Classical vs. Operant Conditioning

Classical vs. Operant Conditioning

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Learning
Thoughts on Learning
“Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
–     W. Edwards Demming
“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.”
–     B.F. Skinner
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
–     Pablo Picasso

What is Learning?

A relatively permanent change in behavior
that results from experience

Types of Learning
•     Classical conditioning
•     Operant conditioning
•     Cognitive and social learning
Classical Conditioning: Examples
•     Sound of a dentist’s drill: sweaty palms
•     Smell of mom’s perfume: smiling
•     Sight of certain restaurant: nausea
•     Noise of a can opener: cat comes running
•     Smell of a hospital: weakened immunity
Classical Conditioning
•     Discovered (accidentally) by Ivan Pavlov
Pavlov’s Observation
•     Studied digestion in dogs

Pavlov’s Experiment: Phase 1
•     Food (US): salivation (UR)
–     Reflexive response
•     Tone (CS): nothing (CR)
Pavlov’s Experiment: Phase 2
•     CS is repeatedly paired with the US
–     A tone is sounded before the food is presented
Pavlov’s Experiment: Phase 3
•     Eventually, the CS elicits a new CR
–     Hearing the tone by itself causes salivation
Classical Conditioning:
Conditioned Emotional Response
•     Avoidance learning
•     Conditioned phobias
–     Little Albert
Classical Conditioning
•     Extinction
•     Spontaneous recovery
Classical Conditioning
•     Stimulus generalization
•     Stimulus discrimination
Higher Order Conditioning
•     Pair CS1 with a new CS2
•     CS2: CR
•     But, CR will be weaker

Classical Conditioning Applied
•     Drug overdoses
•     Smoking: environmental cues
•     Systematic desensitization
•     Advertising: sex appeal
•     Taste aversion
•     Conditioning and the immune system
Types of Learning
•     Classical Conditioning
•     Operant Conditioning
•     Cognitive and Social Learning
Operant Conditioning: Examples
•     Tantrums are punished: fewer tantrums
•     Tantrums bring attention: more tantrums
•     Slot machine pays out: gamble more
•     Reward dog for sitting: dog is likely to sit
Operant Conditioning
•     Thorndike’s puzzle box
–     Law of Effect: actions that have positive outcomes are likely repeated
•     Skinner box
Operant Conditioning: Principles
•     Stimulus-Response
•     Reinforcement
–     Positive reinforcement
–     Negative reinforcement
Effective Punishment
•     Should be
–     Swift
–     Consistent
–     Appropriately aversive
•     Challenges
–     Physical punishment may be imitated
–     May fear the person who punishes
•     Most effective when paired with reinforcers
Reinforcement
•     Primary reinforcers
•     Secondary reinforcers
•     Behavior modification
•     Immediate versus delayed reinforcement
Beyond Basic Reinforcement
•     Generalization
•     Discrimination
–     Discriminative stimulus
•     Extinction
•     Spontaneous recovery

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Building Complex Behaviors
•     Shaping
–     Gradual reinforcement of successive approximations of target behavior
–     Used to train animals to do complex tricks
Reinforcement Schedules
•     Continuous reinforcement
•     Partial reinforcement
•     Fixed interval
•     Variable interval
•     Fixed ratio
•     Variable ratio
Reinforcement Schedules
Classical versus Operant Conditioning
Classical conditioning
–     Learned association between US and CS
–     Organism is passive
–     Responses elicited
Operant conditioning
–     Associate response and reinforcement
–     Organism is active
–     Responses emitted
Types of Learning
•     Classical conditioning
•     Operant conditioning
•     Cognitive and social learning
Cognitive Learning
•     Latent learning
–     Tolman’s rats: cognitive maps
Cognitive Learning
•     Insight learning
–     “Aha” experience
Observational Learning
•     Bandura’s Bobo doll study
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