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Unit One Chat Agenda In this chat, I will • Tell you something about myself, and ask you to introduce yourself to us • Answer your questions • Process the assignment requirements • Present information on operant conditioning – the topic of unit one discussion board.
Operant Conditioning B. F. Skinner A. Kent Van Cleave, Jr. , Ph. D. Rebecca Van Cleave, Ph. D.
Overview This presentation first discusses the basics of operant conditioning, relevant to your DB 1 assignment. Then it presents interesting information about B. F. Skinner. That is followed by more information about operant conditioning, including schedules of reinforcement, shaping, and chaining. Shaping and chaining are methods which use operant conditioning to condition complex behaviors.
Operant Conditioning The basic premise of classical conditioning is that we are passive responders. In the operant conditioning paradigm, we operate on the environment in learned ways to achieve desirable outcomes and avoid undesirable outcomes (Cameron, Bassuk, Greif, & Stocker, 2011). We can train organisms to behave in desirable ways or to not behave in undesirable ways by managing the conditions of reinforcement and punishment.
Operant Conditioning We use reinforcement to increase a behavior. We use punishment to decrease a behavior. Either of these gives us the option to either ADD (+) something, or SUBTRACT (–) something (Cameron, Bassuk, Greif, & Stocker, 2011). The plus sign is positive. The minus sign is negative.
Operant Conditioning People get confused by the concept of positive and negative. They assume those terms are about the person being operated upon – negative means they won’t like it. Remember: In behaviorism, internal states like cognition and emotion are not considered or studied. Positive and negative are simply about whether something was added or taken away.
Operant Conditioning Positive reinforcement is adding something to increase a behavior, usually something valued by the subject. I give you candy when you do your homework. Negative reinforcement is taking something away to increase a behavior, usually something aversive to the subject. Class performed well all week, so teacher tells them they do not have to do homework over the weekend (Cameron, Bassuk, Greif, & Stocker, 2011).
Operant Conditioning Positive punishment is adding something to decrease a behavior, usually something aversive to the subject. Child pulls cat’s tail. Cat scratches child. Negative punishment is taking something away to decrease a behavior, usually something valued by the subject. Mom sees child pull cat’s tail, puts her in time-out (Cameron, Bassuk, Greif, & Stocker, 2011).
Operant Conditioning Anatomy of the definition: What is done. PLUS What is the objective. This simple two by two graphic condenses all the verbiage…
What’s going on here? A child is in the store with mom at the checkout. n Child demands a candy bar, and mom says no n So child starts throwing a tantrum n Mother relents and gives child a candy bar. n Child stops throwing tantrum. n
What’s going on here? Child starts throwing a tantrum n Mother relents and gives child a candy bar. n Child stops throwing tantrum. n Child negatively reinforces mother’s “give candy bar” response. n Mother positively reinforces child’s temper tantrum! n
Schedules of Reinforcement It is not effective, over the long term, to reinforce every behavior, so we use schedules of reinforcement. There are two types: Interval schedule: A set amount of time must pass before a response will be reinforced. Responses made before this time passes are not reinforced. Ratio schedule: A defined number of responses is required before the reinforcement occurs. Either can be “fixed” or “variable” (Montouri, n. d. ). See also http: //employees. csbsju. edu/TCREED/pb/schedules. html
Schedules of Reinforcement Fixed Ratio schedule: Reward is given every nth time the behavior occurs. (Every 2 nd, 3 rd, etc) Variable Ratio schedule: On average, reward is given every nth time the behavior occurs. Reward can come at any time, but the average will be maintained across behaviors. Continuous Schedule: The reward is after every response. Usually used in initial training. (Montouri, n. d. )
Schedules of Reinforcement Fixed Interval schedule: Reward is given every n minutes, if the behavior has occurred. Variable Interval schedule: On average, reward is given every n minutes, if the behavior has occurred (Montouri, n. d. ). Reward can come at any time, but the average will be maintained across behaviors.
Schedules of Reinforcement n n n Initial learning is fastest using a continuous reinforcement schedule. The schedule that is best for maintaining a behavior is the variable ratio. Give me an example of a variable ratio schedule that has a powerful influence on our behavior…
Shaping It is not difficult to “shape” a desired behavior. First, you reward any approximation of the behavior you want. Then you require that behavior to “evolve” before rewarding it. A good example of this process is Skinner box training: http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=0 t. YUS 5 lj. Gh. I
Chaining With chaining, you condition a behavior, then you add one or more other behaviors required in order to receive a reinforcement. You can chain several behaviors together to get a complex chain… https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=_q. Ls 2 K 4 UXXk https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=N 2 bt 95 xud 8 w …or a squirrel running a maze. http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Jbi 0 nx 3 PI_M
Operant Conditioning Critique: n Operant conditioning is very effective at shaping behavior up to some minimum level. n It is not effective for getting people to go beyond basic requirements. n Operant conditioning is extrinsic to the actor. To get the actor to go beyond the basics, the actor must be intrinsically motivated.
B. F. Skinner 1904 - 1990 As a child, Skinner was very inventive. “I was always building things. I built roller-skate scooters, steerable wagons, sleds, and rafts to be poled about on shallow ponds. I made seesaws, merry-go-rounds, and slides. I made slingshots, bows and arrows, blow guns and water pistols from lengths of bamboo, and from a discarded water boiler a steam cannon with which I could shoot plugs of potato and carrot over the houses of our neighbors. I made tops, diabolos, model airplanes driven by twisted rubber bands, box kites, and tin propellers which could be sent high into the air with a spool-and-string spinner. I tried again and again to make a glider in which I myself might fly. ”
B. F. Skinner took the ideas of behaviorism to the laboratory. There he engaged in over four decades of research on reinforcement and punishment. He demonstrated the power of conditioning for shaping behavior… …and developed the schedules of reinforcement. He invented the Skinner box and the air crib.
Deborah Skinner was raised in an air crib! (She turned out OK, anyway. )
Project Pigeon In one of the odder stories of World War II, the US military backed an investigation into weapons guided by trained pigeons. The investigation was conducted by the wellknown behavioral psychologist Burrhus Frederic Skinner.
Project Pigeon The pigeons were trained with slides of aerial photographs of the target, and if they kept the crosshairs on the target, they were rewarded by a grain deposited in a tray in front of them. Skinner later found that the pigeons were less easily disturbed under confusing circumstances if they were fed marijuana seeds rather than grains.
Pigeon Guided Missile
References Cameron, W. , Bassuk, C. , Greif, T, & Stocker, M. (2011). Introduction to psychology. Schaumberg, IL: Words of Wisdom, LLC. Montouri, J. (nd). Schedules of reinforcement. Retrieved from http: //www. radford. edu/~jmontuor/XPsyc%20 333/333 PPSchedules. ppt.