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Behavioral Theories Of Learning

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1 Behavioral Theories Of Learning
EDU 6303 Psychology of Teaching and Learning

2 Overview Definition of learning Pavlov Thorndike Skinner
Principles of Behavioral Learning Theory Bandura Meichenbaum

3 What is learning? Learning is usually defined as a change in an individual caused by experience not by reflexes (Slavin, 2003).

4 Pavlov Unconditioned stimulus – elicits a response automatically
Unconditioned response – occurs automatically unconditioned stimulus Neutral stimulus – does not automatically elicit a response, but can become a Conditioned stimulus during Classical conditioning Pavlov conducted his research in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s

5 Thorndike – Law of Effect
Thorndike went beyond Pavlov by showing that stimuli that occurred after a behavior had an influence on future behaviors An act that is followed by a favorable effect is more likely to be repeated in similar situations; an act that is followed by unfavorable effect is less likely to be repeated.

6 Skinner Skinner’s work focused on the relationship between behavior and its consequences. Operant conditioning – the use of pleasant and unpleasant consequences to change behavior. Skinner Box – allows the study of behavior in a controlled environment.

7 Principles of Behavioral Learning
Behavior changes according to its immediate consequences (immediacy of consequences is key). Reinforcers – consequences that are likely to increase the frequency of the behavior, i.e., strengthen the behavior. Primary reinforcers – satisfy basic human needs. Secondary reinforcers acquire their value for being associated with primary reinforcers.

8 Principles (continued)
Shaping – guiding behavior toward goals by reinforcing the many steps that lead to success. Extinction – removing reinforcers from previously learned behavior until the behavior disappears. Extinction burst – the increase in levels of behavior in the early stages of extinction.

9 Principles (continued)
Positive reinforcement – are usually things given to students that they value, e.g., praise. Negative reinforcement – escape from an unpleasant or a way of preventing unpleasant behavior from occurring.

10 Principles (continued)
Punishment – consequences that weaken behavior; punishment like reinforcement is in the eye of the receiver and the impact on behavior.

11 Principles (continued)
Removal punishment – forbidding a desirable task or situation; Presentation punishment (aversive stimulus) – imposing an undesirable task or situation; and No reinforcement discourage behaviors. However, positive reinforcement generally works better to shape behavior than punishment.

12 Principles (continued)
Premack principle (grandma’s rule) – you can encourage less-desired (to the individual by linking them to a desired behavior. Intrinsic motivators – behaviors that people enjoy for the pleasure of the behavior. Extrinsic motivators – rewards given to people to motivate them to engage in behavior that they might not engage in otherwise.

13 Schedules of Reinforcement
Fixed interval – reinforcer is given after a fixed number of behaviors. (Fixed ratio schedules are effective in motivating individuals to do a great deal of work especially with high requirements for reinforcement

14 Schedules of Reinforcement
Variable interval –variable number of behaviors are necessary for reinforcement. This reinforcement schedule is very effective for maintaining a high rate of behavior and are highly resistant to extinction.

15 Schedules of Reinforcement
Fixed interval schedule – reinforcement is available on at certain times - can encourage cramming, e.g., end of grade test.

16 Schedules of Reinforcement
Variable interval – reinforcement is available at some times, but not at others – spot checks

17 Maintenance Some behaviors that have been acquired through reinforcement become intrinsically motivating, e.g., reading, soccer. Variable interval schedules produce behaviors that are resistant to extinction.

18 Role of Antecedents Cueing – antecedent behavior or cues tell people what behavior will be reinforced Discrimination is the use of cues, signals, or information to know when behavior is likely to be reinforced – learning is largely a matter of mastering more and more complex discriminations.

19 Generalization Is the transfer of behavior under one set of conditions to other situations. Generalization must be planned for; it is most likely to occur across similar settings or similar concepts. It is more likely to occur is using many relevant examples. The instruction is repeated in a variety of settings.

20 Social Learning Theory
Bandura and observational learning – he noted that Skinnerian emphasis of the consequences of behavior largely ignored the phenomena of modeling – the imitation of others. Observational learning involves four phases:

21 Social Learning Theory
Attentional phase – the first phase of observational learning is paying attention to model. Retention phase – once teachers have students’ attention, it is time to model the behavior they want the students to imitate and then give students a chance to practice and rehearse.

22 Social Learning Theory
Reproduction phase – student’s try to match their behavior to the model’s. Motivational phase – students will imitate a model because they believe that doing so will increase their own chances of being reinforced.

23 Social Learning Theory
Vicarious Learning - People learn in this process learn by seeing other people rewarded or punished. Self-regulation – people can observe their own behavior, judge it against their own standards, and reinforce or punish themselves.

24 Social Learning Theory
Meichenbaum’s model of self regulated learning argues that students can be taught to monitor and regulate their own behavior, which is often called cognitive behavior modification.

25 Michenbaum’s Model of Self-Regulated Learning
An adult model performs a task while talking to self out loud (cognitive modeling). The child performs the same task under the direction of the model’s instructions (overt, external guidance). The child performs the task while instructing self aloud (overt, self-guidance).

26 Michenbaum’s Model of Self-Regulated Learning
The child whispers instructions to self as he or she goes through the task (faded, overt self-guidance). The child performs the task while guiding his or her performance via private speech (covert self-instruction).

27 Strengths and Limitations of Behavioral Learning Theories
The basic principles are as firmly established as any in psychology and have been demonstrated under many different conditions. However, the theories only deal with observable behavior. In some ways in complements cognitive theories of learning.

28 Reference Slavin, R. E. (2003). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice, 7th Edition.

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