1.3 The Role of the Discriminative Stimulus in Behaviour Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 1.3 The Role of the Discriminative Stimulus in Behaviour Deck (22):

How does extinction happen?

Availability of reinforcement is removed, leading to zero contingency between response and reinforcer

Established reponse tends to devline

Observed both in instrumental and classical conditioning


What is theh partial reinforcement extinction effect?

Responding acquired with PRF persists when not reinforced to a greater extent than continuous reinforcement.

The less reliably a response is reinforced, the more persistent it is during extinction.


Give an example of a study of a partial reinforcement extinction effect

Lewis & Duncan 1956
1. Poke machines set up in lab, participants played with fake money.
2. In initial phase participants were winning between 0 and 100% of the time. In later phase they all stopped winning
3. They could quit whenever they wanted to - experiementers measured how many times they play before they quit
4. Those reinforced less logged a higher number of plays before quitting than those who were continuously reinforced


1. Differentiate the effects of S+ versus S-

2. Why may this view be too simplistic in some cases?

1. In the presence of S+ the response is reinforced
In the presence of S- response is not reinforced

2. Respodning in presence of S+ may be sensitive to "value" of the reinforcement
S+ and S- act to faciliatate and inhibit the R-Rft association


Give a real life application of discriminative stimuli use

Therapy for autistic children


What kind of discriminative stimuli are usually used in experiments?

Discrete - lights, tones, etc.


What are some non-discrete discriminative stimuli?

Contexts, emotional or physiological states, the passage of time, the reinforcer itself


Describe a study using non-discrete discriminative stimuli

Rat runway:
1. Rat does not know whether there is food at the end of runway
2. Food present only every other day
3. Measure how quickly it runs to the other side
4. Nothing in the context tells the rat whether there is food, EXCEPT what day it is being tested on
5. First they don't discriminate between food and non-food days
6. Over time they learn to remember what happened the previous day -- run faster through runway on food days


Why does continuous reinforcement lead to faster extinction than partial reinforcement?

CRF and Extinction serve as distinguishable "markers".

Extinciton is not as noticable to the subject if reinforced partially.


What is the relationship between Response-Reinforcer and S+-Response?

A link between R and Rft diminishes, the link between S+ and R will also fade


Under what circumstances do we see evidence for the original R-Rft association after extinction?

Spontaneous recovery
Rapid re-acquisition


Why is context important in extinction?

Extinction as new learning:

Inhibitory learning may be specific to the context in which learning occurrs

Context can inhibit R-Rft relationship


How is stimulus control acquired?

Through differential reinforcement.

Variations in reponse rate when the feature is manipulated (e.g. changing the colour of the stimulus)


1. What is generalisation?

2. What is the opposite of generalisation?

1. If Rft is delivered in the presence of a stimulus (S+), learning tends to generalise to similar stimuli.
This can be shown on a generalisation gradient and works for discrete stimuli as well.

2. Discrimination


What are the consequences of stimulus discrimination?

Discriminating between stimuli leads to behaving differently towards them


In what cases does discrimination apply?

1. The stimuli are easy to tell apart (but obviously different along some dimension like colour) --- traffic lights
2. The stimuli are confusable and the difference between them is not obvious --- finger prints


What is discrimination learning?

Process by which we increase the discrimination between two stimuli

It can produce biases in generalization to other stimuli


What is the difference between sensory limitation and lack of stimulus control?

Sensory limitation = organism cannot discriminate

Lack of stimulus control = organism doesn't discriminate


What is peak shift? Explain using pigeon example

Hanson (1957)
1. Pigeons given two stimuli with very little variation in colour
2. Control group only got S+
3. Experiment group given a difficult discrimination
4. Experimental group showed displacement of the "peak" (max. responding) of the gradient away from S+ in the direction opposite S-


Explain how caricatures help us recognize faces

The average for a face is S-
S+ is something that should be specifc to someone distinctive
Caricatures exaggerate these S+ features and help us recognize faces quicker


Explain the concept of categorization using Watanabe et al. 1995 study

Animals can learn to discriminate between complex stimuli, even on seemingly "conceptual" grounds -- prototype learning

1. The study looked at whether they could train pigeons to dinstinguish between different artists and styles - showed them Monet's work
2. Pigeons generalized what they learned to other impressionist artists, not just Monet


How can prototype/category learning be explained?

It might be that animals learn about the features that category members share in common.
The most common features (like 'leg' shapes) are most strongly reinforced, become best discriminative stimuli
Features common to BOTH categories are not as strongly reinforced.