Observational Learning, Language and Rule-Governed Behavior Chapter 12 Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Bandura and Walters • Social learning theory • Classical and operant conditioning • Observational learning (imitation) Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Observational Learning • In Classical Conditioning • Conditioning of vicarious emotional responses Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Observational Learning • In Operant Conditioning • Acquisition • Pay attention to behavior of model • Sensitivity to consequences of model’s behavior • Explicit reinforcement for attending to model • Prompting • Physical modeling • Reinforcement • Observer can understand and duplicate • Personal characteristics of model Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Observational Learning • In Operant Conditioning • Performance • Attend to model • Reinforcement or punishment of model’s behavior • Reinforcement history Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Bandura and the Bobos Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Bandura, Ross & Ross (1961) Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Thorpe’s Categories • Social facilitation • One’s behavior prompts similar behavior of another • Local enhancement • Behavior directs attention to object • True imitation • Imitation of a novel behavior pattern in order to achieve a specific goal of particular interest is very unusual or improbable behaviors. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Theories of Imitation • Imitation as an instinct • Infant tongue protrusion • Reaction to fear in others • Imitation as an operant response • Discriminative stimulus is behavior of another individual • Imitation as a generalized operant response • History of reinforcement Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Bandura’s Theory • Bobo doll studies • Reinforcement not necessary for learning by observation • Expectation of reinforcement is necessary for performance of behaviors acquired from observational learning • Factors responsible for imitation • Attentional Processes • Retentional Processes • Motor reproductive processes • Incentive motivational processes (behavior will result in reinforcers) Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Factors Affecting Likelihood of Imitation • Rewardingness of model • Powerful figures • Similarity (sex, age, interests) • Sincerity Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Interactions Between Observational Learning and Operant Conditioning • Achievement motivation (delay of gratification, self-control) • Aggression (the apparent paradox) Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Influence of Media • Correlational data – positive relationship watching TV and aggression. • Longitudinal study – watching violent TV can lead to aggression. • Controlled experiments – increased aggression • Field experiments – modest effect • Meta Analysis- Positive relationship. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
What Can Be Learned Through Observation • Industriousness • Phobias • Drug Use and addictions • Cognitive development • Concept formation • Morals • Suicide and soap operas Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Modeling inBehavioral Therapy • Facilitation of low-probability behaviors • Graduated modeling • Assertiveness training • Acquisition of new behaviors • Elimination of fears and unwanted behaviors • Videotape self-modeling Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
What is Language? • Body Language? Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Language • Characteristics of true language • Abstract/Arbitrary symbols • Displacement: ability to communicate about things not physically present • Prediction: ability to communicate about things that haven’t happened yet • Interrogation: ability to ask questions • Creativity • Syntax Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Language • Reference – use of arbitrary symbols • Grammar – set of rules control meaning of words • Productivity – infinite number of expressions • Situational freedom – used in a variety of contexts Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Washoe • In 1966 Beatrice and Allen Gardner began teaching a chimpanzee called Washoe the use of American Sign Language (ASL or AMESLAN), a gestural form of communication used by deaf people. Avoiding the use of vocal communication they were overcoming the problem of speech production in apes. All the humans interacting with Washoe used sign language exclusively in her presence. Washoe was and is able to use learned signs in a wide variety of contexts: "open“ for example would be used with doors, tins and nuts. Washoe adopted an infant chimpanzee called Loulis in whose presence no human would use any signs. Despite this he had a repertoire of about 50 signs after five years, learned by imitation and instrumental conditioning of Washoe and other signing apes in the research centre. Washoe is reported to have invented "new" words: once she was signing "Water" - "Bird" when she saw a swan for the first time. She now lives at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute at the Central Washington University together with a group of other chimpanzees. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Sarah • Sarah, another chimpanzee was taught by David Premack to use colored plastic tokens that could be attached to a magnetized board. The tokens varied in shape, color, size and texture. For example the symbol for an apple is a light-blue plastic triangle. The top sentence would read: Apple is red. As you can see the symbols are not at all related to the word they stand for. • Sarah was also taught to interpret conditional sentences like the following: "If Sarah takes the banana, Mary will not give chocolate to Sarah". The ape managed to act according to the meaning of the sentence and even to apply the use of IF and IF-NOT to new situations. • The vocabulary of Sarah consisted of about 130 signs and constructions like Yes-No questions, "Name of" procedures, properties and classes (large-small, color...), concepts, quantifiers, "this" and "that" and "same". Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Lana • The Lana Project (or LANguage Analog) established in 1971. • Lana, a chimpanzee, was trained by Duane Rumbaugh to use a keyboard with abstract symbols. Lana also created new words and used known symbols in a new context. She lives at the Language Research Centre in Atlanta, Georgia where other chimpanzees (Sherman and Austin) and booboos (Kanzi and Panbanisha) are also successfully trained with the same method. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Nim • Herbert S. Terrace was skeptical of the so-called language-use by Washoe, Sarah and Lana. He compared the abilities of the apes with those found in pigeons which are taught to peck keys in a specific order. All apes signed only to receive reward from their trainers. If you have a look at the first and mostly used words of the animals in the projects you will find that they are almost all related to food, drink and other desirable activities like tickling and chasing. Therefore Terrace raised and trained Nim Chimpsky (named after the famous linguistic theorist Noam Chomsky who stated that the predisposition for language acquisition is innate). The method was the same used with Washoe and Nim learned about 125 signs. He demonstrated some syntax by using the verb more frequently before the object than vice versa (e.g. "hug Nim" instead of "Nim hug"). Nim did apply some of the signs in a new context (e.g. DIRTY when he had to go to the toilet). He also warned people by using the signs for ANGRY and BITE and tended not to attack if this warning was heeded. But by analyzing the videos of the training sessions Terrace found that Nim's signs often were imitations of the signs the trainer first used. Terrace et al. (1979) concluded that there was little evidence that Nim was actually using language. They also found out by analyzing Washoe's videos that she mimicked the trainer like Nim did. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Tentative Conclusions • Animals have some measure of linguistic ability • Use words, signs or symbols to represent objects, actions and descriptions. • More recent research non-humans can learn some basic principals of language. Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Rule Governed Versus Contingency Shaped Behavior • Rule – verbal description of a contingency • Rule-governed behavior – behavior generated through exposure to rules Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.
Rule Governed Versus Contingency Shaped Behavior • Advantages • Disadvantages • Less efficient • Insensitive to actual contingencies Steven I. Dworkin, Ph.D.