Learning and reinforcement

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Learning and reinforcement

  1. 1. LEARNING AND REINFORCEMENT By Chetan Kumar Tarun
  2. 2. CONTENTS • Overview of Learning Theories • Learning Through Rewards and Punishments • Contingencies of Reinforcement • Schedules of Reinforcement
  3. 3. Nature of Learning • Learning is a relatively permanent change in knowledge or observable behavior that results from practice or experience. • Importance of Learning to OB  Most organizational behavior is learned (remember that only 2-12% of behavior is directly linked to personality)  By controlling the situation, a manager can influence behavior/performance.  The manager is held accountable for the performance of his/her subordinates.
  4. 4. • Classical Conditioning: The learning of “involuntary,” reflexive behavior, such as emotional reactions • Operant Conditioning: The learning of voluntary, goal-directed behavior through the direct experience of consequences • Social Learning: The learning of voluntary, goal- directed behavior through observation and imitation of others
  5. 5. Classical Conditioning Unconditioned stimulus (food) Conditioned stimulus (metronome) Reflex response (salivation)
  6. 6. Examples of Operant Behaviors and their Consequences BEHAVIORS The Individual CONSEQUENCES
  7. 7. Examples of the Three Types of Learning: Which Example Illustrates Each Type? • After a tightening in policy regarding lateness, a worker sees a coworker fired for excessive tardiness, resulting in increased attention to arriving on time • After a tightening in policy regarding lateness, a worker receives a written reprimand for being late twice in one month, resulting in increased attention to arriving on time • After witnessing a coworker’s accidental loss of several fingers in a machinery accident, a worker experiences anxiety when operating the same piece of machinery
  8. 8. Contingency of Reinforcement • Definition: The relationship between a behavior and the preceding and following environmental events that influence that behaviour. • Basic Components: • Antecedent -- the stimulus that precedes the behaviour. • Behavior -- the behavior emitted in response to the stimulus. • Consequence -- the positive or negative consequence of the behaviour. • Important Note: Managers can often control the contingencies of reinforcement influencing their subordinate’s behavior, and thereby, the behavior itself
  9. 9. Example of Contingent Reinforcement NO Manager and employee set goal Does employee achieve goal? YES Antecedent (precedes the behavior) Manager is silent or reprimands employee Employee Task Behaviour Manager compliments employee for accomplishment Consequences Reinforcement (result of the Contingent behaviour) on Consequence
  10. 10. Categories of Reinforcers • All reinforcers fall into one of two categories: • Primary Reinforcers -- Based upon the satisfaction of physiological needs, such as food, water, air, sex, escape from pain, etc. (Note that the text defines this as: “an event for which the individual already knows the value.”) • Secondary Reinforcers -- Learned reinforcers; the text defines this as “an event that once had neutral value but has taken on some positive or negative value for an individual because of past experience
  11. 11. Types of Contingencies of Reinforcement Event is Added Event is Removed (best to use) Pleasant Event Unpleasant Event Positive reinforcement (increases behaviour) Punishment (decreases behaviour) (worst to use) Omission (decreases behaviour) Negative reinforcement (increases behaviour)
  12. 12. Rewards Used by Organizations MATERIAL REWARDS Pay Pay raises Stock options Profit sharing Deferred compensation Bonuses/bonus plans Incentive plans Expense accounts SOCIAL/INTERPERSONAL REWARDS Praise Developmental feedback Smiles, pats on the back, other nonverbal signals Requests for suggestions Invitations to coffee or lunch Wall plaques SUPPLEMENTAL BENEFITS Company automobiles Health insurance plans Pension contributions Vacation and sick leave Recreation facilities Child care support Club privileges Parental leave REWARDS FROM THE TASK Sense of achievement Jobs with more responsibility Job autonomy/self-direction Performing important tasks STATUS SYMBOLS Corner offices Offices with windows Carpeting Drapes Paintings Watches Rings Private restrooms SELF-ADMINISTERED REWARDS Self-congratulation Self-recognition Self-praise Self-development through expanded knowledge/skills Greater sense of self-worth
  13. 13. Negative Reinforcement • Definition: An unpleasant event is occurring which can be removed by emitting the desired behaviour. • Differs from punishment, but may result from the fear of punishment. • Two types are identified: • Escape Learning: An unpleasant event occurs until the employee emits an “escape response” to terminate it • Avoidance Learning: An employee prevents an unpleasant event from occurring by emitting the proper behaviour.
  14. 14. Potential Negative Effects of Punishment Recurrence of undesirable employee behaviour Undesirable emotional reaction Antecedent Undesirable employee behaviour Punishment by manager But Short-term leads to decrease in frequency long-term of undesirable employee behaviour Aggressive, disruptive behaviour Apathetic, noncreative performance Fear of manager Which tends to reinforce High turnover and absenteeism
  15. 15. Punishment and Interpersonal Relations • The inappropriate use of punishment increases with: • Anger and/or frustration on the part of the manager • Inadequate interpersonal communication • In such cases, this inappropriate punishment creates long term interpersonal problems, by: • Reducing trust • Stifling motivation • Undermining and/or destroying relationships.
  16. 16. How to Make Punishment Effective Managers should: • Use the principles of contingent punishment, immediate punishment, and punishment size. • Praise in public, punish in private. • Develop alternative desired behaviour. • Balance the use of pleasant and unpleasant events. • Use “positive discipline” (i.e., change behaviour through reasoning, with an emphasis on personal responsibility or “self control,” rather than by imposing increasingly severe punishments)
  17. 17. Guidelines for Using Contingencies of Reinforcement Managers should: • Not reward all employees the same (i.e., take individual differences into account to reward employees with consequences that they personally value, within the constraints of perceived equity) • Consider consequences of both actions and non-actions • Make employees aware of what behavior will be reinforced (and then be sure to reinforce it uniformly) • Let employees know what they are doing wrong • Not punish in front of others • Make their response equal to workers’ behaviour
  18. 18. Schedules of Reinforcement • Definition: The determination of when reinforcers are applied; after every response or only after some responses • Two general categories of schedule are: • Continuous Reinforcement: Every behavior is reinforced; the simplest schedule • Intermittent Reinforcement: Only some behaviors are reinforced; four types are identified in the text: • Fixed Interval: based on a fixed time interval • Fixed Ratio: based on a fixed number of responses • Variable Interval: based on a variable time interval • Variable Ratio: based on a variable number of responses
  19. 19. Comparisons of Schedules of Reinforcement SCHEDULE FORM OF REWARD Fixed interval Reward on fixed time basis Fixed ratio Reward tied to specific number of responses Variable interval Reward given after varying periods of time Variable ratio INFLUENCE ON PERFORMANC Leads to average E and irregular performance EFFECTS ON BEHAVIOR Fast extinction of behavior Leads quickly to very high and stable performance Moderately fast extinction of behavior Leads to moderately high and stable performance Slow extinction of behavior Reward given for Leads to very some behaviors high performance Very slow extinction of behavior
  20. 20. Thank you

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