PSYB45H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Reinforcement

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Is a process in which a behavior is strengthened by the immediate consequence that reliably follows its occurrence. When a behaviour is strengthened, it is more likely to occur again in the future. Thorndike placed a hungry cat in a cage and placed food outside of the cage where the cat could see it. He rigged the cage so that the door would open if the cat pressed the lever with its paw. Each time the cat was placed inside the cage, it took less time for the cat to hit the lever till the cat hit the lever as soon as the cat was placed in the cage. The cat was more likely to hit the lever because the behaviour resulted in an immediate consequence: escaping the cage and getting food. Getting to the food was the consequence that reinforced or strengthened the cats behaviour. B. f. skinner conducted many studies on the principle of reinforcement with rats and pigeons.