The operant behavior allows one to avoid an aversive stimulus.
Ex. of avoidance learning…
You are in a loud theater and then you do something to remove that unpleasant stimulus such as putting in earphones (negative reinforcements). You did not avoid the loud noise you just did something to get rid of it; negative reinforcement
How does “nothing happening” reinforce behavior?
explanation is 2-factor theory
2 Factor Theory
Pavlovian process; Instrumental process; Support one another to maintain the avoidance behavior
Ex. of the 2 factory theory
phobia-fear of dogs, great example of avoidance. Some people will avoid their phobia.
-Pavlovian Process in 2 factor theory
-Sight of the dog=conditioned stimulus CS
-Aggression/biting by dog US
-What is the CR? The response will be fear of the dog
Instrumental Process of the 2 factor theory
-Feel fear, anxiety
-Relieve fear and anxiety (outcome)
Time goes on…How is this phobia maintained
Subject is going to avoid all contact with dogs in order to prevent all unpleasant emotion
-Why doesn’t the fear of dogs extinguish with the passage of time?
-Extinction is an active training process
Negative reinforcement is relief from
an unpleasant state
unpleasant state can be caused by…
is prevented by interaction of pavolovian and instrumental processes
How to treat fears?
systemic desensitization, exposure therapy, and flooding
Systematic desensitization AKA exposure therapy
Extinguish the fear response through a gradual process.
-Idea is that you have to expose the subject to the object that they are afraid of in a very gradual way. You need to do it by starting so small that wherever you start doesn’t provoke a very high anxiety response. Slowly you will increase the exposure. Ex. Starting with showing a picture of a dog, then showing a video of a dog, then putting a stuffed dog in the room, make them pet the stuffed dog, then bring a dog in the room in a kennel, etc until you are next to the animal and not be fearful.
-Long process but very successful.
There is suggestions that the CS for avoidance does not
actually produce fear
-If the avoidance response is well-learned. If you are positive that you can avoid the unpleasant thing then you won’t have any fear or stress.
This requires that we present the subject with the conditioned stimulus but instead of a gradual process. You present the CS with no opportunity for avoidance. For example, putting a dog directly in the room with the subject right away. No presentation of aversive stimulus. Longer duration of trials facilitates extinction
Condioned stimulus presents the opportunity to
obtain safety. You can engage in some behavior to be safe
How is fear reduced?
with successful avoidance training.
Punishment is something that reduces
an operant behavior
Positive punishment is when you apply what?
Example of positive punishment
If you shock the rat when he lever presses which will cause reduced behavior by the rat
Negative Punishment is when
you remove a desirable stimulus.
Negative punishment example
you would take something away that you like. Making your situation worse and reduces the behavior. For example, fining you for something, taking away privileges, etc.
Is punishment effective?
It can be effective if it is used correctly but most the time it isn’t so it’s not effective. It can be under specific conditions.
What makes punishment successful vs. fail?
1. consistency 2. immediacy 3.intensity 4.signal
Ex. of successful vs failing punishment
Speeding while driving vs. putting your finger into an electrical outlet. Both of these can get you punished. If you are speeding you can get a ticket, get into an accident, etc. When you put your finger into an electrical outlet you get punished with an electric shock. Two different situations and both are punished. Most people don’t stick your finger into an electric outlet but more commonly people speed.
does the punishment occur intermittently or every time the operant behavior is performed? You will always get an electrical shock when you put your finger in an outlet but you don’t always get a ticket or punished every time you speed.
is the punishment delayed for some time after the onset of the behavior, or is it immediate? You can speed regularly before you ever get pulled over, you don’t immediately get a ticket when you speed it may take some time but when you put your finger in the outlet, you immediately get shocked.
Intensity on the first occurrence
is the punishment mild at first or severe the first time? First offense of a speeding ticket may either be a warning or a low price but with an outlet, the shock is always just as severe the first time. It is not as effective if you don’t give a severe punishment the first time. When you start mild people develop a resistance to punishment and punishment is not as effective.
is the punishment signaled by discriminative stimulus, or is it always in effect? You can have a stimulus that can tell you when you are likely to get punished and when you are not.
For example with speeding and signal
the presence of a police officer is a stimulus and would cause you to slow down or there are certain areas you always know there are cops or certain times of the year when you know there are always a lot of cops pulling people over. You are not as likely to reduce the behavior if there isn’t a signal around. For the electrical socket, there isn’t a signal you just know if you stick your finger in there, you are going to get shocked.
Reinforcement vs. Punishment Example…. We have competing outcomes for the same response
. Let’s say we have a highschool kid cutting class they are getting some type of reinforcement for it such as getting to hang out with friends but also getting a punishment which could be the parent’s grounding the kid, etc. But which is stronger? The reinforcement or the punishment
Reinforcement of Alternative
Providing an alternate behavior and reinforce that. Come up with a behavior that you can’t do at the same time as the other behavior and provide a larger reinforcement for that; This enhances the effectiveness of punishment
Avoidance theory of Punishment
punishment is simply strengthening avoidance responses. Punishment is about finding other things to engage in instead of the unwanted behavior in order to avoid getting punished.
There must be some kind of reason they are engaging in this behavior; for example getting a high school student to stop cutting class; there are two reasons they are doing this behavior
positive reinforcement hanging out with friends or negative reinforcement avoiding a class you don’t like; if the punishment does not outweigh the reinforcement then the reinforcement wins;
reinforcement in this example
is easier to use; come up with an alternative behavior; reinforce alternative behavior and ignore the other
when you stop doing punishment and start doing reinforcing behavior by engaging in the new behavior they are getting
something in return and they also are avoiding the other behavior so it is positive and negative reinforcement
punishment can backfire; punishment can signal positive reinforcement; when punishment actually leads to reward
In paradoxical effects operant behavior will not be reduced because
although there is this punishment element good stuff is coming
Example of punishment signaling a positive reward
roommate fights with her father; father feels bad so a couple days later he gives her a credit card and tells her to go one a shopping spree; the rommmate keeps picking fights and the behavior is not decreased