Operant/Instrumental Conditioning (Skinner) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Operant/Instrumental Conditioning (Skinner) Deck (19):
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Operant

An instrumental response ( a rat pressing a lever).

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Operant conditioning

Refers to kind of learning in which the consequences that follow some behavior increase or decrease the likelihood of that behaviors occurrence in the future.

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Reinforcer

Something that increases the likelihood of the behavior.

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Positive reinforcement

If desired behavior occurs, add something pleasant.

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Negative reinforcement

If desired behavior occurs, take away something unpleasant.

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Punisher

Something that decreases the likelihood of the behavior.

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Learned helplessness

Occurs when a subject believes that unpleasant or painful stimuli are inevitable and gives up trying to change the circumstances.

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Shaping

Reinforcing successive steps to reach a desired behavior.

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Chaining

Reinforcing a series of behaviors to get a reward.

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Extinction

Occurs if behavioral response is no longer reinforced.

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Schedule of reinforcement

Pattern of reinforcing behavioral responses. There are two main types.

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Continuous reinforcement

Reinforcement after every correct response.

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Partial reinforcement

Reinforcement after some correct responses. Four main types.

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Fixed

In conditioning, a schedule in which a reinforcer occurs only after a fixed number of responses from the subject.

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Variable

Reinforcement is given an average amount of time after correct response (Low rates of response).

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Fixed ratio schedules

Reinforcement is given after a fixed number of correct responses (high rate of responses).

A fixed ratio schedule is often used to pay assembly line workers because it results in fast rates of work: the more pieces of work completed, the more a worker is paid (reinforcement).

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Variable ratio schedules

Reinforcement is given after an average number of correct responses (very high rates of responses (very high rate of response).

The variable ratio schedule produces a high rate of responding because of subject (pigeon or slot machine player) doesn't know which response will finally produce a payoff.

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Fixed interval schedule

Means that a reinforcer occurs following the first response that occurs after a fixed interval of time.

A fixed interval schedule results in slow responding at first, but as the time for the reinforcer draws near, the response rate greatly accelerates.

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Variable interval schedule

Means that a reinforcer occurs following the first correct response after an average amount of time has passed.

A variable interval schedule results in a more regular rate of responding than does a fixed interval schedule.