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Learning Theories Goal  How do we acquire behaviors through operant conditioning?

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Theories Goal  How do we acquire behaviors through operant conditioning?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Theories Goal  How do we acquire behaviors through operant conditioning?

2 Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect Cats placed in “puzzle boxes” Use trial-and-error to “escape” Continue behaviors w/good result Discontinue behaviors w/bad result

3 B.F. Skinner “Skinner Boxes”

4 Reinforcement Positive Reinforcement Increases response by presenting positive stimulus Negative Reinforcement Increases response by removing negative stimulus

5 Punishment Positive Punishment Decrease behavior by presenting bad stimulus Negative Punishment Decrease behavior by removing good stimulus

6 Punishment Suppresses behavior (not forgotten) Teaches discrimination Teaches fear May increase aggressiveness

7 Reinforcers Immediate v. Delayed Reinforcers Unlearned Conditioned (Secondary) Reinforcer Learned through association Primary Reinforcer Continuous v. Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement

8 Shaping Reinforce each step (successive approximation) toward desired behavior Chaining – linking behaviors together into a routine (ex: putting reinforced dance moves into a choreographed performance)

9 Schedules of Partial Reinforcement Fixed-ratio – reinforcement after a set or fixed number of behaviors occur Variable-ratio – reinforcement after different numbers of behaviors

10 Schedules of Partial Reinforcement Fixed-interval – reinforcement after a set or fixed amount of time Variable-interval – reinforcement after different amounts of time


12 Extending Operant Conditioning Cognitive Influences Cognitive map – mental representation of environment Latent Learning – learning not known until there is motivation to demonstrate it

13 Operant Conditioning & Motivation Intrinsic & extrinsic motivation (we will discuss these more in our motivation unit) – Intrinsic = internal desire to perform behavior, “for its own sake” – Extrinsic = need external reward or avoidance of punishment to perform behavior

14 Biology & Operant Conditioning Biological constraints predispose organisms to learn associations that are naturally adaptive – Pigeons naturally peck Easy to teach pigeons to peck to receive food – Pigeons naturaly flap wings Teach pigeons to flap wings to avoid shock – However, difficult to teach pigeon to flap wings to get food, or peck to avoid shock

15 Premack Principle Use preferred behaviors to reinforced non- preferred behaviors – Parents make children eat vegetables in order to get dessert

16 Applications of Operant Conditioning School – token economy Sports Work – schedules of reinforcement Home Self-improvement - Biofeedback

17 Operant vs Classical Conditioning

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