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Instrumental (operant) Conditioning

Autor:   •  November 8, 2018  •  1,643 Words (7 Pages)  •  4 Views

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Chart 1

The number of marbles placed in can X and Y by the Experimental and Controlled subject in trials 1- 6

[pic 5]

Legends:

Experimental(X): the number of the experimental subject placed marbles in X

Experimental (Y): the number of the experimental subject placed marbles in Y

Controlled (X): the number of the controlled subject placed marbles in X

Controlled (Y): the number of the controlled subject placed marbles in Y

Discussion

The experimental subject was able to finish the task in a shorter reaction time compared to the control. The experimental was the one who received reinforcement (“uh huh”, and “good”) unlike the controlled who was let to put the marbles in different cans while the experimenter only observed. It is said that as a stimulus presented after an act, positive behavior recognition strengthens the occurrence of similar responses in the future, making it a kind of positive reinforcement (Strohacker, Galarraga, & Williams, 2013). That’s why it is noticeable in the distinguishing time between the two that reinforcement affects the person’s behaviour while doing the task. In terms of the changing position of cans after each trial as well as the choice of the naive subjects, the reinforcements does not necessarily affects the preference of the participants. Donahoe (2014) stated that the environmental events prior to the operant were simply described in general physical terms (the characteristics of the conditioning chamber) or in terms of their specific properties (the wavelength of light, the frequency of sound, and so on).

One of Skinner’s major contributions was to demonstrate that behavior could display orderly properties without identifying the environmental events if the precise relation of behavior to its consequences was specified. The subjects received intangible rewards during the study. Intangible rewards are social in nature, and the social reinforcement received by the participant is affective rewards (Law, Siu, & Shek, 2012). It is wherein the subject received a praise “uh huh” and “good”.

Reinforcement is defined as an event which will control the process of conditioning by changing the rate of occurrence of behavior which it follows—i.e., change the probability of occurrence of the operant. A positive reinforcement will increase the probability of the occurrence of the operant. A negative reinforcement will decrease it (Winters & Wallace, 1970). In this case, positive reinforcement is used. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory postulates that positive consequences for a behavior increase the likelihood of its recurrence, thereby reinforcing the relationship between behavior and the various environmental stimuli present at the time the behavior occurred (Law, Siu, & Shek, 2012). It is manifested in the time the experimental finished the task compared to the controlled subject.

Classical conditioning used to be viewed as a type of learning that involves the acquisition of elicited responses (i.e., responses, like the defensive eye blink, that are preceded reliably by an identifiable eliciting stimulus and that are experienced phenomenologically as automatic or reflexive). Similarly, instrumental (operant) conditioning was regarded as a type of learning that involves the acquisition of emitted responses (i.e., responses, like a wink of the eye, that can occur in the absence of reliable or well-defined antecedent stimuli and are experienced as voluntary). An implicit assumption of these old definitions was that what is acquired is a stimulus–response (S–R) association rather than a belief about the antecedents of an outcome (O, i.e., an expectancy) (Kirsch, Lynn, Vigorito & Miller, 2004).

As stated earlier, reinforcement is defined as an event which will control the process of conditioning by changing the rate of occurrence of behavior which it follows—i.e., change the probability of occurrence of the operant (winter & Wallace, 1970). The first subject received a rewarding praises to reinforce her behaviour during the task.

An example of positive conditioning is shown in the experiment wherein the first subject was reinforced to finish the task faster compared to the second who did not received reinforcement. In terms of negative reinforcement, an example of this is a parent confiscating a child’s phone because the child did not get a high score in the examination.

Conclusion

The operant conditioning is found to be effective in modifying the behavior of an individual. Reinforcements such as reward strengthen the likelihood of the behavior to occur again. Also the subject appeared to follow more the instruction if the subject receives a reward.

Reference:

Donahoe, J. W. (2014). Evocation of behavioral change by the reinforcer is the

critical event in both the classical and operant procedures. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 27(4), 537-543.

Faryadi, Q. (2007). Behaviorism and the construction of knowledge. Unpublished

manuscript.

Kirsch, I., lynn, S. J., vigorito, M., & Miller, R. R. (2004). The role of cognition in

classical and operant conditioning. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 60(4), 369-392. DOI: 10.1002/jclp.10251

Law, B.F., Siu, A. H., Shek, D. L.(2012). Recognition for positive behavior as a

critical youth development construct: Conceptual bases and implications on youth service development. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1-7.

Strohacker, K., Gallaraga, O., Williams, D.M. (2013). The impact of incentives on

exercise behaviour: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The Society of Behavioral Medicine. 48, 92-99.

Winters, L.C. & Wallace, W.H. (1970). On operant conditioning techniques.

Journal of Advertising Research, 10(5), 39-45.

Date of Experiment: July 2, 2015 Date

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