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Flashcards in Learning Theory & Behavior Therapy 3 Deck (32):

Name the two types of negative reinforcement.

Escape conditioning and avoidance conditioning.


Describe escape conditioning.

A target behavior results in the removal of an aversive stimulus, e.g., torture stops when a prisoner confesses.


Describe avoidance conditioning and Mowrer's two-factor theory.

Factor 1: situations, behaviors, and objects are avoided due to pairing with aversive stimuli (classical conditioning). Factor 2: termination of fear or anxiety when situations, behaviors, and objects are avoided negatively reinforces avoidance (operant conditioning). Factor 1 may initiate avoidance; factor 2 continues it.


Distinguish between stimulus discrimination, a discriminative stimulus, and an S-delta stimulus.

Stimulus discrimination refers to an organism's act of emitting behavior in the presence of one stimulus, but not another (usually similar). A discriminative stimulus is one that indicates that a behavior will be reinforced. An S-delta stimulus is one that indicates that a behavior will *not* be reinforced.


Describe chaining in operant conditioning.

The process by which a series of simple, related behaviors are linked together to form a more complex behavior. Each response acts as both a secondary reinforcer for preceding behaviors and discriminative stimulus for the subsequent behavior.


What is backward chaining in operant conditioning?

Chaining in which the training begins from the final task.


What is response generalization in operant conditioning?

Reinforcement of one behavior increases emission of other (usually similar) behaviors. For example, I get a quarter for cleaning my room, so I take out the trash (in the hopes of getting a quarter for that, too).


What is the "method of successive approximations" and how does it relate to shaping in operant conditioning?

A subject is reinforced for behaviors that vaguely resemble a target behavior, then reinforced only as the behavior becomes increasingly close, and eventually identical to, the target behavior. The process is shaping; the method is the means by which shaping is accomplished.


What is adventitious reinforcement in operant conditioning?

Reinforcement of behavior by coincidence. A rain dance is an example.


List five ways in which the effectiveness of reinforcement is optimized.



What happens to a target behavior when punishment is removed?

Non-target behavior will increase beyond baseline, then return to baseline.


List six ways in which the effectiveness of punishment is optimized.



What is the Premack Principle?

Use of a high-probability behavior to reinforce a low-probability behavior. A.k.a., probability-differential theory, or "work before play."


What operant principles underlie the effectiveness of time-outs in behavior therapy?

The child is removed from reinforcing stimuli, which is extinction. Also, social isolation is an aversive stimulus, so it is also a positive punishment.


What is overcorrection in behavior therapy?

Correction of undesirable behavior followed by repeated and exaggerated practice of alternative, desirable behavior.


What is response cost in behavior therapy?

Removal of a pre-specified reward when a target undesirable behavior is performed, e.g., paying a speeding ticket (negative punishment). Considered to be one of the most effective forms of punishment and has fewer side effects.


What is "differential reinforcement for other behaviors" (DRO)?

Non-reinforcement (extinction) of undesirable target behavior combined with positive reinforcement of all other behaviors.


What is "differential reinforcement for incompatible behaviors" (DRI)?

Non-reinforcement (extinction) of undesirable target behavior combined with positive reinforcement of behaviors which are incompatible with the target behavior.


What is "differential reinforcement for low-frequency behaviors" (DRL)?

Non-reinforcement (extinction) of frequently emitted, undesirable target behavior combined with positive reinforcement of desirable, low-frequency behaviors. For example, child is not reinforced when insistent, but is reinforced when calm and polite.


What is a contingency contract in behavior therapy?

A contract explicitly and clearly establishing specific, verifiable target behaviors and the reinforcers and/or punishments contingent upon them, as well as expected overall outcomes. It should include statement(s) by the target individual acknowledging his/her full participation in the treatment.


What is a key disadvantage of a token economy and how do you address it?

Difficulty generalizing behavior in the natural environment (outside of the token economy). Two ways to address this are: gradually switch to reinforcers (tokens) that are available in the natural environment; reinforce only behaviors that will continue to be reinforced in the natural environment.


What is Gestalt learning theory?

Organisms actively reorganize their perceptions on the basis of Gestalt laws.


What is insight learning?

Sudden, internal cognitive restructuring of the environment. It typically requires some prior trial-and-error experience.


Who was Wolfgang Kohler?

A Gestalt psychologist who described insight learning based on experiments with a chimpanzee named Sultan. Sultan exhibited insight learning when he spontaneously combined two sticks to get at food.


What is Tolman's cognitive learning theory?

Learning represents the acquisition of a cognitive map, e.g., understanding of the spatial layout of a maze.


What is place learning in learning theory?

An animal learns locations of paths or places, rather than step-by-step movements in response to stimuli.


What is latent learning?

Learning that occurs without reinforcement that does not immediately manifest itself in performance.


What is social learning theory?

The understanding that cognitive processes mediate stimuli, behavior, and consequences.


What is observational learning?

Observation and imitation of a model's behavior. It includes the notion that behavior can be self-reinforcing.


What are the four types of mechanisms in observational learning?

Attentional: choosing whom to imitate.
Retentional: processing modeled behavior in memory.
Performance: choosing imitated behavior to express.
Reinforcement: these influence the previous three.


What is graded participant modeling?

Patient slowly engaging in therapist-modeled behavior.


What factors affect whom we model?

High status persons are more likely to be modeled than low status. Imitation of persons similar to observer are more likely than dissimilar. Imitation of multiple models is more likely than of single models.