6. 3 •respondent behavior: behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus (in CC) •operant conditioning: a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher ? operant behavior: behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences 6. 3. 1 law of effect: Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely •operant chamber: in operant conditioning research, a chamber (also known as a Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animal’s rate of bar pressing or key pecking •shaping: an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior ?
Shaping can also help us understand what nonverbal organisms perceive •discriminative stimulus: in operant conditioning, a stimulus that elicits a response after association with reinforcement (in contrast to related stimuli not associated with reinforcement) •reinforcer: in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows •positive reinforcement: increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response •negative reinforcement: increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock.
A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note: negative reinforcement is not punishment. ) •Whether it works by reducing something aversive, or by giving something desirable, reinforcement is any consequence that strengthens behavior •primary reinforcer: an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need •conditioned reinforcer: a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforce •continuous reinforcement: reinforcing the esired response every time it occurs •partial (intermittent) reinforcement: reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement •fixed-ratio schedule: in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses •variable-ratio schedule: in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses •variable-ratio schedule: in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses •fixed-interval schedule: in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed •variable-interval schedule: in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals •Reinforcement increases a behavior; punishment does the opposite. A punisher is any consequence that decreases the frequency of a preceding behavior ? punishment: an event that decreases the behavior that it follows •How should we interpret the punishment studies in relation to parenting practices? ?Punished behavior is suppressed, not forgotten ?Punishment teaches discrimination ?Punishment can teach fear ?Physical punishment may increase aggressiveness by modeling aggression as a way to cope with problems 6. 3. 2 •cognitive map: a mental representation of the layout of one’s environment.
For example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it •latent learning: learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it •insight: a sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem; it contrasts with strategy-based solutions •intrinsic motivation: a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake •extrinsic motivation: a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment 6. 3. 3 •How might operant conditioning principles be applied at school, in sports, at work, at home, and for self-improvement? ?At School Teaching machines and textbooks would shape learning in small steps, immediately reinforcing correct responses ? In Sports •Reinforcement principles can enhance athletic performance as well •Again, the key is to shape behavior, by first reinforcing small successes and then gradually increasing the challenge ? At Work •Knowing that reinforcers influence productivity, many organizations have invited employees to share the risks and rewards of company ownership ? At Home •Parents can apply operant conditioning practices ?For Self-Improvement •State your goal—to cease smoking, eat less, exercise more, or stop pro-crastinating—in measurable terms, and announce it •Monitor how often you engage in your desired behavior •Reinforce the desired behavior Reduce the rewards gradually 6. 3. 4 •Both classical and operant conditioning are forms of associative learning, and both involve acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination ? Through classical (Pavlovian) conditioning, an organism associates different stimuli that it does not control and responds automatically (respondent behaviors) ? Through operant conditioning, an organism associates its operant behaviors—those that act on its environment to produce rewarding or punishing stimuli—with their consequences •Cognitive processes and biological predispositions influence both classical and operant conditioning 6. 4 observational learning: learning by observing others. Also called social learning •modeling: the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior 6. 4. 1 •mirror neurons: frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain’s mirroring of another’s action may enable imitation and empathy •Mirror neurons help give rise to children’s empathy and to their ability to infer another’s mental state, an ability known as theory of mind •Our brain’s mirror neurons underlie our intensely social nature 6. 3. 4 •prosocial behavior: positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior •correlation does not imply causation