PSYC 2330 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Stimulus Control, Apomorphine, Foghorn

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Thursday, November 8/2012
PSYC 2330
Lecture 18
Escape and avoidance are forms of?
a. positive reinforcement
b. negative reinforcement
c. punishment
d. omission
e. it depends on the context
I answer e
Positive Punishment
Positive punishment means the presentation of stimulus that reduces the frequency of behaviour
Presentation of an aversive stimulus
Correction comes in when an unwanted behaviour surfaces
Punishment has an impact on the way an organism feels
Often simply referred to as punishment
Is Punishment Effective?
Lever pressing in rats
Cummulative responsive, once the line is flat, it means that respoding has stopped
The steeper the slope, the faster the response rate
Skinner trained rats to lever press for sucrose
Tried to enhance the effect of extinction by adding punishment
Punishment was administered only at the beginning of the session
Punishment was slapping the paw of the rat for touching the lever
Punishment group showed less responding at first than the control group (ie. On the first day
Punishment group showed equal responding to the control group after the first day
Punishment only had a temporary effect on reducing behaviour, not a permanent one
Same experiment performed with foot shock instead of paw slapping
Shock strength is varied to change the intensity of the punishment
From this study, it was concluded that punishment was effective, but it has to be at the
correct intensity
However, does this experiment show that the animal learned anything?
No, the animal cannot perform any behaviour when they have received that intense a
shock (>120V)
Self-injurious behaviour in humans
Attempting to modify self-injurious behaviours in children with Autism, childhood
schitzophrenia etc...
Children can die from self-destructive behaviour
Child was given a mild foot shock each time they perform a self-destructive behaviour
In this case, punishment worked
The behaviour was extreme, which is why the extreme route was allowed to be tried
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Numbers represent the person in the room, 1 always represents the same experimenter
At first, the child associates the shock with the person who gave it to them
When the experimenter who gave the child the shock is not in the room, the behaviour
The child must experience the foot shock from multiple experimenters in order for it to
Many of the original experiments about punishment come from Skinner
Self-mutilation prevented by intense shocks and then by secondary punishment
The pigeons of Azrin, Holz and Hake (1963): 60 or 80 volts?
Punish pigeons with 80 volts for pecking a light
Not dead, just not pecking
Punished pigeons with 60 volts for pecking a light
Pigeons didn't stop responding
Pigeons given 80 volts after and pigeons didn't top responding
Pigeons continued to peck until given 300 volts
The principle is if you use a mild punishment that doesn't work, the subject becomes
tolerant to the punishment and so you have to pursue much higher extremes to stop
The idea is that if you punish a child and it is too mild, the behaviour will persist and the
behaviour will persist until the punishment is much more severe
When the punisher administers the shock, they become a conditioned stimulus to
punishment (ie. Conditioned punisher)
Conditioned punisher leads to the lack of behaviour in the presence of the individual/stimuli
Dogs (Soloman et al., 1968) and children (Aronfreed 1968)
0 seconds – effective
5 seconds – not effective
The organism attempts to discern which behaviour led to the punishment
Experiment details from above ^
Sit with two options beside you
On one side is regular pet valu dog food in large quantities
On the other side is fillet mignon
Led the dog in
If the animal consumed the preferred food, they were punished by being hit with a
Varied the delay of punishment
Then allowed the animal in the room with no experimenter and measured how long it
took for the dog to consume the preferred food
Group that was punished after 15 seconds, the dog ate the preferred food after 3 minutes
Group that was punished after 5 seconds, the dog resisted eating the preferred for 8 days
Group that was punished immediately went without eating the preferred food for 2
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