Textbook Notes (363,263)
Canada (158,281)
Psychology (9,573)
PSYB45H3 (1,061)
Chapter 4


4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto Scarborough
Zachariah Campbell

CHAPTER 4 REINFORCEMENT Reinforcement -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. -Earliest demo by Thorndike. 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. -Thorndike called this : law of effect 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 Skinner placed each animal in a chamber and delivered a pellet of food each time the rat pressed the lever with its paws. Thus, the rat was more likely to press the lever each time it was placed in the chamber. This behaviour of pressing the lever was strengthened because when it occurred it was immediately followed by the receipt of food. The behaviour of pressing the lever increased in frequency relative to all behaviours the rat exhibited when placed in the chamber. ~ Defining Reinforcement~ Reinforcement is also a natural process that also influences humanbehvaiour. It can occur naturally as a result of our day-to-day interactions with our social and physical environment or it may be planned as a behaviour mod program used to change a person’s behaviour. Reinforcement is: 1)the occurrence of a particular behaviour 2) is followed by immediate cosneuqence 3) that result sin the strengthening of the behaviour.—the person is more likely to engage in the behaviour again in the future A behaviour is strengthened if there is an increase un its frequency, duration, intensity or speed. A behaviour that is strengthened through the process of reinforcement is called an operant behaviour. An operant behaviour acts on the environment to produce a consequence and is controlled or occurs in the future because of its immediate consequence. The consequence that strengthens an operant behaviour is called a reinforcer. The frequency of the behaviour is low during the baseline and higher during the reinforcement phase. When the occurrence of a behaviour is reinforced, it increases in frequency over time. Other dimensions of a behaviour may also increase as a function of reinforcement Reinforce behaviour , not people!!! ~Positive and Negative Reinforcement~ There are two types of reinforcement: Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Both +ve and –ve are processes that strengthen a behaviour, they both increase the probability that the behaviour will occur in the future. Positive and negative reinforcement are distinguished by the nature of the consequence that follows behaviour. Positive reinforcement 1. The occurrence of a behaviour 2. Is followed by addition of a stimulus (a reinforce) or an increase in the intensity of a stimuls 3. Results in the strengthening of the behaviour Negative Reinforcement a. The occurrence of a behaviour b. Followed by the removal of a stimulus (an aversive stimulus) or decrease in the intensity of a stimulus c. Results in strengthening of the stimulus A stimulus is an object or event that can detected by one of the senses and has the potential to influence the person The object or event may be a feature of the physical environment or the social environment. In +ve refmentm the stimulus that is presented that appears after the behaviour called a positive reinforce P
More Less

Related notes for PSYB45H3

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.