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Instrumental Conditioning 1.docx

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Joe Kim

Psychology Instrumental Conditioning 1 - Instrumental Conditioning: the learning of a contingency between behaviour and consequence -Thorndike's Experiment: measured time it took cat to learn to open a door by pulling string (puzzle box) -the cat would eventually pull the string by accident and realize there's food on the outside; the next few times the cat was put in the box, it would pull the string almost immediately to get the food -Graph on the right indicates a decreasing number of behaviours in relation to the number of increasing successful trials -there was never an "aha" moment (like there would be for humans), but rather a long trial and error process -Law of Effect (in Thorndike's Experiment): Rope pulling behaviour gets "stamped in"; random behaviour gets "stamped out". This general process leads to the cat learning the contingency between pulling the string and a food reward -Law of Effect: behaviours with positive consequences are stamped in/ those with negative consequences are stamped out Types of Instrumental Conditioning -Presentation of a positive reinforcer following a response is reward training (increases behaviour) ex. dog treats -Presentation of a negative reinforcer following a response is punishment training (decreases behaviour) ex. shock every time you buy pop from a vending machine → when punishment is used, a contingency develops where the person applying punishment may become a signal for p
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