PSYC 325 Lecture 6: Week 6 - Lecture Notes (Ch. 5 + 6)

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27 Nov 2020
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Studied how cats learned to escape from puzzle
boxes
No explicit training
spontaneous behaviours only
Week 6 Lecture Notes
Feb. 13, 2020
PSYC 325 Chapter 5 Lecture Notes
Operant Conditioning
Behavioral processes
Brain substrates
Clinical perspectives
What can you do with operant conditioning?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9ydv8SSCYE
Behavioral Processes
Operant conditioning: organisms learn to have particular behaviours to obtain positive, or avoid
negative, outcomes.
“Discovered” by Edward Thorndike
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Instrumental Learning: Thorndike
Law of Effect: In the presence of a particular stimulus, called the
discriminative stimulus (S), a particular response (R) may lead to
a particular outcome (O).
SRO
In context (S), response (R) produces outcome (O).
S= Discriminative stimulus= context
If the outcome from a certain context is good and the
context comes up again, they are more likely to do it again
This knowledge guides future behaviors:
Behaviors with positive outcomes increase
Behaviors with negative outcomes decrease
Choice depending on the ques around you
SRO R: Response
Exactly what kind of R is learned?
Initially, it was thought to be a rote motor program.
Automatic motor reaction to a certain situation
Not flexible
BUT - if the normal motor program is blocked, animals can use other methods to achieve the
same goal
Find other ways to get the desirable outcome
THEREFORE: R = “behavioral unit
a class of behaviors that can produce an effect.
a goal or intention.
Knowing what needs to be accomplished
SRO S: Discriminative Stimulus (Context)
Operant conditioning is about contingencies (If R, then O).
Have a certain behaviour a certain outcome will come
Dog stares, gets food
But it all depends on context
If you do not have food, the dog still stares but does not get any food
However, contingencies can change depending on context.
If I cry, mom picks me up.
It only works if mom is there!
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SRO S: Discriminative Stimulus (Context)
Operant conditioning is really a three-part association:
Context/discriminative stimulus, S
Behavioral response, R
Outcome, O
Learning discriminative stimuli allows us to select behaviors that are appropriate to the situation.
Practice! Identify S vs. R vs. O
1. The dog rolls over to get a belly rub
a. R = Dog rolls over
b. O = Belly rub
c. S = human around
2. She tiptoes around the house in order to not wake the baby
a. R = tip toe
b. O = Sleeping baby
c. S = sleeping baby
3. He gets a seat near the front of the airplane to avoid motion
sickness
a. S = being on airplane
b. R = sitting in front
c. O = avoid motion sickness
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