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Lecture 17

Principles of Learning Lecture 17.doc

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2330

Principles of Learning – Lecture 17 Behavioural Modification - Application of principles of reinforcement to practical problems of human behaviour  (Positively) Reinforce studying behaviour (praise good studying habits rather than repremanding) - Behavioural modifcation useful for children, people with cognitive impairment, people who just don’t care (where explanations don’t work). - Sports: you can’t explain how to do it - Immediate & frequent feedback is important; delay in response is important in operant conditioning (very short or immediate feedback for optimal learning). Token Economy (Contingency Management) - “When docial reinforcement fails” - Points or tokens are established as secondary reinforcers through pairings with a variety of potent reinforcers. The advantages: 1. Points or tokens are easy to dispense & can be given immediately 2. They can be used as generalized reinforcers - Manage the consequences of behaviour using points/tokens that are tangeable to the subject. - Substance use: called vouchers (can exchange for something you want) – receive vouchers when you test negative in drug test.  People receiving vouchers lessened drug-use more than other forms of treatment Maintaining Behaviour - Important assumption of behaviour modification: there are sources of reinforcement in the natural environment that will maintain the desired behaviour if only it can be established initially. Do something to produce the behaviour in the first place. - Tactics for encouraging maintenance: 1. Partial reinforcement 2. Reinforcing in a variety of ways 3. Fading 4. Conditioned reinforcers - Move from reinforcement (reinforce every occurrence) to partial reinforcement (less sensitive to extinction) – fade it completely away smoothly. - Start to introduce conditioned reinforcers (every time you give a star, say good boy – eventually stop giving stars) Harmful Effects of Reinforcement - Moral objections: bribery, greed - The Premack Principle: access to preferred behaviour reinforces less preferred behaviour & punishes more preferred behaviour  Performing a behaviour can be reinforcing.
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