LECTURE: Goal Directed Behaviour: Instrumental or Operant Conditioning
Instrumental Conditioning: a method of learning where the individual’s behaviour is modified
based on reinforcing or inhabiting consequences
The Law of Effect: One of the most important concepts in learning theory.
→ if a response in the presence of a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event (C), the
association between the stimulus (A) and the response (B) will be strengthened; if the response is
followed by an annoying event, the association will be weakened. (Thordike, 1998)
ABCs of Applied Behaviour Analysis: Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence
example: Joe’s Stereotypical Ear Covering → Joe covered heard screaming (antecedent), covered
his ears (behaviour), and received a positive consequence (silence) therefore he continued the
Shaping Behaviour: A behaviour that is shaped must be in the animal’s repertoire. Using a
reinforcer to shape future behaviour. The reinforcer must be relevant to the individual.
Example: inpatient learning to speak again using chewing gum as a reinforcer
The Four Procedures of Goal Directed Behaviour
1. Positive Contingencies: Response predicts probable occurrence of a stimulus. The stimulus
can appetitive or adverse, the presentation of the stimulus can be satisfying (SR) or
unsatisfying (SP). If the stimulus is appetitive/satisfying the behaviour will increase. If the
behaviour is aversive/unsatisfying the behaviour will decrease.
→ this creates positive reinforcement where something positive is presented as a
reinforcer or positive punishment where something negative is presented as a punishment
2. Negative Contingencies: Response products the probable withdrawal of a stimulus. Again,
the stimulus can be appetitive or aversive, the withdrawal of a stimulus can be unsatisfying
(SP) or satisfying (SR). Leading the behaviour to increase because of the withdrawal of an
adverse stimulus or for in to decrease with the withdrawal of a pleasant stimulus.
→ this creases a negative punishment or a negative reinforcement
Punishment: makes the individual feel bad, decreases behaviour
Reinforcement: makes the individual feel good, increases behaviour
Negative: something taken away, can be seen as punishment or reinforcement
Positive: something is given, can be seen as punishment or reinforcement
Contingency: positive if something is presented, negative if something is removed
Satisfying (SR) for the individual