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Chapter 4

PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Avoidant Personality Disorder, Gambling, Ovule


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell
Chapter
4

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Chapter 4 - Reinforcement
What is Reinforcement? The process in which a behavior is strengthened by the immediate
consequence that reliably follows its occurrence. When a behavior is strengthened it is more
likely to occur again in the future. (Thorndike, cat in cage - law of effect). Getting to the food was
the consequence that reinforced (strengthened) the cat's behavior of hitting the lever with a paw.
Another example from B.F Skinner (rat presses the lever = response...and immediately food is
presented = the consequence. The outcome is that the rat is more likely to pres the lever in the
future.
1) The occurrence of a particular behavior 2) is followed by an immediate consequence 3) that
results in the strengthening of the behavior.
Operant Behavior: A behavior that is strengthened through the process of reinforcement
Reinforce: The consequence that strengthens an operant behavior
Example table 4.1 pg 76
+ When the occurrence of a behavior is reinforced it increases in frequency over time. Other
dimensions of behaviour may also increase as a function of reinforcement.
Positive vs. negative reinforcement
Positive Reinforcement: 1) The occurrence of a behavior 2) is followed by the addition of a
stimulus (a positive reinforce) or an increase in the intensity of a stimulus 3) which results in the
strengthening of the behavior
Negative Reinforcement: 1) The occurrence of a behavior 2) is followed by the removal of a
stimulus (an aversive stimulus) or a decrease in the intensity of a stimulus 3) which results in the
strengthening of the behavior
It is an object or event that can be detected by our senses, having an influence on the person.
Object or event may be a feature of the physical or social environment.
+ Negative reinforcement like positive reinforcement increases or strengthens behavior... on the
other hand punishment decreases or weakens a behavior. Examples of both reinforcement on
page 76 table 4.1
Social vs. automatic reinforcement
What is Social Reinforcement? When a behavior produces a reinforcement consequence
through the actions of another person. Ex, social positive reinforcement is if you ask friends to
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