AP Psychology
Learning: Operant Conditioning

Weiten Ch 6
Myers Ch 7

Operant Conditioning

^ Watch this video from 4:57 to the end (this is the other half of the video from Classical Conditioning)

Named by B.F. Skinner

  • Derived from his belief that in this type of environment an organism “operates” on the environment instead of simply reacting to stimuli à learning occurs because responses become controlled by their consequences. à ORGANISMS TEND TO REPEAT THOSE RESPONSES THAT ARE FOLLOWED BY FAVORABLE CONSEQUENCES.
  • Skinner box = Operent chamber. Small enclosure in which an animal can make a specific response that is recorded while the consequences of the response are systematically controlled.

Reinforcement

Occurs when an event following a response increases an organism’s tendency to make that response. Response is strengthened when it leads to rewarding consequences.

  • PRIMARY REINFORCERS – satisfy biological needs
  • SECONDARY REINFORCERS – conditioned reinforcers events that acquire reinforcing qualities by being associated with primary reinforcers

Schedules of Reinforcement

Determines which occurrences of a specific response result in a presentment of a reinforcer.

FIXED RATIO - fixed number of reinforced responses (reward every tenth time)

VARIABLE RATIO – reinforce given after a variable number of responses (reward every fifth time, then tenth, then third)

FIXED INTERVAL -reinforce after a set amount of time (must wait two minutes to get another reward)

VARIABLE INTERVAL – reinforce after a variable amount of time has passed (must wait two minutes, then four, then three minutes to get another reward)

Shaping

ACQUISITION - refers to the initial stage of learning some new pattern of responding

New responses are acquired through SHAPING --> consists of repeatedly reinforcing closer and closer approximations of desired behavior until desired behavior is achieved

Extinction & Spontaneous Recovery

Extinction is the gradual weakening and disappearance of response tendencies

Resistance to extinction occurs when an organism continues to make responses after reinforce has stopped

Spontaneous recovery – reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of non-exposure to the conditioned response.

Generalization & Discrimination

Operant conditioning depends on RESPONSE-OUTCOME associations (R-O), but there can be stimuli present around the shaping stimuli that can cause associations as well

  • Generalization is responding to a new stimuli like an established one
  • Discrimination is being able to tell the difference between an established stimuli and a new one

Punishment

Occurs when an event following a response weakens the tendency to make that response.

1.Aversive training

  • Escape training – acquiring a response that will END a negative stimulus
  • Avoidance training – acquiring a response that will PREVENT a negative stimulus

If you STILL don't have enough OPERANT CONDITIONING check out these vidoe lectures!

Mrs. Rice talks about Operant Conditioning (Part 1) (7:52):

Mrs. Rice talks about Operant Conditioning (Part 2) (6:32):

Mrs. Rice talks about Operant Conditioning (Part 3) (8:08):

Mrs. Rice talks about Operant Conditioning (Part 4) (9:42):