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Lecture 6-8 Notes (Midterm II).docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2330
Francesco Leri

Midterm II Notes Week 6 Thorndikes Puzzle BoxesPlaced a hungry animal cat dog or chicken in the puzzle box with some food left outside in plain view of the animalThe task for the animal was to learn how to get out of the box and obtain the foodDifferent puzzle boxes required different responses to get out and some were easier than othersFor example in Box A the required response was to pull a ring to release a latch that blocked the door on the outside In Box I pressing down on a level released a latch on the other side Initially subjects were slow to make the correct response but with continued practice on the task their latencies became shorter and shorterThorndike interpreted these results as reflecting the learning of an SR association The consequence of the successful response strengthened the association between the box stimuli and that response On the basis of his research Thorndike formulated the Law of Effect and concluded that responses that produce satisfaction will be more likely to recur and thus be strengthened The Law of Effect Edward Thorndike If a response in the presence of a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event the association between the stimulus S and the response R is strengthened If a response is followed by an annoying event the SR association is weakened That is if a specific behavior is followed by a positive outcome the behavior is more likely to reoccur In other words responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that situation and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situationContinuity Theory Edwin Guthrie The theory states that a set of stimuli that lead to a given response will always lead to the same response when encountered again According to Guthries approach responses are learned through their contiguity closeness in time and not strengthened by rewardrewards act only as a motivation for the organism to change its responseCognitive Theory Edward Tolman Tolman believed that animals understand the consequence of their behavior and that they not only anticipate the consequences but have expectations During operant conditioning animals make SS associations Rs are highly flexible and the primary role of a S is to motivate behavior Examplememory test in monkeys Reinforcement Theory BF SkinnerAlso known as behaviorism or operant conditioning in contrast to Ivan Pavlovs principles of classical conditioningReinforcement theory states that an individuals behavior is a function of its consequencesReinforcement theories focus on observable behavior rather than personal states like needs theories doReinforcement theory focuses on the environmental factors that contribute to shaping behaviorSimply put reinforcement theory claims that stimuli are used to shape behaviors Used in many areas of study including animal training raising children and motivating employees in the workplaceThere are four primary approaches to reinforcement theory positive reinforcement negative reinforcement extinction and punishPositive refers to addition and negative refers to subtractionPositive Reinforcement occurs when a behavior response is followed by a stimulus that is appetitive or rewarding increasing the frequency of that behavior In the Skinner box experiment a stimulus such as food or a sugar solution can be delivered when the rat engages in a target behavior such as pressing a leverNegative Reinforcement occurs when a behavior response is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus thereby increasing that behaviors frequency In the Skinner box experiment negative reinforcement can be a loud noise continuously sounding inside the rats cage until it engages in the target behavior such as pressing a lever upon which the loud noise is removedPositive Punishment occurs when a behavior response is followed by a stimulus such as introducing a shock or loud noise resulting in a decrease in that behaviorNegative Punishment occurs when a behavior response is followed by the removal of a stimulus such as taking away a childs toy following an undesired behavior resulting in a decrease in that behaviorEnhancement of Memory ConsolidationConsolidation is a neurological process that involves gradually converting information from shortterm memory into longterm memory Reinforcing events enhance the acquisition and the storage of information in the brain Attribution of Conditioned MotivationLearning is the formation of representations of the relationships among objects and eventsA representation of a reinforcer will motivate behavior
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