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Chapter 5

Chapter 5.docx PYSB45

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
Professor
Konstantine Zakzanis
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 5: Basic Operant Principles Reinforcement: Positive and Negative Prolouge:  Edward L. Thorndlike conducted a study comparing the learning processes in animals including 13 cats and 3 dogs  He placed an animal in an closed apparatus called a puzzle box that had a latch that would open a door, enabling release from the box  The cats seemed more interested in gaining release to escape confinement than to get food  A pattern of trial and error : trial- the time it took each animal to escape decreased gradually from trial to trial. They didn’t suddenly discover a solution. Even after several successful escapes, the animals would not run to and trigger the latch immediately on being put in the box but seems to trigger it eventually while engaging in other activities  Thorndike later talked about the law of effect- satisfying consequences such as rewards or escape from unpleasant circumstances, strengthened stimulus-response connections gradually in the process of learning  Learning processes in animals with an apparatus often called the skinner box  When a hungry rat depressed the lever a pellet of food dropped into the tray the food was used as a reward which skinner called a reinforcer  Skinner demonstrated many features of reinforcement and its importance in learning Defining reinforcement  To reinforce means to strengthen, increase or make pronounced  In operant conditioning REINFORCEMENT refers to the process in which a consequence of a behavior strengthens that behavior making it more likely to occur in the future  The consequence is contingent on the behavior that is consequences occurs if the behavior does  The object or event that serves as the consequence in reinforcement is called a REINFORCER  Reinforcer is something the person wants or finds pleasant or satisfying  Reward- a prize, special payment  Reinforcer- when we push a switch to illuminate a room or smile at an attractive person who then starts to converse with us  Reinforcer is more precise term it is used more frequently than reward in the rest of the book Natural and Programmed reinforcement  NATURAL REINFORCER-happens spontaneously as a normal part of everyday events and are not planned and given systematically to affect a behavior o Examples: telling a joke is reinforced by the enjoyment other people express o Reading labels on file folders is reinforced by accessing needed materials o Eating food is reinforced by its good taste and hunger reduction  A special case of natural reinforcement is AUTOMATIC REINFORCEMT, in which a behavior produces a reinforcer directly without other people plating a role  Automatic reinforcement can maintain the repetitive /ritualistic behavioral excesses such as flapping the hands of children with autism as well as the nervous habits such as nail biting  PROGRAMMED REINFORCER- are provided within a program of reinforcement with the goal of increasing or strengthens specific behaviors o Examples of programmed reinforcer are the rewards behaviors analysts use in teaching social skills to children with autism Positive and negative reinforcement  A behavior is followed by a consequence and the sequence can take two patterns positive and negative  POSITVE REINFORCEMENT- the consequence involves presenting or adding a stimulus called a POSITIVE REINFORCER, after the individual has performed the response o EX: praise and snacks Jeremy mother gave him for his improvement in public speaking  When negative patterns occur a stimulus is subtracted for example if a boy has a tantrum in a store because his mother refused to buy him candy and she relents the tantrums stops  Both people behavior received reinforcement- the boy’s tantrum behavior resulted in positive reinforcement candy but the mothers’ behavior of relenting also got reinforced. The tantrum an aversive stimulus stopped was subtracted. The mother’s relenting received negative reinforcement making her more likely to relent for future tantrums  In NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT- the consequence of the behavior – in this case, relenting and buying candy – involves decreasing or removing an aversive stimulus the tantrum o Examples: drinking alcohol to reduce unpleasant feelings o Eating food to reduce feelings of hunger  Thorndike research with the puzzle box, the cats behavior of using the latch to open the door was probably negatively reinforced by gaining release from the box  Negative reinforcement sometimes is confused with punishment  But in punishment the aversive stimulus such as a scolding occurs after the behavior on which it is contingent  In negative reinforcement the aversive stimulus is present before the behavior that removes it  Positive means – (+) plus : Negative means – {-} minus  Positive means something is added where negative means something is subtracted Unconditioned and conditioned reinforcement  UNCONDITIONED REINFORCER-(primary reinforcer) they function as Reinforcers even when the individual has had no learning history with them o Examples- unconditioned Reinforcers include – food, water, warmth, and the reduction of pain when the individual is respectively, hungry, thirsty, cold or in pain  CONDITIONED REINFORCER- (secondary reinforcer) are stimuli that did not have the ability to strengthen behavior until they became reinforcing as a result of learning o Ex: animal trainers often develop conditioned Reinforcers to make rewards more easily and quickly available when teaching tricks o Examples od conditioned reinforcer: praise, television shows, music we like, good grades in school, fashionable clothing, access to the internet, games, hobby activities and jewelry Types of positive Reinforcers  The many types of positive Reinforcers include: tangible or consumable items, activities, social Reinforcers, feedback and tokens Tangible or consumable items  Tangible – means material objects we can perceive, such as toys, clothing or musical recordings  Consumable – things we can eat or drink such as candy, fruit or soft drinks  They both involve unconditioned or conditioned Reinforcers o EX: when children at mealtime obey their parents instructions to wash their hands before they may sit at the table and eat , food is the reinforcer for their behavior  Learning Theorist- CLARK HULL proposed that biological needs produce unpleasant internal drives such as hunger that can be reduced directly by performing behavior that leads to a relevant unconditioned reinforcer in this case food  Conditioned reinforcer such as money , work indirectly through their associations with unconditioned reinforcer such as food  Three examples : o Visual exploration as a reinforcer – BUTLER - there were monkeys in a cage that was enclosed in a box that prevented the monkeys from seeing out , but it had a small door at the box. The results showed that the door opening occurred at even higher rate when they could see in the room a moving toy train o Saccharin as a reinforcer- Saccharin is an artificial sweetener, has no calories. Researchers examined saccharin as a reinforcer with rats that had been fed unsweetened grain mash. The results were that the rats trained with the water saccharin reinforcer ran six times faster then the trained with just plain water o Brain stimulation as a reinforcer – OLDS and Milner – they implanted very thin electrodes deep in rats brains to deliver tiny pulses of electoral current to specific locations . the researchers then trained the subjects to press a lever and receive an electrical pulse to the brain with each press . one rat made 1920 responses in a 1 hour period for this reinforcer  Evidence suggest that Reinforcers can strengthens behavior: They reduce biologically based drives directly or indirectly , they provide sensory stimulation , they involve performing high-probability behaviors ( PREMACK principle), they have physiological effects Activity reinforcer  Drawing pictures is one of many activities children often enjoy and do frequently when they have a free choice, these kinds of activities are called high- probability behaviors  Premack proposed that one reason consequences are reinforcing is that they involve performing high probability behaviors and these activities will work as Reinforcers only for less frequent behaviors. This rule is called the PREMACK PRINCIPLE  The Premack principle appears to have some validity  Behaviors can increase peoples performance of infrequent behaviors o EX: tooth brushing at a summer camp increased when the campus opportunities to go swimming was contingent on brushing their teeth o Children classroom conduct improved when their teacher made the opportunity to play with toys, games and crafts contingent on increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable ones  Using high- probability b
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