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Instrumental Learning A general class of behaviors inferring that learning has taken place.

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Presentation on theme: "Instrumental Learning A general class of behaviors inferring that learning has taken place."— Presentation transcript:

1 Instrumental Learning A general class of behaviors inferring that learning has taken place

2 Two general classes of behaviors Free operants Fixed trials

3 The consequences of behavior The delivery of a reinforcement

4 1. Thorndike and the law of effect That behavior that immediately preceded the appearance of a satisfying state of affairs (internal to the animal) is a reinforcer

5 2. Skinner and Operant Behavior

6 V. Major phenomena of instrumental learning Called operant because the animal operates on the environment to acquire a reinforcer

7 Conditioned reinforcement The animal only gets rewarded when an explicit behavior is emitted. Acquiring money!!

8 Note the terms One rewards the animal.

9 One reinforces a response.

10 What is a reinforced? The explicit narrow behavior that occurs immediately preceding the delivery of the reinforcement.

11 Reinforcement & Punishment Concept – Positive Reinforcement

12 Description Increasing the frequency of a behavior by following it with the presentation of a positive reinforcer – a pleasant, positive stimulus or experience

13 Example Saying “Good job” after someone works hard to perform a task.

14 Types of reinforces Appetitive – usually food Negative --- shock, air puff; those stimuli that deliver pain or discomfort.

15 Positive Reinforcement

16 Concept: Negative reinforcer

17 Negative Reinforcement

18 Note the following The removal of a negative stimulus is positively reinforcing – the animal will tend to do that behavior that removes itself from the cues associated with the aversive state of affairs.

19 The Skinner Box Any box or device in which a reinforcer can be automatically delivered contingent on the behavior of the animal.

20 Shaping The initial learning – teaching the animal to hit a bar or push a key.

21 Accumulative record A “strip chart’s” ink record of the animals behavior.

22 Schedules of reinforcement Reinforcement based on responses Reinforcement based on the passage of time

23 Fixed Ratio Behavior (FR) Reinforcement based on the number of response accomplished. For humans, piece work – payment for the number of things accomplished

24 Variable Ratio (VR) Payment (reinforcement) for the average number of responses accomplished


26 Fixed Interval (FI) Reinforcement for the first response after a fixed period of time has occurred. Work by the hour, irrespective of the amount of work accomplished

27 Variable Interval (VI) Reinforcement based on the first response after an average amount of time has passed.

28 Interval schedules

29 Combinations of schedules of reinforcement Unlimited combinations of schedules

30 Partial Reinforcement Variable ratio and variable interval schedules are harder to extinguish than continues reinforcement

31 Negative Control of Behavior Behavior emitted that removes an aversive state of affairs.

32 Negative reinforcer Description: Increasing the frequency of a behavior by following it with the removal of an unpleasant stimulus or experience

33 Concept Avoidance conditioning

34 Description: Learning to make a response that avoids an unpleasant stimulus.

35 Example You slow your car to the speed limit when you spot a police car, thus avoiding being stopped and reducing the fear of a fine; very resistant to extinction

36 1. Escape and Avoidance

37 The control of Intrinsic behavior Avoidance tasks the removal of one-self from an environment which has previously been associated with a negative reinforcement.

38 Sidman Avoidance Shock-Shock interval (shock every 5 sec)

39 S. A. (cont.) Response shock interval (time delay of shock/bar push)

40 S. A. (cont.) Very, very hard to extinguish. VAN - chimp

41 VIII. Punishment – different types

42 Punishment 2 (Penalty)

43 Example You learn to use the mute button on the TV remote control to remove the sound of an obnoxious commercial

44 Concept Escape Conditioning

45 Description: Learning to make a response that removes an unpleasant stimulus

46 Example A little boy learns the crying will cut short the time that he must stay in his room

47 Concept Punishment

48 Description: Decreasing the frequency of a behavior by either presenting an unpleasant stimulus (punishment 1) or removing a pleasant one (punishment 2 (penalty).

49 Example You swat the dog after it steals food from the table, or you take a favorite toy away from a child who misbehaves. A number of cautions should be kept in mind when using punishment (see below for an example).

50 Learned helplessness Continued punishment until the animal refuses to respond even when there is no aversive state of affairs.

51 Combined Operant and C. C.

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