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learning & motivation- lab summary 3

learning & motivation- lab summary 3 - Susan...

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Susan Martinez November 30, 2010 Learning and Motivation Lab Ralitsa Konstantinova Tuesday 6:00 – 7:50 PM Lab Summary 3 Enhanced resistance to extinction means that if the subject was being reinforced on a partial reinforcement schedule during the acquisition phase, then during extinction the subject is more likely to respond more during extinction than it would if it was trained on a continuous reinforcement schedule. The reason this behavior occurs is because of a phenomenon called the partial reinforcement extinction effect in which the subject learns to persist on a partial reinforcement schedule. Thus, when extinction begins the subject continues to show that persistence. Furthermore, the subject exhibits behavior that is continuous, persistent, and ongoing in expectance of reinforcement. Ratio schedules of reinforcement are a general type of schedule that enhances resistance to extinction. In a ratio schedule, the subject is reinforced after a certain number of responses. As the experimenter, I trained Sniffy, the virtual lab rat, on two subtypes of this ratio schedule; fixed and variable ratio schedules. A fixed ratio reinforcement schedule has conditions where there are a set number of responses or behaviors the subject must do in order to be reinforced. For example, in a FR-5 schedule the subject must perform the behavior exactly five times to be reinforced. On a variable ratio reinforcement schedule the subject is reinforced randomly, but has an average number of times in which it is reinforced. For example, on a VR-5 schedule the
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subject is reinforced after an average of five responses, but it is still random to where the subject may be reinforced after one response or after ten responses. Out of the two subtypes of ratio schedules, the variable ratio reinforcement schedule is predicted to create more resistance to extinction. The reason is because this schedule is the most similar to partial reinforcement schedules, where the subject cannot figure out a pattern of reinforcement because it is completely random. Thus, the subject learns to become persist with
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