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Lecture 4

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Carolyn Ensley

 Extinction in Operant Conditioning  Extinction  Weakening and eventual disappearance of learned response  Occurs when response is no longer followed by a reinforcer  "spontaneous recovery" of responses also may occur in operant conditioning  Biological Limits on Learning  Learning limited by genetic dispositions and physical characteristics  Instinctive drift  During operant learning, tendency for an organism to revert o instinctive behaviour  Racoons always "wash" small objects  Pigs always "root" w/ snout when object is associated w/ food  Skinner: the man and the myth  Determinist View:  Out Behaviour determined by environment and our heritage (what's around you determines what you become)  Free will is an illusion; infuriated many people  Environment should be manipulated to alter behaviour  The "Air Crib" --> (well regulated temperature)  People thought air crib was a cold idea and got idea that Skinner was a harsh man though he wasn't  He was stubborn; not harsh  Operant Conditioning in Real Life  Behaviour modification  Application of operant conditioning techniques to teach new responses or to reduce/eliminate maladaptive or problematic behaviour  Also called behaviour analysis  Pros of Punishment  Punishment can be effective when applied correctly:  Punishment most effective when it occurs immediately after the undesirable behaviour  Eg. Photo radar tickets vs radar  Radar more effective than photo radar since radar involves immediate punishment  The consistency of punishment is more important than the severity of punishment  Cons of Punishment  Inappropriate implementation of punishment  Recipient of punishment often responds w/ anxiety, fear/rage  Effectiveness of punishment often temporary and depends on punisher's presence  Most misbehaviour is hard to punish immediately  Punishment conveys little info  Punishment may instead be reinforcing because it brings attention  Iclicker question:  Better strategy for changing behaviour?  Reinforcement  Intrinsic and Extrinsic Rewards  Rewards may not work as planned (can be misused)  Extrinsic reinforcers:  Not inherently related to activity being reinforced  Eg. Money, praise, etc.  Intrinsic reinforcers:  Inherently related to activity being reinforced  Eg. Enjoyment of doing task, satisfaction of accomplishment  Intrinsic reinforcers are better than extrinsic reinforcers  Sometimes people become too reliant on extrinsic reinforcement and stop experiencing pleasure of doing something for your own sake 
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