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Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning. The Learner is NOT passive. Learning based on consequence!!!. The Law of Effect. Edward Thorndike Locked cats in a cage Behavior changes because of its consequences. Rewards strengthen behavior.

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Operant Conditioning

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  1. Operant Conditioning The Learner is NOT passive. Learning based on consequence!!!

  2. The Law of Effect • Edward Thorndike • Locked cats in a cage • Behavior changes because of its consequences. • Rewards strengthen behavior. • If consequences are unpleasant, the Stimulus-Reward connection will weaken. • Called the whole process instrumental learning. Click picture to see a better explanation of the Law of Effect.

  3. B.F. Skinner • Influence of Nurture • Used a Skinner Box (Operant Conditioning Chamber) to prove his concepts.

  4. Skinner Box

  5. Reinforces • A reinforcer is anything the INCREASES a behavior. Positive Reinforcement: • The addition of something pleasant. Negative Reinforcement: • The removal of something unpleasant. • Two types of NR • Escape Learning • Avoidance Learning (Getting kicked out of class versus cutting class)

  6. Positive or Negative? Studying for a test. Putting your seatbelt on. Having a headache and taking an aspirin. Getting a kiss for doing the dishes. Faking sick to avoid AP Psych class. Breaking out of jail.

  7. Punishment Meant to decrease a behavior. Positive Punishment • Addition of something unpleasant. Negative Punishment (Omission Training) • Removal of something pleasant. Punishment works best when it is immediately done after behavior and if it is harsh!

  8. How do we actually use Operant Conditioning? To train a dog to get your slippers, you would have to reinforce him in small steps. First, to find the slippers. Then to put them in his mouth. Then to bring them to you and so on…this is shaping behavior. Do we wait for the subject to deliver the desired behavior? Sometimes, we use a process called shaping. Shaping is reinforcing small steps on the way to the desired behavior. To get Barry to become a better student, you need to do more than give him a massage when he gets good grades. You have to give him massages when he studies for ten minutes, or for when he completes his homework. Small steps to get to the desired behavior.

  9. Big Bang Theory

  10. Chaining Behaviors • Subjects are taught a number of responses successively in order to get a reward. Click picture to see a rat chaining behaviors. Click to see a cool example of chaining behaviors.

  11. Same Terminology as Classical Conditioning • Acquisition • Extinction • Spontaneous Recovery • Generalization • Discrimination If I wanted to reinforce my son’s dancing by giving him lollipops when he dances. Identify the following….

  12. Primary v. Secondary Reinforcers Primary Reinforcer Secondary Reinforcer Things we have learned to value. Money is a special secondary reinforcer called a generalized reinforcer (because it can be traded for just about anything) • Things that are in themselves rewarding.

  13. Token Economy • Every time a desired behavior is performed, a token is given. • They can trade tokens in for a variety of prizes (reinforcers) • Used in homes, prisons, mental institutions and schools.

  14. Premack Principle • You have to take into consideration the reinforcers used. • Is the reinforcer wanted….or at least is it more preferable than the targeted behavior. Hamburgers might be a great positive reinforcer for some, but it would not work well on a vegetarian.

  15. Reinforcement Schedules How often to you give the reinforcer? • Every time or just sometimes you see the behavior.

  16. Continuous v. Partial Reinforcement Continuous Partial Reinforce the behavior only SOME of the times it is exhibited. Acquisition comes more slowly. But is more resistant to extinction. FOUR types of Partial Reinforcement schedules. • Reinforce the behavior EVERYTIME the behavior is exhibited. • Usually done when the subject is first learning to make the association. • Acquisition comes really fast. • But so does extinction.

  17. Ratio Schedules Fixed Ratio Variable Ratio Provides a reinforcement after a RANDOM number of responses. Very hard to get acquisition but also very resistant to extinction. • Provides a reinforcement after a SET number of responses. Fixed Ration- She gets a manicure for every 5 pounds she loses.

  18. Interval Schedules Fixed Interval Variable Interval Requires a RANDOM amount of time to elapse before giving the reinforcement. Very hard to get acquisition but also very resistant to extinction. • Requires a SET amount of time to elapse before giving the reinforcement. Fixed Interval: She gets a manicure for every 7 days she stays on her diet.

  19. Observational Learning • Albert Bandura and his BoBo Doll • We learn through modeling behavior from others. • Observational learning + Operant Conditioning = Social Learning Theory Click pic to see some observational learning.

  20. Latent Leaning • Edward Tolman • Three rat experiment. • Latent means hidden. • Sometimes learning is not immediately evident. • Rats needed a reason to display what they have learned. • Cognitive Maps

  21. Insight Learning • Wolfgang Kohler and his Chimpanzees. • Some animals learn through the “ah ha” experience. Click pic to see insight learning.

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