PSYC 2330 Lecture Notes - Proprioception, Broccoli, Rein
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1/21/2013 4:10:00 PM
Operant Conditioning (S-R: learning)
3 primary elements:
o 1) stimulus (S)
stimulus is also a signal.. allows the response to occur.
you respond because that stimulus has become important
through classical conditioning.
Operant stimulus, is the stimuli you are responding to
There are other conditioned stimuli as well
o 2) response (R)
o 3) significant event (S*)
stregthens the S-R bond.
o Here you are not responding to the burger, you are responding to the
McDonalds sign which became important through classical conditioning.
Sign and burger have been associated together over and over and over.
Therefore, what makes it operant is the RESPONSE.
o Operant stimulus
the cigrette! (you pick it up, smoke it- this is the most direct
element, -the operant response is smoking)
o ..the other stimuli are conditioned stimuli that cause a conditioned
(contextual cues, smell, smoke.. etc)
- Marlboro visual stimulus also smell
- Contextual cues bars or smoking chamber
- Only one is the operant stimuli the cigaret
(that is what you operate) - look at what the most direct
element is that you respond to
Biologically significant stimuli (S*) Tobacco - Nicotine (the drug)
-Operant response the act of smoking (related to the cigarette)
1) Primary Reinforcers
o stimuli needed for survival = food, water, sex
o stimuli that mimic the effects of food, water and sex in the brain = drugs
o sensory stimulation & novelty
require no learning, they are biologically important
2) Secondary Reinforcers
o A previous neutral stimulus that has acquired the capacity of strengthen
responses because it has been repeatedly paired with food or with some
other primary reinforcer
the S* isnt what strengthens the bond.. it is the CS
(which was learned through conditioning)
The S associated with the S* (S-S*) Conditioned Stimulus
Meaningful because it has been paired with a US
use CS to reinforce link with other stimulus, not to alter behavior.
o (Wolfe 1936)
Chimpanzees pressing a lever for tokens
Trained Chimps to press lever for tokens. And they could
give the tokens in for bananas. Treated the CS as food.
Chimps would take tokens from each other. The token
became a CS to promote the bond.
o Humans biggest secondary reinforcer is money!
Can be used to alter behaviour
3) Social Reinforcers
o Stimuli whose reinforcing properties derive uniquely from the behavior of
other members of the same species: praise, affection, attention. They are
usually a blend of primary and secondary reinforcers (smile & good)
stimuli that have ability to strengthen the bond, comes from
behaviour of others.
works well within species, but not among different species.
word 'good' becomes important (social reinforcer/CS) bc its
associated with positive reactions.
can be negative.. but would be odd to call that a 'reinforcer'
Ability to strengthen the link between a stimulus and a response -
comes from a reaction within the genes. Works between species
Facial reactions - inborn tendency to recognize smiles (good)
Can be negative - but difficult to call a reinforcer - punishment
Conditioned Reinforcers & shaping
o There is a difference of what a stimulus does to behaviour, and what it
does to how you 'feel' about it. We are discussing strictly behavioural
(series of actions that become more/less frequent depending on if
they are reinforced)
o Rat in Box example:
Stimulus (S) = lever intsrutment animal is operating
-is also the CS after it's learned
Response (R) action of pressing the lever
Reinforcer/ Significant Stimulus food pellet
active process of teaching the response...
-make rat hungry (restrict food, make them excited)
-they may press the lever, how do they make the
link between the lever and food?
put animal in chamber & turn on food dispenser.
o (animal doesnt do anything, just hear clicking
of food falling in and getting the food.)
need to establish a reliable CS predictive of the food
(clicking it makes when falling in dispenser)
-animal turns to face lever, you make noise by
droping food. every time it looks at lever, you make
-you then play trick.. when it looks at lever, you
DONT make noise.. then the animal will approach the
-you then make noise every time it approaches the
-then you don't make noise when it approaches..