1.2 Positive Reinforcement Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 1.2 Positive Reinforcement Deck (23):

Define instrumental conditioning (IC)

In instrumental conditioning, reinforcement or punishment are used to either increase or decrease the probability that a behaviour will occur again in the future


What relationship is critical in IC?

The relationship between the response and the outcome


What is distinct about IC compared to classical conditioning?

The subject's behaviour determines the presentation of outcomes ONLY in IC


Define Thorndike's Law of Effect

If a response produces a satisfying outcome, the response is more likely to occur again.

If a response produces a frustrating outcome, the response is less likely to occur again.


What is reinforcement?

Refers to the process by which an action is encouraged by the consequences that follow from that action

The relation between some event (the reinforcer) and a preceding response increases the strength of the response


How is a reinforcer defined?

It is defined by its observed effect on behaviour and NOT by its subjective qualities


What is a positive contingency?

Response results in outcome


What is a negative contingency?

Response prevents outcome


Define secondary reinforcement

Refers to a situation wherein a stimulus reinforces a behaviour after being previously associated with a primary reinforcer or a stimulus that satisfies basic survival instinct such as food, drinks, and clothing
ie. previously neutral stimuli may acquire reinforcing properties


What are 2 factors that affect IC?

1. Temporal contiguity
2. Contingency


What is temporal contiguity?

Refers to how much time passes between the action and the reinforcer?


How does temporal contiguity affect IC?

A shorter delay results in a stronger association is made


What is thought to happen during weak TC?

Memory decay may occur the longer the time delay
Can get confused as to what is being reinforced - interference may lead to other associative learning taking place


How does contingency affect IC?

Leads to strong IC occurring quickly
It is critical for other types of IC


Give an example of a strong and weak contingency

Strong = rat only receives food if it presses the lever
Weak = rat receives food regardless of pressing the lever


What is shaping?

Refers to trying to encourage a behaviour that you ultimately want the subject to perform by rewarding approximations to the goal


What basic principles of reinforcement does behaviour shaping have to adhere to in order to be effective?

Close temporal contiguity between R and Rft
Avoid giving spurious Rfts as this degrades contingency
Avoid reinforcing the wrong behaviour - development of "superstitious" behaviour


What does response chaining involve?

Shaping a sequence of responses


How did Skinner explain the complex behaviour of humans through the shaping principle and theories of reinforcement?

All complex behaviours can be broken down into simpler parts
Made up of small components of behaviour that build up on one another
There is an interplay between stimulus and response


What is the best way to start response chaining?

Training the thing closest to the reward and work your way back


What is partial reinforcement?

Where there is a reward given for a response but not always


List the different schedules of reinforcement

Continuous reinforcement

Partial reinforcement:
Fixed ratio
Fixed interval
Variable ratio
Variable interval


What is extinction?

Availability of reinforcement is removed so there is zero contingency between response and reinforcer

Observed in both IC and CC