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Flashcards in 15 Choice & Self-control Deck (19)
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If there are two behaviours - B1 and B2 - performed at different rates, what is the relative rate of responding of B1?

B1 / (B1+B2)


If two behaviours - B1 and B2 - are reinforced at different rates, what is the relative rate of reinforcing of B1?

R1 / (R1+R2)


What is the relationship between B1 and R1?

It's a positive linear relationship - the more B1 is reinforced (as proportion of all behaviour), the more it is produced


What is the Matching Law?

The choice of behaviour is matched to the relative rate at which the behaviour is reinforced

B1 / (B1+B2) = R1 / (R1+R2)


How can the Matching Law predict behaviour?

The distribution of behaviour can be predicted by the history of the distribution of reinforcement. I.e. Rate of behaviour depends on rate of reinforcement


What kind of punishment is offered by a parking fine?

Negative punishment - something nice is taken away


Why is yelling at children to sit down in a classroom reinforcing? What more effective way did Madsen et al. 1970 find to keep children seated?

Attention from adult can be intrinsically reinforcing for children - yelling is not necessarily punishing.

More effective way is to give positive reinforcement - praise - for being seated.


What's the logic behind reinforcing an opposite response rather than punishing a target response? (Differential reinforcement of behaviours)

If person can do only one response at a time, better to reinforce response that precludes non-desired response, given that positive reinforcement is more effective - and stressful - than punishment


What is the discounting of reward with delay?

The phenomenon whereby the subjective value of a reward ($1,000, say) decays over the delay in its presentation. I.e. You'd rather get $1,000 now than $800 in six months time.


Why is the discounting of reward over delay a failure of self-control?

Because if gratification is delayed, you get bigger reward.


How can self-control/impulsivity be measured?

Measure how much people are willing to forgo immediate gratification for long-term reward - i.e. marshmallow test


How do temporal discounting functions for money differ for current smokers, never-smokers and ex-smokers?

Subjective value of money decays more rapidly over time for smokers than for never/ex-smokers. Smokers are far less likely to forgo immediate gratification for greater long-term reward. Small reward now subjectively more valuable than large reward later.


Why do delayed rewards lose value? Three reasons

1. As delay increases, risk reward may be lost also increases

2. Extra transaction cost - must come back for reward

3. Concave utility effects on reward - value of money depends on how much you have


How can self-control be increased?

1. Make the immediate reward less obvious (move marshallow out of site)

2. Distraction from immediate reward

3. Delay the immediate reward

4. Make the longer-term rewards or risks more salient


How did Iyengar and Lepper demonstrate that too much choice can be demotivating?

Supermarket experiment - booth selling jam

Condition 1 - six types of jams. 40% stopped at booth, 30% of those bought jam

Condition 2 - 24 types of jam. 60% stopped, ONLY 3% bought

Participants also reported greater satisfaction with their selection in condition 1 - limited choice.


How did number of essay questions (6 or 24) affect essay writing in Iyengar study?

If 6 questions 74% completed the essay

If 24 questions 60% completed the essay - and essay of worse quality. Students appeared to commit less to choice.


How does range of choices affect satisfaction and purchasing?

Limited choice is optimal - more purchasing and satisfaction. Still, extremely wide choice results in more satisfaction and purchasing than no choice.


What is the optimal way to structure consumer choice commercially?

Advertise wide range of choices - gets more people in the door. When actually purchasing, break choice down into smaller choices (eg. jeans - blue or black; straight or slim etc.)


Why do too many options reduce choosing? Four reasons

1. Regret and anticipated regret - thinking maybe you've chosen the wrong thing, or that you might think you have later

2. Opportunity cost - if I choose A, I can't have B-Z

3. Escalation of expectation - if there is a wide range, it should contain perfect choice for me

4. Self-blame - if you're not happy with your choice, only yourself to blame - can't attribute dissatisfaction to limited options. Also can be anticipated self-blame.