Module 21 and 23.docx - Module 21 Operant Conditioning I...

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Module 21 Operant Conditioning I. Operant and Classical Conditioning 1. We have seen that Classical Conditioning form associations between stimuli. A learned stimulus comes to be equivalent of a natural stimulus. Learning happens to the subject without the subject taking any action. 2. Operant Conditioning, we will find, forms association between behaviors and their resulting effects. The subject must act or Operate on the environment. 3. Classical conditioning involves behavior that occurs as: A. An Automatic response to a stimulus, emotions, reflexes, etc B. Another response that has already been learned through classical conditioning C. S-R(stimulus-response) 4. Operant Conditioning involves voluntary behavior that a. Operates on the environment b. Produces either a rewarding or punishing result c. R-S II. Skinner the Man - Skinner was born in Pennsylvania, the son of a lawyer who was described by his son as having been desperately hungry for praise, and by a mother who had rigid standards of right and wrong - Went to Hamilton College and majored in English literature o B.A. in English in 1924 with no classes in Psychology o Sent three short stories to Robert Frost , from whom he received an encouraging reply After college, spent a year trying to write, but concluded that he had nothing to say o Read Pavlov's Conditioned Reflexes and articles on Watson's behaviorism, which aroused his interest. - Believing that Pavlov had given him the key to understanding behavior, Skinner applied to and was accepted for graduate work in psychology at Harvard o While at Harvard, he developed some of his principles of scientific methodology: 1. When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it 2. Some ways of doing research are easier than others. A mechanical apparatus often makes doing research easier 3. Some people are lucky 4. A piece of apparatus breaks down. This presents problems, but it can also lead to :
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Serendipity the art of finding one thing while looking for something else - Skinner believed that special theories of learning and complicated explanations of behavior were not necessary if one can manipulate the environment so as to produce orderly change in the individual case - His conviction concerning the importance of the laws of behavior and his interest in building his interest in building led Skinner create inventions such as: a. A "Baby Box“ to mechanize the care of babies (including his own), b. Teaching Machines that used rewards in the teaching of school subjects, and c. A procedure whereby pigeons could be used militarily to land a missile on a target - Skinner was, however, a controversial figure , within psychology. o Even though he was the most known psychologist of the century, after Freud, he was never accorded the honor of being elected president of the American Psychological Association , an honor routinely bestowed on leading psychologists by their peers.
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  • Fall '14
  • KatherineDaniels
  • B.F. Skinner, eidetic memory

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