Operant conditioning
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Operant conditioning

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An overview of the key points of operant conditioning theory

An overview of the key points of operant conditioning theory

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Operant conditioning Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Learning Theories
    Operant Conditioning
  • 2. Behaviour Modification
    Behaviour modification principles are based on a branch of psychology known as behavioural theory.
    Behaviour, whether good or bad, is viewed as a conditioned habit.
    The process of behaviour change is a matter of reconditioning behaviour.
    B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist, is credited with first developing this practice in the mid 1900s.
    His theory of operant conditioning formed the basis for the principles behind the behaviour modification approach.
  • 3. Behaviour modification
    Behaviour modification, based on behaviourist principles, operates on the following tenets:
    1) All behaviour, appropriate as well as inappropriate, is learned.
    2) Behaviour is controlled by antecedents - events which occur before a behaviour is exhibited, and by consequences - events which occur after a behaviour is exhibited.
    2) These antecedents and consequences can be changed in order to increase or decrease the chance that a given behaviour will continue to be exhibited.
  • 4. Operant Conditioning
  • 5. Operant Conditioning
    BF Skinner coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behaviour by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behaviour.
  • 6. Three types of responses
    • Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behaviour being repeated.
    • Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behaviour being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative.
    • Punishers: Response from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behaviour being repeated. Punishment weakens behaviour.
  • 7. Reinforces can be positive or negative
    Negative Reinforcement – the reinforceris removed after the response.
    Loud buzz in some cars when ignition key is turned on; driver must put on safety belt in order to eliminate irritating buzz (Gredler, 1992)  the buzz is a negative reinforcer for putting on the seat-belt.
    Cleaning the house to get rid of disgusting mess (Weiten, 1992), or cleaning the house to get rid of your mother's nagging (Bootzin, et al , 1991; Leahy & Harris, 1989).  Nagging/Mess as negative reinforcer to cleaning.
  • 8. What is positive reinforcement?
    Reinforcement is a stimulus which follows and is contingent upon a behaviour and increases the probability of a behaviour being repeated.
    Positive reinforcement can increase the probability of not only desirable behaviour but also undesirable behaviour. For example, if a child whines in order to get attention and is successful in getting it, the attention serves as positive reinforcement which increases the likelihood that the student will continue to whine.
  • 9. Reinforces can be positive or negative
    Positive Reinforcement – providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.
    The following video provides some examples of positive reinforcement.
    Take note the of positive reinforcers used in the video.
    Consider how successful the video is in portraying negative reinforcement.
  • 10. How should reinforcement be delivered?
    Reinforcement must be consistently delivered, according to a planned reinforcement schedule. If it is not, no connection will develop between appropriate behaviour and the reinforcement and the behaviour will not change.
  • 11. How should reinforcement be delivered?
    Reinforcement must be delivered immediately or the effect of reinforcement is reduced if not lost. In this way, a contingency between behaviour and reinforcement will be strengthened or maintained.
  • 12. How should reinforcement be delivered?
    Improvement should be reinforced. Do not wait until the desired behaviour is perfect to deliver reinforcement. You should recognize improvement and let the individual know that you recognize the effort.
  • 13. How should reinforcement be delivered?
    Whenever possible, pair any reinforcement with social reinforcement. Make sure to give some sort of social reinforcement, such as telling the individual, "You really did a fantastic job today. You should be really proud of yourself“.
  • 14. The problems with reinforcers - What is satiation and how should it be handled?
    Satiation is the term used to describe the situation of a reinforcer losing its effectiveness. For example, if an individual is receiving jellybeans as reinforcement, it is likely that after a period of time he or she will tire of them and no longer find them desirable.
    Satiation can also occur if too much reinforcement is being delivered. Earning up to ten minutes of computer time a day may serve as reinforcement for a long period of time, while being given the opportunity to earn an hour of computer time, for example, may quickly lead to satiation.
  • 15. The problems with reinforcers - What is satiation and how should it be handled?
    When satiation begins, the rate at which the desired behaviour is displayed tapers off until it stops.Thisis very common with edible reinforcers. Reinforcement in the form of activities, social opportunities, and learning activities tend to be more immune to satiation.
    Zirpoli and Melloy (1993) suggest the following ways of preventing satiation:
    • Varying the reinforcer or using a different reinforcer for each target behaviour.
    • Monitoring the amount of reinforcement delivered and using only enough to maintain the target behaviour.
    • Avoiding edible reinforcers (if you must use edibles, vary and apply minimally).
    • Moving from a constant to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement as soon as possible.
    • Moving from primary to secondary reinforcers as soon as possible.