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PSYCH 1X03 (254)
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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - Learning2 Textbook Notes Psych 1X03 .docx

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Textbook Notes Psych 1X03 Chapter 3: Learning Instrumental Conditioning Section 6: Instrumental Conditioning  Classical Conditioning – allows you to anticipate biologically important events; involves behaviours that are automatically triggered – no conscious decision making o Sensitization: Respond more and pay more attention o Habituation: Respond less and ignore o Conditioning involves forming new reflexive responses o Association occurs between two stimuli (US and CS)  Instrumental Conditioning – initiated by and are under the control of the organism o Conditioning involves forming new voluntary behaviour that direct goal-directed actions o Association occurs between a stimulus and a behavioural response  Thorndike’s Law of Effect: A response followed by a satisfying effect is strengthened and likely to occur again in that situation (stamped in), while a response followed by an unsatisfying effect is weakened and less likely to occur again in that situation (stamped out) o How strongly the responses are stamped in or out is proportional to the consequences (satisfying or unsatisfying) of the response o Cats In A Box  Placed a hungry cat in a puzzle box, cat had to pull a string or push a lever to get out to reach food  Cat initially wandered around - eventually stumbled upon the correct solution  Prediction – cat would solve the puzzle immediately, if put in the same situation again  Reality – cat did not solve problem immediately, but the escape time gradually decreased  The observed learning curve for a cat suggests that the escape response is gained in small increments  Operant Learning – instrumental conditioning o Classical Conditioning – subjects have no control over when the CS or US appear o Instrumental conditioning, the subjects behaviour directly causes the satisfying or unsatisfying consequences o Operant – describe behaviours in instrumental conditioning, as these voluntary actions operate on the environment to produce change leading to a specific consequence o Reinforcer – used to refer to the “satisfying effect” or “reward”, as to not imply assumptions about judgements being made in the mind of the individual responding  Anything that increases the probability of response being emitted again I the future  Primary Reinforcers – have intrinsic value (access to food, water, or a mate)  Secondary Reinforcers – cone to be reinforcing through previous learning (money) o Operant Chamber – also known as a Skinner Box Textbook Notes Psych 1X03  Special chamber with a lever or other mechanism by which an animal could respond to produce a reinforce such as a food pellet  Advantages over Thorndike’s puzzle box  Trials could be shorter  No constrained on responding  After completing a response and experiencing its effect, the animal remains in the box and is free to respond again  Response rate is automatically recorded with a cumulative recorder  Major Phenomena of Instrumental Conditioning o The more pairings there are between an operant response (eg/ lever press) and its consequence (eg/ food pellets), the stronger the acquired learning o If conditions change and the operant response is no longer paired with its consequence, the result is a decline in responding leading to extinction o Extinction – does not involve “unlearning” or the response, rather, new learning is layered on top of the previously learned response  Discriminative Stimuli – signal to the organism when a given response-reinforcer relationship is valid o S+ and S- o CS+ informed you about what will happen; S+ informs you of what could happen if you produce the appropriate behaviour o CS- informs you of what will not happen; S- informs you that a response-reinforcer is not currently valid o Eg/ Pigeon and key light – peck at green light (S+) and food will be received, peck at red light and no food will be received (S-) Section 7: Reinforcers, Reinforcement and Punishment\  Reinforcement and Punishment o Reward Training (Positive Reinforcement) – occurs when the arrival of a stimulus following a response increases the probability that the response will occur again o Escape or Avoidance Training (Negative Reinforcement) – occurs when the removal of an aversive stimulus (i.e. Something unpleasant) follows a response and leads to an increase in the probability that the response will occur again o Punishment – serves as the opposite of reinforcement; an outcome that decreases the probability that the response will occur again o Positive Punishment – occurs when the arrival of an aversive stimulus follows a response, thus decreasing the likelihood that the response will occur again o Omission Training (Negative Punishment) – occurs when a response leads to the removal of an appetitive stimulus, which decreases the probability of that response occurring again  Appetitive Stimulus – something that produces satisfaction when received  Reinforcement and punishment are administered most effectively when the consequences immediately follows the target behaviour rather than being delayed –allows organism to accurately associate the correct behaviour with the reinforcer Textbook Notes Psych 1X03 o Delay of Gratification – waiting time between target behaviour and result  Testing Effect – the phenomena that learning is better facilitated by
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