Psy_-_Chp_5_-_How_Animals_Learn - How Animals Learn How do...

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How Animals Learn How do animals learn at SeaWorld? SeaWorld trainers use operant conditioning techniques to train marine mammals. In addition, the animals at SeaWorld often learn through observational learning. Both types of learning are explained below. What is operant conditioning? Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviors are altered by the consequences which follow them. When an animal performs a particular behavior and the consequences of that behavior are in some ways reinforcing to that animal, the animal is likely to repeat that behavior. For instance, if a whale splashes its trainer, any of several consequences may follow: the trainer becomes wet, the trainer jumps backward, the crowd cheers, etc. If any of these consequences is reinforcing to the whale, the whale is likely to repeat the splashing behavior. When an animal responds with a behavior that is close to what the trainer wants, the trainer delivers a positive reinforcer. As a result, the animal increases the frequency, intensity, and duration of that particular behavior. For example, if a dolphin leaps into the air and a reinforcer follows, the behavior of leaping is like to increase in frequency, duration, and intensity under the same conditions. Humans learn by the same principles. For example, consider the behavior of putting
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This note was uploaded on 08/10/2011 for the course CHEM 160:161 taught by Professor Siegel during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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Psy_-_Chp_5_-_How_Animals_Learn - How Animals Learn How do...

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