Final fiesta paper


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Final fiesta paper

  1. 1. Final Fiesta Paper Alexis Franciscotty 03/29/2013 PSY 1400 For my final fiesta paper, I decided to train and write about my boyfriend’s family dog, Teddy. Teddy is a full size poodle; basically a giant fluff ball that likes the taste of beer. It was discovered that Teddy liked the taste of beer a couple years ago at a family party when an entire can was accidentally knocked off the table. Since Teddy is a dog, his initial reaction was to smell and taste the foreign liquid on the ground, then lap it all up with his long pink tongue once he figured out he liked the taste. I soon realized that his love for beer was an unlearned reinforcer(a stimulus, event, or condition that is a reinforcer, though not as a result of pairing with another reinforcer). Now that I knew what Teddy’s unlearned reinforcer was, what behavioral contingency (The occasion for a response (behavior), the response (behavior), and the outcome of the response (behavior)) would be the cutest and most effective? I quickly decided a basic reinforcement contingency (The immediate response-contingent presentation of a reinforcer resulting in an increased frequency of that response)would be the most effective;however it wasn’t the only contingency in effect. Teddy would need an unconditioned stimulus: A stimulus that produces the unconditioned response without previous pairing with another stimulus. The U.S. would be the beer itself, but what would Teddy’s unconditioned response (an unlearned response elicited by the presentation of an unconditioned stimulus) be? For ease sake, we’ll just say that his response was drooling. I don’t know many dogs that don’t drool and it’s pretty common for mammals to salivate when in the presence of a favorite food or drink. Next, Teddy needed a conditioned stimulus (A stimulus that has acquired its eliciting properties through previous pairing with another stimulus). Since beer was usually distributed in cans at the house, a silver beer can would be Teddy’s cue that beer was in front of him.And the conditioned response(a learned response elicited by the presentation of a conditioned stimulus? Teddy could smile when he wanted to; now my goal was to train him to specifically smile for beer. Before:Te Behavior:T After:Ted ddy has no beer eddy Smiles dy has beer
  2. 2. Pairing the US (beer) with the CS (beer can) and the UR (salivation or drooling) with the CR (smiling) is called a pairing procedure (pairing of a neutral stimulus with a reinforcer or aversive condition) and is shown here: Pairing Procedure Can Taste of beer No can No taste of beer In the years since the discovery that Teddy the poodle liked beer, it’s been clear that beer is an unlearned reinforcer for him and that he would beg for it, but in this case I wanted to chain his list of requirements for beer together in a process called a behavioral chain (a sequence of stimuli and responses. Each response produces a change in the environment that acts as a discriminative stimulus or operandum as the next response.)Teddy learned how to beg, but I wanted to give him the appearance of sophistication when asking for his favorite beverage. Since I wanted to shape Teddy’s behavior and different outcomes were available, I also decided to use variable-outcome shaping (shaping that involves a change in the value of the reinforcer or aversive condition, as performance more and more closely resembles the terminal behavior). To shape with reinforcers, I first had to identify the initial behavior (Behavior that resembles the terminal behavior along some meaningful dimension and occurs with at least minimal frequency); this was looking at the can. For me to know I had Teddy’s attention his initial behavior was to look at the can and this behavior was reinforced until it occurred frequently. By presenting the can to Teddy, his initial behavior would be looking at the can; that behavior would be reinforced when I poured out a small amount of beer onto the floor for him to lap up. Once looking at the can was occurring frequently, I next reinforced the intermediate behavior (Behavior that more closely approximates the terminal behavior). Since I wanted Teddy to have a dignified request for beer, I decided a dog that could not hold still and sit politely was not deserving of beer. Thus, the intermediate behavior became sitting patiently. This response was then reinforced until it occurred frequently. Finally, to receive the beer that he so coveted, Teddy needed to smile. As said before, Teddy knew how to smile before this experiment, but he needed to pair the response of smiling with the reinforcer of beer to complete the contingency. Figure 3 shows this behavioral chain.
  3. 3. Reinforcement Before: Ted has no beer Initial: Looks at can Intermediate: Sits patiently Terminal: Smiles Initial: Doesn’t look at can Intermediate: Looks at can Terminal: Smiles After: Teddy has beer After: Teddy has no beer Extinction Now shifting our attention to another way of looking at things, we can’t forget about discrimination training procedure (reinforcing or punishing a response in the presence of one stimulus and extinguishing it or allowing it to recover in the presence of another stimulus). Reinforcement-Based Discrimination D S : Can is in sight and prompt is given After: Ted has beer Before: Behavior: Teddy has no beer Teddy Smiles After: SΔ:Can is not Teddy has no beer in sight and no prompt I wanted Teddy to discriminate between commands so using discrimination training, Teddy learned that the SDor discriminative stimulus (a stimulus in the presence of
  4. 4. which a particular response will be reinforced or punished) was the sight of the can and the verbal prompt of “Would you like a beer?” When these two stimuli occurred and Teddy smiled, he was rewarded with beer. However when Ted smiled during the S-delta (a stimulus in the presence of which a particular response will not be reinforced or punished) or when a beer can was not in sight and there was no prompt, he would receive nothing. Finally, what is Teddy’s motivating operation (a procedure or condition that affects learning and performance with respect to a particular reinforcer or aversive condition)? Besides the fact that he liked the taste of the beer, Teddy was also munching on snacks with the rest of the household that day. To go with the beer, there were a lot of salty delicious snacks like popcorn, Chex mix, pretzels, and chips; in case you didn’t put two and two together, all of these foods have one thing in common- salt. As we learned in chapter nine, deprivation (withholding a reinforcer increases relevant learning and performance) and satiation(consuming a substantial amount of a reinforcer temporarily decreases relevant learning and performance) can affect relevant learning and performance great. Since the snacks were salty, we can assume Teddy became thirsty. This deprivation of hydration made relevant learning faster for Teddy and the process is shown in the next figure. Before: Behavior: After: Ted has no beer Teddy smiles Ted has beer Motivating Operation: Ted has eaten salty snacks for the past hour Thanks to behavior analysis, Teddy learned to use his cute talent of smiling to get what he wanted, beer. His motivating operation was that he was thirsty, and then we helped him chain events of behavior with reinforcement over and over again. He was reinforced when he looked at the can, when he sat patiently and finally when he smiled. He was reinforced only when the SD (can) was in sight, and reinforcement was withheld when the can was not in sight (the S-delta).
  5. 5. Although this class has been aversive the majority of the semester, I have learned a lot. I now reward myself daily to stay productive. I use the word aversive hourly. I hope to remember these principles in the future now that I see how relevant and useful they are.