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Lecture 5

PSY260H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Operant Conditioning, Edward C. Tolman, Edward Thorndike


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY260H1
Professor
Martin Ralph
Lecture
5

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Process'whereby'organisms'learn'to'make'responses'in'order'to'obtain'or'avoid'
important'consequences
It'is'a'form'of'associative'learning
Operant'conditioning'is'based'on'avoiding'or'obtaining'a'specific'outcome'-it'
requires'an'organism'operate'in'its'environment'to'determine'the'outcome
When'the'animal’s'response'was'followed'by'a'satisfying'outcome,'then'
the'probability'of'that'response'occurring'again'in'the'future'would'
increase
o
If'followed'by'an'unsatisfying'response,'then'the'probability'if'that'
response'occurring'again'would'decrease
o
If'R'leads'to'an'undesirable'outcome,'R'will'tend'to'decrease'
in'frequency,'weakening'the'S-R'association
§
Law'of'effect'given'a'particular'stimulus'(designated'S),'a'response'(R)'
that'leads'to'a'desirable'or'pleasant'outcome'will'tend'to'increase'in'
frequency,'strengthening'the'S-R'association'and'making'it'more'likely'
that'S'will'evoke'the'same'R'in'future
o
Discrete(trials(paradigm trials'were'controlled'by'the'experimenter
o
Edward'Thorndike'first'tried'to'systematically'explore'how'animals'learn'new'
behaviours
Believed'that'animals'make'responses'because'they'understand'the'
consequences'that'will'follow'actions
o
Stimulus(S(->(Response(R(->(Outcome(O
Behavioural(Processes
Skinner'automated'the'data'collection'so'that'the'experimenter' no'longer'had'
to'intervene'at'the'end'of'each'trial
Drawback:'the'animal'now'controlled'its'own'rate'of'responding
Free-operant(paradigm the'animal'could'operate'the'apparatus'freely
Skinner(box contained'a'mechanism'such'as'a'lever'or'a'pressure-sensitive'
disk'that'controlled'the'delivery'of'the'food'into'the'trough'(operant'chamber)
Reinforcement process'of'providing'an'outcome'for'a'behaviour'that'
increases'the'probability'of'the'behaviour
Punishment the'process'of'providing'outcomes'for'a'behaviour'that'decrease'
the'probability'of'that'behaviour
Cumulative recorder devised'by'Skinner'to'record'whether'the'animal'
responds'or'not'through'a'pen'that'moves'up'indicating'a'response
Free-Operant(Learning
Discriminative stimuli stimuli'that'signal'whether'a'particular'response'
will'lead'to'a'particular'outcome
o
Habit slip -unexpected'S'does'not'disrupt'the'S-R'association
o
Protestant ethiceffect-'' it'echoes'the'religious'precept'that'rewards'
should'be'earned'and'that'hard'workers'are'morally'superior'to'
freeloaders
o
Stimuli can'be'any'object'or'event'that'the'organisms'can'detect;'the'first'part'
of'the'chain'that'triggers'the'response'and'leads'to'an'outcome
Shaping -successive'approximations'to'the'desired'response'are'
reinforced
o
Backward'chaining'
§
Chaining -organisms'are'gradually'trained'to'execute'complicated'
sequences'of'discrete'responses
o
Responses -defined'by'the'outcome'it'produces
Not'always'reinforcing'because'once'the'need'is'satisfied,'the'
reinforcer'does'not'motivate'further'consumption
§
Reinforcers'are'not'created'equal'-some'food'are'better'than'
others
§
Limitations:'
§
Primary reinforcers -organisms'have'innate'drives'to'obtain'these'things'
and'therefore'to'repeat'behaviours'that'provide'access'to'these'things
o
Secondary(reinforcers -initially' have'no'intrinsic'value'but'that'have'been'
paired'with'primary'reinforcers
o
Drive(reduction(theory -all'learning'reflects'the'innate,'biological'need'to'
reduce'these'drives'by'obtaining'primary'reinforcers
o
Reinforcers -consequence'of'behaviour'that'heads'to'increased'likelihood'of'
that'behaviour'in'the'future
Discriminative'stimuli'for'punishment'can'encourage'cheating
§
Concurrent'reinforcement'can'undermine'the'punishment
§
Punishment'leads'to'more'variable'behaviour
§
Initial'intensity'matters
§
Four'important'factors'to'determine'how'effective'the'punishment'will'
be:
o
Punishers -consequences'of'a'behaviour'that'lead'to'decrease'likelihood'of'that'
behaviour'in'the'future
Components(of(the(Learned(Association
Reinforcement'schedules'-rules'determining'when'outcomes'are'delivered'in'
an'experiment'
Building(the(S-R-O(Association
Operant'conditioning'is'faster'if'the'R-O'interval'is'short
Schlinger'and'Blakely'-immediate'reward'delivery'following'lever'press'='
quicker'association'formation'than'delayed'reward'presentation
Closeness'in'timing'is'also'important'for'increasing'punishment'effectiveness
Reinforcement/punishment -most'effective'if'there'is'no'delay'between'
response'and'punishing'consequences
Age'impacts'ability'to'wait'for'delayed'reinforcement'
o
Self-control -or'organisms'willingness'to'forgo'a'small'immediate'
reinforcement'in'favour'of'a'large'future'reinforcement
Pre-commitments help'improve'the'ability'to'improve'to'wait'for'a'reward
Timing(Affects(Learning
Operant(Conditioning
October'7,'2014
11:00'AM
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