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Flashcards in Trial and error learning Deck (13):

Define: trial and error learning

a type of learning in which an organism tries alternative possibilities until the desired response is achieved.


How are attempts and incorrect responses involved in trial and error learning?

There are a number of attempts (trials) and incorrect responses (errors) until the correct response is rewarded.


Generally, what is the effect of consequences in trial and error learning

The incorrect responses have neutral/negative consequences: the behaviour is weakened and less likely to occur.
The correct response has positive consequences: the behaviour is strengthened and more likely to reoccur,


What is the specific effect of the reward on the desired behaivour?

The reward strengthens the behaviour and makes it more likely to reoccur. AFter learning, the behaviour is performed more quickly and with less errors.


4 "elements" of T&E learning?

Motivation: a desire to obtain a goal
Exploration: an increase in activity (either purposeful or random)
Incorrect and correct responses
A reward for the correct response


When did Edward Thorndke conduct his experiment?



Describe the apparatus Thorndyke made

The puzzle box - a wooden structure which could only be opened by pulling a string.


What happened in the first few experiments?

The cat made many errors (like scrating on the walls) until it accidentally pulled the string and opened the door -which was rewarded by food


What happened in the next few trials?

Through T&E learning, the behaviour of pulling the string was strengthened - become less random and more deliberate; it took less time for the cat to escape the box.


What 2 laws did Thorndyke propose to explain learning

Law of effect
Instrumental learning


Define: the law of effect

Behaviours resulting in desirable consequences whould be ore likely to be repeated, as opposed to those with undesirable consequences.


Define: instrumental learning

the process through which an organism learns the association between behaviour and its consequences


Difference between instrumental and operant conditioning?

Instrumental conditioning focuses more on how an organism learns to associate its behaviour and its consequence.