Discussion After reviewing Chp. 5 power point, what is the difference between punishment and reinforcement? Do you think someone learns better by punishmen

 

After reviewing Chp. 5 power point, what is the difference between punishment and reinforcement? Do you think someone learns better by punishment or by reinforcement, why?

Your discussions must be a minimum of 2 paragraphs. Please use proper grammar and punctuation

Module 5.1 Classical Conditioning: Learning Through Association

Module 5.2 Operant Conditioning: Learning Through Consequences

Module 5.3 Cognitive Learning

Psychologists generally define learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior acquired through experience. Note the use of the terms “relatively permanent change” and “acquired through experience.” Consequently, as psychologists use the term, learning is not inborn (like infant reflexes) and it involves changes in behavior that are enduring but not necessarily permanent.

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Module 5.1

Classical Conditioning: Learning Through Association

The first form of learning we study is classical conditioning, a form of learning that depends on the role of association.

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Pavlov and
Classical
Conditioning

© Time Life Pictures/Mansell/Getty Images

Ivan Pavlov was a prominent Russian physiologist who did research on digestion. Pavlov discovered that dogs will salivate in response to the sound of a tone in a process we now call classical conditioning Let’s see how it works.

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Let’s start with a definition:

Classical conditioning is the process of learning by which a previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response identical or similar to one that was originally elicited by another stimulus as the result of the pairing or association of the two stimuli.

Is that clear? Probably not! So let’s look a closer look at Pavlov’s work…

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© Cengage Learning

Pavlov noticed that the dogs in his experiments salivated before being fed, whenever they heard the clanging of the metal food carts being wheeled into the laboratory. In order to isolate the cause, Pavlov paired the sound of a bell tone with the presentation of meat powder several times, then presented the sound of the tone alone (without meat powder). What do you think happened next? [Click to show dog’s reaction to bell]

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© Cengage Learning

The dog reacted to the sound of the tone even without the presentation of meat powder. In other words, Pavlov demonstrated that a learned association was formed by the pairing of events (tone and meat powder) in the animal’s environment.

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(NS)
Neutral Stimulus

(NR)
No Response

© Cengage Learning

At first, the bell tone is a neutral stimulus that does not cause the dog to drool.

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(UCS)
Unconditioned
Stimulus

(UCR)
Unconditioned
Response

© Cengage Learning

Meat, or meat powder in Pavlov’s experiment, is an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the unconditioned response. (Unconditioned means unlearned. Dogs naturally salivate at the sight of food).

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(NR)
No response

(NS)
Neutral
Stimulus

(UCR)
Unconditioned
Response

(UCS)
Unconditioned
Stimulus

Repeated
pairings

© Cengage Learning

When the neutral stimulus (bell) is paired with the presentation of meat, the unconditioned response to the meat causes the dog to drool

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(CS)
Conditioned
Stimulus

(CR)
Conditioned
Response

© Cengage Learning

After conditioning (repeated pairing of neutral stimulus with unconditioned stimulus), the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus, which means that the bell alone now elicits the response of salivation as the result of learning.

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NS (tone)

(c)

Phase 2: During Conditioning

UR (salivation)

US (food in mouth)

US (food in mouth)

(a)

Phase 1: Before Conditioning

UR (salivation)

NS (tone)

(b)

(no salivation)

CS (tone)

(d)

Phase 3: After Conditioning

CR (salivation)

+

Here we see a schematic representation of classical conditioning. Notice how a previously neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus as the result of conditioning.

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Extinction

(CS alone)

0

15

10

5

© Cengage Learning

Extinction is the process by which the association between the unconditioned stimulus (meat powder) and conditioned stimulus (bell ringing) is broken.

Over time, when the bell is presented enough times without being paired with meat, the response extinguishes.

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Extinction

(CS alone)

24-hour
rest

Spontaneous Recovery

(CS alone)

© Cengage Learning

0

15

10

5

Spontaneous recovery is a phenomenon discovered by Pavlov in which the conditioned stimulus suddenly elicits an extinguished conditioned response when it is presented again after a period of time has elapsed after extinction occurs.

Here we see that the CS response had undergone extinction, as represented by the strength of the response dropping to near zero. But then, after a 24-hr rest period, spontaneous recovery occurred and the response bounced back, although not to full strength. Note too that extinction again occurred as the CS continued to be presented without the US.

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© Cengage Learning

Here’s an example that contrasts stimulus generalization with stimulus discrimination

Stimulus generalization is the tendency to for stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit the conditioned response.

Stimulus discrimination is the ability to differentiate conditioned responses to different but related stimuli.

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Factors that strengthen classical conditioning include

  • Frequency of pairings
  • Timing
  • Intensity of the unconditioned stimulus
  • In most cases multiple pairings of the CS and US will produce a stronger CR. There are exceptions, such as in conditioned taste aversions.
  • The strongest CRs occur when the CS is presented first and is present throughout the presentation of the US.
  • A stronger US typically produces faster conditioning than does a weaker US.

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Little
Albert

© Archives of the History of American Psychology–The University of Akron

In a classic case example, John Watson and his research assistant, Rosalie Rayner, applied principles of classical conditioning to instill a fear response in a young boy, referred to as “Little Albert.”

Albert developed a conditioned emotional response of fear of a white rat through repeated pairing of the rat with an unpleasant jarring sound, Watson and Rayner then examined the generalization of the acquired fear to other related stimuli, such as other furry objects, including a rabbit, a fur coat, and even Watson himself wearing a Santa Claus mask.

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(CR)

(UR)

Fear

(CS)
White Rat

(US)
Loud Gong

© Cengage Learning

In the famous case of Little Albert, the CS was the white rat and the US was the loud gong sound. The CR to the white rat was a learned fear response.

While this project taught us quite a bit, one must consider the ethical failures of Watson and Rayner’s work.

Do you think the results were worth the ethical violations? Would such a project be permitted today?

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Snake
Phobia

People tend to develop phobias to species that threatened the survival of ancestral humans. According to psychologist Martin Seligman, evolutionary forces wired the human brain to acquire conditioned fears to these stimuli rapidly and easily.

 

This clip shows a woman with a phobia of snakes. Watch as the phobia gradually becomes extinguished.

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  • Advertising
  • Positive Emotions
  • Drug Cravings
  • Taste Aversions
  • The Immune System

© Advertising Archives

Classical conditioning is in use all around you, in ways you may not even notice. Do you feel anxious when you take a seat in the waiting room at the dentist?

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(CR)

(UR)

Nausea

Conditioned Stimulus
(Taste of Poisoned Berries)

Unconditioned
Stimulus

(Illness)

Taste aversion is a special instance of conditioning because it breaks two of the cardinal rules of the process—it may occur after only one pairing of CS-US, and the presentation of the US (illness) and CS (taste) may be separated by hours.

Taste aversion also shows the adaptive value of conditioning. It is clearly a crucial response that allows us to learn to avoid certain foods that have sickened us in the past. In this example, the taste of berries elicits nausea. As a result, a conditioned taste aversion to berries develops.

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Module 5.2

Operant Conditioning: Learning Through Consequences

A second form of learning is operant conditioning, which involves learning responses that produce changes, or consequences, in the environment. The major figure in operant conditioning was the American psychologist B. F. Skinner.

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© Cengage Learning

Based on his use of a puzzle box in animal experiments, Edward Thorndike, an early learning theorist, posited the Law of Effect, which emphasized the role of consequences in shaping behavior.

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Skinner and
Operant
Conditioning

© Nina Leen//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Operant conditioning is a form of learning in which responses come to be strengthened by their consequences. B. F. Skinner of Harvard University first described this type of learning in the late 1930s.

Key concepts:

Positive vs. negative reinforcement

Primary vs. secondary reinforcers

Discriminative stimuli

Shaping

Method of successive approximations

Extinction

Superstitious behaviors

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Skinner

Box

© Cengage Learning

Speaker

Signal lights

Lever

To food dispenser

Food pellet

Electric grid

To shock generator

This is an experimental apparatus, also known as an “operant chamber,” devised by Skinner for testing laboratory animals in operant conditioning experiments. It is commonly referred to as the ‘Skinner box’.

A Skinner box is a small enclosure in which an animal can be reinforced, say with a food pellet, for making a particular response, such as pressing a lever. The rate of response is systematically recorded. In this particular box, the floor is electrified to investigate escape or avoidance learning (learning responses that allow the animal to escape or avoid the shock, such as by pressing the lever when a signal light is illuminated).

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Behavior

Consequence

Patronize
Elmo’s Diner

Response

Rewarding
Stimulus Presented

Tendency to tell
jokes increases

© Cengage Learning

Skinner’s principle of reinforcement holds that organisms tend to repeat those responses that are followed by favorable consequences, or reinforcement. (Skinner preferred the term reinforcement to Thorndike’s satisfying effects because it did not carry mentalistic notions that the animal found the effects satisfying or pleasurable).

Something is positively reinforcing if the rate or probability of a response increases after it is presented, such as in the case of food, water, sleep, or sex.

An example of positive reinforcement is when you tell a joke and all your friends laugh. You thus become more likely to keep telling jokes. But what happens to the likelihood of your joke telling if no one laughs?

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Tendency to press
lever increases

Behavior

Response
Press lever

Consequence

Rewarding Stimulus Presented
Food delivered

© Cengage Learning

Responses can be strengthened either by presenting positive reinforcers or by removing negative reinforcers.

Positive reinforcement occurs when a response is strengthened when it is followed by the presentation of a (rewarding) stimulus.

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Tendency to press
lever increases

Behavior

Response
Press lever

Consequence

Aversive Stimulus Removed
Shock turned off

© Cengage Learning

A stimulus is negatively reinforcing when its removal strengthens the preceding response. Negative reinforcers are aversive stimuli, such as pain or anxiety. The rat in this example presses the lever, which removes the aversive effects of an electric shock. A person learns to turn on a fan or an air-conditioner when these responses are reinforced by relief from uncomfortable heat.

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A toddler begins to cry in a toy store.
The toddler’s mother gives her a toy
to quiet her down.

Next time they go to the store,
the child starts crying again.

Positive or Negative Reinforcement?

Positive
Reinforcement

Have students guess the answer.

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© Cengage Learning

Here we see a representation of positive and negative reinforcement. Keep in mind that positive reinforcement involves the introduction of a stimulus after a designated response, whereas negative reinforcement involves the removal of a stimulus (like pain) after the response.

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Primary Reinforcer

SecondaryReinforcer

$

© Cengage Learning

Primary reinforcers – satisfy basic biological needs or drives

Secondary reinforcers – acquire their value through learning and, usually, association with a primary reinforcer.

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© Cengage Learning

Water

Light

Glass

Food pellet
dispenser

Food tray

Lever

When the light shines (a discriminative stimulus), the food dispenser will release a food pellet when the animal performs the desired response (pressing the lever). What are some examples of discriminative stimuli in our daily lives?

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© Cengage Learning

Operant conditioning is usually established through a gradual process called shaping, which involves the reinforcement of closer and closer approximations to a desired response.

Shaping is necessary when an organism does not, on its own, emit the desired response.

For example, when a rat is first placed in a Skinner box, it may not press the lever at all. In this case the experimenter begins shaping lever-pressing behavior by reinforcing the rat for successive steps toward the target response, such as when it moves closer to the lever.

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Cumulative Responses

Time

Response
extinguished

High rate

Rate decreasing

Rate increasing

Extinction in operant conditioning is the process by which the association between response and reinforcer is broken.

The most efficient means of unpairing a response and a reinforcer is to stop reinforcing the operant response; that is, to not present food when the bar is pressed, for example.

Since responses are graphed cumulatively, the line never goes down – when a response is extinguished, the line flattens.

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Continuous Reinforcement

Partial Reinforcement

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Response

Response

Reinforcer

Response

Response

Response

Reinforcer

A schedule of reinforcement determines which occurrences of a specific response result in presentation of a reinforcer. The simplest schedule is continuous reinforcement.

Continuous reinforcement occurs when every instance of a designated response is reinforced.

Partial reinforcement occurs when a designated response is reinforced only some of the time.

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Cumulative Responses

Time

Fixed-ratio (FR)

Lower resistance
to extinction

Rapid responding

Short pause after
reinforcement

A fixed-ratio schedule entails giving a reinforcer after a fixed number of desired responses are produced.

A fixed-ratio schedule generally provides a rapid rate of response, indicated by the steep slope of the curve. What are some examples of FR schedules?

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Cumulative Responses

Time

Variable-ratio (VR)

Higher resistance
to extinction

High, steady rate
without pauses

Note:

Higher ratios generate
higher response rates

A variable ratio schedule entails giving a reinforcer after a desired response occurs following a variable number of non-reinforced responses.

Variable-ratio schedules, like fixed-ratio schedules, tend to produce a rapid response rate. Can you think of any examples of VR schedules?

Note that intermittent reinforcement, or partial reinforcement, occurs when a designated response is reinforced only some of the time.

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© L. Clarke/Corbis

Example: playing slot machines is based on variable-ratio reinforcement as the number of non-winning responses varies greatly before each time the machine pays out.

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Cumulative Responses

Time

Fixed-interval (FI)

Lower resistance
to extinction

Long pause
after reinforcement
yields “scalloping” effect

Note:

Short intervals generate
higher rates overall

Interval schedules require a time period to pass between the presentation of reinforcers.

A fixed-interval schedule entails reinforcing the first response that occurs after a fixed time interval has elapsed. Note that reinforcement is not given before the interval has elapsed. Can you think of an example?

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Example: Once a year after Thanksgiving, retail stores have large discounts in preparation for Christmas, on a day called “Black Friday.” Shopping before the sale does not provide the reinforcer (getting cheaper items).

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Cumulative Responses

Time

Variable-interval (VI)

Higher resistance
to extinction

Low, steady rate
without pauses

Note:

Short intervals generate
higher rates overall

A variable-interval schedule entails giving the reinforcer for the first response after a variable time interval has elapsed. Any examples?

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Example of VI Schedule: Constantly checking a cell phone to see if there are text messages waiting is reinforced by the periodic receipt of text messages.

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Escape

© Cengage Learning

(CR)

(UR)

Escape

(CS)
Light

(US)
Shock

To demonstrate escape learning in the laboratory, a laboratory animal learns to perform an operant response to terminate an aversive stimulus. The animal is placed in a part of the shuttle box with an electrified floor. A light and shock are turned on at the same time. The animal learns to escape the aversive stimulus by running to the other (non-electrified) compartment.

An example of escape learning is putting numbing cream on your skin after you have been badly sunburned.

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Avoidance

© Cengage Learning

In a laboratory demonstration, avoidance behavior is conditioned by presenting a stimulus, usually a light or bell, that signals that the aversive stimulus (electric shock) will follow in a few seconds. The animal learns to avoid the aversive stimulus by moving to the adjoining (nonelectrified) compartment when the light appears, but before the painful stimulus is presented.

An example of avoidance learning is putting sunscreen on before you go out into the sun to prevent getting a bad sunburn in the first place.

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You bite into a
hot red pepper

Your tongue burns

You avoid biting hot
peppers in the future

Child hits another
child in the
playground

Child is removed from
the playground or is
required to sit out for
a period of time

Child no longer hits
other children in
the playground

Behavior

Punishment

Effect: Frequency
of Behavior Declines

Type of
Punishment

Presentation
of unpleasant
stimulus

Removal of
reinforcing
stimulus

Punishment involves the presentation of an aversive or unpleasant stimulus, or removal of a reinforcing stimulus, after an undesired response occurs. Punishment generally leads to a decline in the frequency of the punished response. What are the drawbacks of using punishment, especially physical punishment, in disciplining children?

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© Cengage Learning

This table illustrates the key differences between reinforcement and punishment.

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Drawbacks of punishment

May temporarily suppress but not eliminate behaviors

Does not teach new behaviors

Can have undesirable consequences

May become abusive

May represent inappropriate modeling

Occasional use of mild punishment may sometimes be appropriate

Verbal reprimands

Removal of a reinforcer

Time-outs

  • Biofeedback Training
  • Behavior Modification
  • Programmed Instruction

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© optimarc/Shutterstock.com

As with classical conditioning, there are several real-world applications of operant conditioning.

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Module 5.3

Cognitive Learning

A third form of learning psychologists study is called cognitive learning, which involves learning via cognitive processes that cannot be directly observed in the organism’s behavior. Cognitive processes involve thinking, information processing, problem solving, and mental imaging.

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Process of mentally working through a problem until the sudden realization of a solution occurs – the
“Aha!” phenomenon

Wolfgang Köhler’s experiment with Sultan
the chimp

Louis Pasteur –
“Chance favors the
prepared mind.”

© OMIKRON/Science Source

Can you think of examples in your life in which you mulled over a problem in your head until you arrived at a solution? How did you arrive at the solution? Did you try to work it through from different angles or perspectives?

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Mean number of errors

10

4

2

2

4

6

8

10

11

12

14

16

Days

6

8

Group C
Reinforced on day 11

Group B
Never reinforced

Group A
Reinforced
on each trial

© Cengage Learning

One example of cognitive learning is called latent (“hidden”) learning.

“Hidden” learning occurs without apparent reinforcement.

In a class study by Tolman and Honzik, learned behavior was displayed only when it was reinforced.

Tolman: The rats had developed a cognitive map of the maze but didn’t perform the learned response until it was reinforced.

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Albert
Bandura

© Cengage Learning/Courtesy of Albert Bandura

Observational learning occurs when an organism’s response is influenced by the observation of others as “models.”

 

Psychologist Albert Bandura investigated observational learning.

Influence of modeling is generally stronger when the model is similar to learner and when the model is positively reinforced for performing the behavior.

Fears may also be acquired by modeling.

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Applying Psychology in Daily Life

Putting Reinforcement
into Practice

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Be specific

Use specific language

Select a reinforcer

Explain the contingency

Apply the reinforcer

Track the frequency of the desired behavior

Wean the child from the reinforcer

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Connect

Use hugs

Be specific

Avoid empty flattery

Reward the effort, not the outcome

Avoid repeating yourself

Don’t end on a sour note

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