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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – Instrumental Conditioning.docx

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Anneke Olthof

Chapter 5Instrumental Conditioning FoundationsGoaldirected or instrumental behaviorresponding is necessary to produce a desired environmental outcomeBehaviour occurs because similar actions produced the same type of outcome in the pastBehavior that occurs because it was previously instrumental in producing certain consequences is called instrumental behaviorInvestigations of Instrumental ConditioningThorndikes training procedure consisted of placing a hungry animal in the puzzle box with some food left outside in plain view of the animal The task for the animal was to learn how to get out of the box and obtain the food oThe cat took 160 sec to get out of box Aon the first trial Its shortest latency later on was six secondsThorndikes strict avoidance of anthropomorphic interpretations of the behavior he observedAnimal intelligenceoHowever he interpreted the results of his studies as reflecting the learning of an SR associationThe consequence of the successful response strengthened the association between the box stimuli and that response oThe outcome is NOT part of the association but it serves to strengthen or weaken the associationLaw of Effect if a response in the presence of a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event the association between the stimulus and the response is strengthened If the response is followed by an annoying event the SR association is weakened oThe satisfying and annoying consequence simply servers to strengthen or weaken the association between the preceding stimulus and response Tolman viewed behavior as a flexible means to a goaloProposed idea of cognitive maps Animals learn SS associations rather than SR Eg In plus maze easier for rats to learn about places than about responseoLatent LearningShows that reinforcement isnt necessary for learning it just gives a reason to show that learning occurred Eg In complex tmaze rats that begin reinforcement at trial 11 decrease their errors to a level below rats that were reinforced all alongSkinner studied rats pressing levers and pigeons pecking keysoMethod allow investigation of how voluntary behavior is related to payoffoArgued reinforcers are so powerful that their effects can be accidental or automatic Superstitious behaviorsoAware that behavours occur in the presence of stimuliStimulus controlModern Approaches to the Study of Instrumental ConditioningDiscreteTrial ProceduresoEach training trial ends with the removal of the animal from the apparatus and the instrumental response is performed only once during trial oUse of mazes runway or TmazeWS Small reasoned that a maze would take advantage of the rats popensity for small winding passagesRat is allowed to make its way down the runway until it reaches the goal box which usually contains a reinforce food or water1
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