understand complex patterns

16 Observational Learning Acquiring knowledge by watching others perform a task Bandura’s Bobo Doll – ▫Modeling – imitating or coping behavior that is directly observed ▫Examination of the effects of violence displayed in the media on children

17 Bobo Doll Experiment

18 Insight Learning Kohler – chimpanzees ▫Realizing how to suddenly solve a problem ▫Learning happens due to insight rather than gradual strengthening of the S-R connection ▫Solutions are not found until cognitive insights occur

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