November 21, 12
PSYCH Lecture Week 11
Conditioning – Operant (consequences matter!) and Classical
Consequences: contiguity and contingency.
The ABCs of Behavioural Analysis
Consequence This is at the heart of why humans behave the way they do.
Baby and Gangnam Style
Relationship between her bahaviour and seeing Gangnam Style. There is a stimulus
situation – she cries – to get the consequence (the song played). She has learned that this
particular stimulus (the laptop and her mother) has to be present in the environment in
order to get the song. So she has learned this behaviour.
Operant Response crying
Positive Reinforcement – causes this behaviour to be elicited again. The song is delivered
again and again.
Types of Consequences
Reinforcement: a consequence that increase the likelihood of the operant response
Punishment: a consequence that decreases the likelihood of the operant response
From mom’s point of view:
Stimulus – baby crying >Response – mom turns on Gangnam style > Consequence –
baby stops crying
Operant Conditioning: Skinner Box
Rats in a box. In the classic situation that animal has a lever it can press to either receive
food or escape a shock. It allowed Skinner to look at the rate of responding. Positive
reinforce could be food, a punishment could be shock. A negative reinforce could be the
remover of shock.
Positive reinforcement – when you deliver something good to animal, like food
Negative reinforcement – Removal of something bad to the animal, like shock. Animals
will make the escape response. Avoidance learning: learning to make the escape
response before the negative reinforcer comes on.
Positive punishment – deliver of something bad
Negative punishment – removal of something good, like food or light. (Time out) November 21, 12
What is false about reinforcement and punishment?
A) Not getting wet when you put your umbrella up in negative reinforcement
B) Putting your umbrella up while you’re still in a dry place reflects avoidance
C) Shouting at someone when they have done something wrong is negative
punishment (this is false, this is not negative punishment)
D) Sending a child to the ‘naughty chair’ is positive punishment. (They are a little bit
of a negative punishment, as that takes away their freedom. But putting them in
chair labeled naughty is also aversive.)
E) Reinforcement is generally more effective at changing behviour than is
punishment. (True because reinforcement is generally more effective, because
perhaps it can be more immediate).
Schedules of Reinforcement
Gambling – Variable ratio schedule. You play and maybe you get reinforced on the 20 th
time, 55 , etc. It’s unsure when you’ll get reinforced. In general, variable ratio
reinforcement produces extremely high rates of responding, ehich is why casinos are so
Partial Reinforcement Schedules
Fixed Eg: every 4 response Eg: The next response to occur after one minute
is reinforced since the last reinforcement is reinforced
Variable Eg: On average, every Eg: The next response to occur after, one average,
4 response (ranging one minute (ranging between 30 and 90 seconds)
between 2 and 6) is since the last reinforcement is reinforced
Which of the following is false about partial reinforcement?
A) It takes longer to acquire a partially reinforced operant response. November 21, 12
B) It takes longer to extinguish a partially reinforced operant response.