Learning and Behavior

essay A+

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals.

Get Access
Reinforcement Schedules
simply a rule that states under what conditions a reinforcer will be delivered.
Continuous Reinforcement
(response= reinforcement)every occurrence of the operant response is followed by a reinforcer.
Cumulative Recorder
records responses in a way that allows any observer to see at a glance the moment to moment patterns of a subject’s behavior.
Fixed Ratio (FR) Schedule
(fixed amount of responses= reinforcement) is that a reinforcer is delivered after every ‘n’ responses, where ‘n’ is the size of the ratio.
Post-reinforcement pause
After each reinforcer, there is a pause in responding; eventually this pause gives way to an abrupt continuation of responding.
Ratio Strain
describes the general weakening of responding that is found when large ratios are used.
Variable Ratio (VR) Schedule
(variable amount responses= reinforcement) the occasion of the next reinforcer is unpredictable, but in the long run, the more often the behavior occurs, the more rapidly will reinforcers be received.
Fixed Interval (FI) Schedule
(fixed time=reinforcement) the first response after a fixed amount of time has elapsed is reinforced; the response rate increases as it get closer to receiving the reinforcer.
Variable Interval (VI) Schedule
(variable time= reinforcement) the amount of time that must pass before a reinforcer is stored varies unpredictably from reinforcer to reinforcer.
Resistance to extinction
the degree to which a response continues after it is no longer reinforced
Partial reinforcement effect (Humphrey’s Paradox)
the finding that responses are more rapidly extinguished after continuous reinforcement than after a schedule of intermittent reinforcement.
Discrimination Hypothesis
in order for a subjects behavior to change once extinction begins, it must be able to discriminate the change in the reinforcement contingencies. i.e. if anything other than CRF it doesn’t really recognize the change until the reinforcement has passed its expected interval or ratio
Generalization Decrement hypothesis
responding during extinction will be weak if the stimuli during extinction are different from those that were present during reinforcement, but strong if these stimuli are similar to those encountered during reinforcement.
Differential reinforcement of low (DRL) schedule
a response is reinforced if and only if a certain amount of time has elapsed since the previous response; i.e. if you mess up and respond too early, you don’t get reinforced and the timer starts all over.
Differential reinforcement of high rates (DRH) schedule
a certain number of responses must occur within a fixed amount of time; i.e. 10 responses in 3 seconds or less or no reinforcement and timer starts over.
Concurrent Schedule
the subject is presented with two or more response alternatives, each associated with its own reinforcement schedule; i.e. mixing of schedules to determine which schedule is preferred.
Chained Schedules
the subject must complete the requirement for two or more simple schedules in a fixed sequence, and each schedule is signaled by a different stimulus.
Factors affecting performance on reinforcement schedules
-quality of the reinforcers
-rate of the reinforcer
-delay of reinforcement
-response effort
-amount of reinforcement
-level of motivation
Behavioral Momentum
an operant behavior’s resistance to change when the reinforcement conditions change (i.e. when free reinforcers are delivered or when the schedule changes to extinction)
Contingency shaped behaviors
behavior that is controlled by the schedule of reinforcement or punishment
Rule governed behavior
behavior is controlled by a verbal or mental rule about how to behave
Organizational behavior management
devoted to using the principles of behavioral psychology to improve human performance in the workplace.
Contingency Contract
a written agreement that lists the duties (behaviors) required of each party and the privileges (reinforcers) that will result if the duties are performed.
negative reinforcement
a behavior increases in frequency if some stimulus is removed after the behavior occurs.
stimulus removed
stimulus added
behavior increases
behavior decreases
negative punishment
a pleasant stimulus is removed if behavior occurs (omission); decreases behavior
Two factor theory
the theory that both classical conditioning (learning to fear a stimulus) and operant conditioning (escape from the fear eliciting stimulus) are required for avoidance responding.
Avoidance without observable signs of fear
Dinsmoor suggests that it is not necessary to assume that the CS in avoidance learning produces fear (as measured by heart rate or other physical signs). We only need to assume that the CS has become aversive (meaning that it has become a stimulus the animal will try to remove).
One Factor Theory
states that the classical conditioning component of two factor theory is not necessary; avoidance of an aversive stimuli can in itself serve as a reinforcer.
Free operant avoidance (Sidman’s avoidance task)
an avoidance procedure in which shocks occur at regular intervals if the subject does not respond, but response postpones the next shock for a fixed period of time; slow extinction because of the discrimination hypothesis
cognitive theory of avoidance
proposed that an animal’s behavior can only change in an avoidance task if there is a discrepancy between expectancy and observation.
Response blocking or flooding
presenting the signal that precedes shock but preventing the subject from making the avoidance response, extinction happens faster; i.e. the animal’s expectation to be shocked when they do not perform the behavior is extinguished once they find out that they will not be shocked if they don’t respond, you do this by blocking them.
Biological constraints in avoidance learning
it is easier to learn when you want something (food) than to figure out how to avoid an aversive stimuli (shock); Species specific defense reactions: innate behavior patterns (flight, flee, or fight)
Learned Helplessness
the expectation that their behavior has little effect on their environment.
Learned optimism
Seligman’s term for the ability to think about potentially bad situations in positive ways.
Behavior Decelerator
any technique that can lead to a slowing, reduction, or elimination of unwanted behaviors.
if an individual performs an undesired behavior, the therapist requires several repetitions of an alternate more desirable behavior; restitution (making up for the wrongdoing) and positive practice (practicing better behavior)
Latent Learning
reinforcement is not necessary for the learning of a new response, but it is necessary for the performance of that response.
Expectations about reinforcer
the associative learning in operant conditioning involves three distinct elements: the discriminative stimulus, the operant response, and the reinforcer. According to this view, we might say that the animal “develops an expectation” that a particular reinforcer will follow a particular response.
any procedure designed to supply the individual with amplified feedback about some bodily process. i.e. neurofeedback : EEG biofeedback
a stimulus that increases the future probability of behavior which it follows.
need reduction theory
proposed that all primary reinforcers are stimuli that reduce some biological need, and that all stimuli that reduce biological need will act as reinforcers.
Drive Reduction Theory
states that strong stimulation of any sort is aversive to an organism, and any reduction in this stimulation act as a reinforcer for the immediately preceding behavior.
trans- situationality
means that a stimulus that is determined to be a reinforcer in one situation will else be a reinforcer in other situations.
Premack’s Principle
the theory that more probable behaviors will act as reinforcers for less probable behaviors, and that less probable behaviors will act as punishers for more probable behavior.
Reciprocal Contingency
ensures that two behaviors occur in a fixed proportion; i.e. run for 15 seconds get 5 seconds of water; proved premacks principal that drinking reinforced running but running punished drinking.
Response deprivation theory
states that unless a schedule happens to require exactly the same ratio of two behaviors that an individual chooses in baseline conditions, one of the behaviors becomes relatively precious commodity because of its restricted availability.
functional analysis
a method that allows the therapist to determine what reinforcer is maintaining the unwanted behavior.
automatic reinforcement
sensory stimulation from the behavior may serve as its own reinforcer.
Comparative Cognition
a major purpose of this field is to compare the cognitive processes of different species, including humans so to find commonalities in the way different species receive, process, and store info.
Long term memory
retains info for months or years.
Short term memory (working memory)
which can only hold info for a matter of seconds; used to guide whatever task the individual is currently performing.
Matching to sample
a procedure in which reinforcement is delivered if the subject chooses the comparison stimulus that matches sample stimulus; e.i. matching colors for pigeons
Delayed matching to sample (DMTS)
the sample is presented for a certain period of time, then there is a delay during which the keys are dark, and finally the two side keys are lit
Retroactive interference
occurs when the presentation of new material interferes with the memory of something that was learned before.
Proactive interference
occurs when previously learned material interferes with the learning of new information
Conditional discrimination task
the sample and comparison stimuli are not the same; i.e color red = black vertical line
Retrospective Coding
involves looking backwards and remembering what has happened already
Prospective coding
involves looking forward and remembering what response should be made next.
Radial arm maze
it stimulates a situation in which an animal explores a territory in search of food.
it can keep info active in short term memory (maintenance rehearsal), it can promote the transfer of this information into long term memory (associative rehearsal).
Peak procedure
a procedure for studying animal timing abilities in which the time of its peak response rate shows how accurately the animal can time the intervals
Weber’s Law
says that the amount of a stimulus must be changed before the change is detectable is proportional to the size of the size of the stimulus; i.e. the bigger it is the harder it is to accurately compare the two stimuli.
behavioral theory of timing
in essence they state that animals can use their own behaviors to measure durations.
memorizing is easier if a long list of information is divided into portions of more manageable size.
Social Learning theory
A theory developed by Bandura and Walters that states that people learn both through the traditional principles of classical and operant conditioning and through observational learning.
Social Facilitation
in which the behavior of one animal prompts similar behaviors from another animal, but the behavior is one that is already in the repertoire of the imitator.
Stimulus enhancement
in which the behavior of a model directs the attention of the learner to a particular stimulus or place in the environment
True imitation
is reserved for cases that cannot be explained by simpler mechanisms such as social facilitation or stimulus enhancement.
Generalized Imitation
can account for novel behaviors; history of reinforcement leads to the imitation of other behaviors.
Bandura’s 4 factors of Imitation
-attentional processes
-retentional processes
-Motor reproductive processes
-Incentive and motivational processes
the apparent paradox is that parents who use the most severe punishment for aggressive behaviors tend to produce more aggressive children
Graduated Modeling
method of progressing from simple to more demanding behaviors.
Matching Law
Heirnsteins general principle of choice behavior that states that in a two choice situation, the percentage of responses directed toward one alternative will equal the percentage of reinforcers delivered by that alternative.
Optimization theory
you will pick the choice that gives you the highest satisfaction; i.e. convenience=less effort+more reinforcer
Momentary Maximization Theory
states that each moment, an organism will select whichever alternative has the highest value at that moment.
Ainslie- Rachlin theory
A theory of self control choices that explains why an individual’s preference can shift from a larger, delayed reinforcer to a smaller, more immediate reinforcer as the time of reinforcer delivery approaches
the individual makes a decision in advance, which is difficult or impossible to change at a later time.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member