Psychology Lecture 28 (Chapter 7)
Slide 18: operant condition is to create unnatural behavior. This can be done using shaping- altering a
behavior into something you want. Ex: dolphins do not jump through burning hoops, but they jump. So
you use classical condition to reward them- blow a whistle and give a fish afterwards immediately.
Eventually the dolphin will respond to the whistle immediately, because it links it to a reward. Then you
can blow a whistle when a dolphin does a certain act (like it swims on its back…it’ll eventually figure out
that it’ll get a fish when it does that act again). This technique will be used further and further but you
increase the requirement (ex. Jump higher), until it develops the wanted act.
Another example is karate: the difference between yellow and black is that the techniques used have to
be more precise and powerful in a black belt. The belt is the reward to the student.
Slide 19: You can’t control everything in a Skinner box. Intermitted reinforcements are four ways in
which you can reward an animal.
Fixed ratio: the animal is rewarded after a certain number of behavior. Ex. Shaping the rat from touching
the lever to pressing it down. Leads to bursts, where the animal does the behavior with the specific
number in one shot, and relaxes after the reward.
5-fixed ratio: you always reward it after the 5 act.
Variable ratio: it’s not a fixed number, but varying numbers of actions are needed for a reward. The
animal is unsure when the reward will come since there’s no pattern, so they feel there’s a reward on
the next action. Could be analogized with gambling, since a gambler thinks that the reward might
appear on the next try, and the longer they tried, the more money they’d get.
Fixed interval: similar to the ratio, but instead the reward is based on a time period in which that animal
is behaving the way you want. Ex: you want to impress your boss with your work ethics. The boss will
check on the staff by checking every hour. Eventually the staff will learn the pattern, and look busy
during the time wh