Operant Conditioning Essay Sample

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Operant conditioning: When a teacher rewards good behavior with a token, and students can exchange these tokens for extra rewards. Classical conditioning: In animal training, a trainer might utilize classical conditioning by repeatedly pairing the sound of a clicker with the taste of food. Eventually, the sound of the clicker alone will begin to produce the same response that the taste of food would. Observational learning: When you learn how to open a lock with a key by watching your parents or others around you do it. C). If the farmer wants the cows to learn to come to a new feeding station at the sound of his truck’s horn, he can do this by shaping. He can gradually reward the cows as they move closer to the new feeding station and then finally requiring the cows to reach the new station before rewarding them. Also, the farmer could use negative reinforcement to reduce the cow’s behavior of going to the old feeding station by whipping the cow or not allowing them to eat that day. QUESTION 2

Classical conditioning involves pairing a previously neutral stimulus (such as the sound of a bell) with an unconditioned stimulus (the taste of food). This unconditioned stimulus naturally and automatically triggers salivating as a response to the food, which is known as the unconditioned response. After associating the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the sound of the bell alone will start to evoke salivating as a response. The sound of the bell is now known as the conditioned stimulus and salivating in response to the bell is known as the conditioned response. Operant conditioning focuses on using either rewards or punishment to strengthen or reduce a behavior. Through this process, an association is formed between the behavior and the consequences for that behavior. Classical conditioning involves making an association between an involuntary response and a stimulus, while operant conditioning is about making an association between a voluntary behavior and a consequence. In operant conditioning, the learner is also rewarded with incentives, while classical conditioning involves no such enticements.

Also remember that classical conditioning is passive on the part of the learner, while operant conditioning requires the learner to actively participate and perform some type of action in order to be rewarded or punished. For example, in animal training, a trainer might utilize classical conditioning by repeatedly pairing the sound of a clicker with the taste of food. Eventually, the sound of the clicker alone will begin to produce the same response that the taste of food would. In a classroom setting, a teacher might utilize operant conditioning by offering tokens as rewards for good behavior. Students can then turn in these tokens to receive some type of reward such as treat or extra play time. A). Acquisition- In classical conditioning, it is when in the initial stage one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus alone triggers a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, it is the strengthening of a reinforced response. For example, imagine that you are trying to teach a lab rat to press a lever after hearing a tone. When the rat presses the lever after hearing the tone, a food pellet is dispensed. After repeated pairings, the rat starts to press the lever whenever it hears the tone.

At this point, the response has been acquired. B). Extinction- It is the diminishing of a conditioned response. In classical conditioning, it occurs when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus. In operant conditioning, it occurs when a response is no longer reinforced with a reward or punishment. For example in Pavlov’s dog experiment when the tone was sounded again and again without presenting food, the dogs salivated less and less. C). Spontaneous recovery- Is the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response. For example Pavlov’s experiment, dogs were conditioned to salivate to the sound of a tone. Pavlov also noted that no longer pairing the tone with the presentation of food led to extinction of the salivation response. However, after a two hour rest period, the salivation response suddenly reappeared when the tone was presented. D). Generalization- Is the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to give similar responses. For example when toddlers taught to fear moving cars also become afraid of moving trucks and motorcycles.

E). Discrimination- Is the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus. For example if confronted by a pit bull, your heart may race; confronted by a golden retriever, it will probably not. QUESTION 3

•Skinner’s operant conditioning- B.F. Skinner developed a behavioral technology that revealed principles of behavior control. In operant conditioning, living things associate their own actions with consequences. Actions followed by positive reinforcements or rewards strengthen that particular behavior, whereas actions followed by negative reinforcements or punishment reduces behavior. These principles enabled Skinner to teach pigeons such un-pigeon like behavior such as walking. •Bandura’s social learning theory- Albert Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment was his most significant finding. This experiment had to do with observational learning and modeling behavior. In this experiment, it was found that a child after observing would imitate the behavior of a more authoritative figure (adult). Also, a child was more likely to imitate the behavior of a figure that they liked or looked up-to and was less likely to imitate an adult they considered as unfavorable. •Ainsworth’s attachment research- In her 1970’s research, psychologist Mary Ainsworth expanded greatly upon Bowlby’s original work. Her groundbreaking “Strange Situation” study revealed the profound effects of attachment on behavior.

In the study, researchers observed children between the ages of 12 and 18 months as they responded to a situation in which they were briefly left alone and then reunited with their mothers. •During the early 1960’s, psychologist Diana Baumrind conducted a study on more than 100 preschool- age children. Using naturalistic observation, parental interviews and other research methods, she identified four important dimensions of parenting such as disciplinary strategies, warmth and nurturance, communication styles, and expectations of maturity and control. Based on these dimensions, Baumrind suggested that the majority of parents display one of three different parenting styles. Further research by also suggested the addition of a fourth parenting style. These four parenting styles are authoritative, authoritarian, permissive and uninvolved.

•When a child has an issue with tantrum management the parents can use operant condition to strengthen the behavior by providing rewards or reduce the behavior by giving punishment. Whenever the child controls his or her temper they should be rewarded for example with a chocolate and if the child does lose their temper, the child should be punished for example by spanking. •If the parents of the child display a sharing and caring behavior then the child will learn from the parents to be sharing and caring too. •If the parents create a positive environment for the child growing up and they remain supportive of the child’s decisions then the child will be comfortable with who they are and become self-reliant and independent. •If the parents encourage their child and tell them every time they do good, the child will have a high self-confidence and self-esteem.

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