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Psychology in Modules: Module 21.docx

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Module 21 Page 1 Module 21 Operant Conditioning Learning - the process of acquiring new and relatively enduring information or behaviours. Associative Learning - learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning). Stimulus - any event or situation that evokes a response. Operant Conditioning - a type of learning in which behaviour is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher. Behaviour that operates on the environment to produce rewarding or punishing stimuli. Skinner's Experiments (1904-1990)  Modern behaviourism's most influential and controversial figure  Elaborated on Edward L Thorndike's Law of Effect - Principle that behaviours followed by favourable consequences become more likely and that behaviours followed by unfavourable consequences become less likely.  Skinner using the Law of Effect revealed principles of behaviour control teaching pigeons to walk in figure 8's, play ping-pong and keep a missile on course by pecking at a screen target.  Operant Chamber - in operant conditioning research, a chamber containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animals rate of bar pressing or key pecking.  Reinforcement - in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behaviour it follows Shaping Behaviour Shaping - an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behaviour toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behaviour Method of Successive Approximation: you reward responses that are ever-close to the final desired behaviour and ignore all other responses Types of Reinforcers Positive Reinforcer (Sr+) - when something pleasant is added to the situation and this increases probability of the reinforcer re-occurring Module 21 Page 2 Negative Reinforcement - increasing behaviours by stopping or reducing negative stimuli. Any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. Primary Reinforcer - an innately reinforcing stimulus such as one that satisfies a biological need; unlearned. Conditioned Reinforcer (secondary reinforcer) - a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer. Factors that influence the effectiveness of a Positive Reinforcer 1. Magnitude of the Positive reinforcer 2. Immediacy of the Positive reinforcer 3. Scheduling of patterns of positive reinforcer Reinforcement Schedules Reinforcement Schedules Continuous reinforcement intermittent or schedule (CRF) partial reinforcement schedules ratio interval schedules schedules variable variable fixed ratio interval (VI) ratio (VR) (FR) fixed
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