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Instrumental or operant conditioning. The instrumental paradigm. S --- R --- S R In a stimulus situation (S), a response (R) is followed by a reinforcing stimulus (S R ). Comparison with classical conditioning: Classical Operant CR is elicited R is emitted

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The instrumental paradigm l.jpg
The instrumental paradigm

  • S --- R --- SR

  • In a stimulus situation (S), a response (R) is followed by a reinforcing stimulus (SR).

  • Comparison with classical conditioning:

    Classical Operant

    CR is elicited R is emitted

    CR prepares for US R to get SR

    Learns contingency Learns contingency


More similarities l.jpg
More similarities

  • Practice effects

  • Extinction and spontaneous recovery

  • Delay effects

  • Contingency-dependent

  • Blocking and configural learning

  • Generalization and discrimination

  • Associative bias


What is associated l.jpg
What is associated?

  • S - R?

    • Thorndike’s Law of effect: Contiguity

    • But Tinklepaugh (1928) showed that organisms learn to expect particular reinforcers: Monkeys given a leaf of lettuce showed disappointment when they were expecting a slice of banana. So:

  • R - SR ? Or

  • S - R - SR ? Colwill and Rescorla (1985...)


Colwill and rescorla studies l.jpg
Colwill and Rescorla studies

  • Phase 1: R1(Bar press) --> SR1 (salty chow)

    and R2(Chain pull) --> SR2 (tasty chow)

  • Phase 2: Feed with SR1 (salty chow) outside the experimental chamber.

  • Test: Pulls chain.

  • Analogous results were found for SR devaluation. Clearly, the SR is involved in the learning process.


Learning without reinforcement cf sensory preconditioning l.jpg
Learning without reinforcement(cf. sensory preconditioning)

  • The noise of a lever press is learned in free exploration of a Skinner box.

  • Then the noise -- but no lever -- is paired with an SR of food.

  • When presented with the lever, the rats press it: Such inferential learning of neutral stimuli is essential to learning a chain of responses leading to terminal reinforcement.


Secondary reinforcement cf second order conditioning l.jpg
Secondary reinforcement(cf. second-order conditioning)

  • Learn that noise of bar press ---> food

  • Learn that bar press ---> noise

  • Animal will press bar to hear noise

  • An association is learned between noise and food. Humans -- and chimpanzees -- can learn such an association between primary reinforcers and secondary reinforcers such as money or tokens…or grades.


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Effects of secondary reinforcers

  • Secondary reinforcers help bridge delays.

  • Secondary reinforcers provide feedback.


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The CS in instrumental learning

  • Organisms can generalize and discriminate from the CS in instrumental/operant conditioning as well.

  • The peak shift: If CS+ and CS- are both trained in an operant discrimination experiment, the maximum rate of responding will not be to CS+ but to a stimulus farther from the CS- , where the generalization of CS- inhibition is less.


The peak shift l.jpg
The peak shift

Generalization

of Excitation

Size of response

Generalization

of Inhibition

Peak shift

CS-

CS+

Stimulus dimension --->


More observations on the cs l.jpg
More observations on the CS

  • The Gestalt psychologists and relational responding

  • Terrace’s errorless discrimination learning

    • Effectively teaches discrimination when relying on species-specific traits

    • Reduces emotional responses to CS-


Discrimination learning makes a dimension relevant l.jpg
Discrimination learning makes a dimension relevant

After discrimination training:

Pitch is relevant.

Simple generalization:

Pitch is not relevant

Response rate

Response rate

Pitch

Pitch


Concept learning dimensions l.jpg
Concept learning: Dimensions

  • Dimensional learning or attentional learning

    • Discrimination makes a dimension relevant

    • Processing capacity is limited, so learning depends on which dimension is made relevant

    • Except for very young children, reversal shift learning is easier than dimensional shift learning. Reversal shift requires inhibition.


Shift learning l.jpg
Shift learning

  • Training:

    • Positive

    • Negative

  • Reversal shift

    • Positive

    • Negative


Shift learning15 l.jpg
Shift learning

  • Training:

    • Positive

    • Negative

  • Nonreversal shift

    • Positive

    • Negative


Shift learning16 l.jpg
Shift learning

  • Training:

    • Positive

    • Negative

  • Intradimensional shift

    • Positive

    • Negative


Shift learning17 l.jpg
Shift learning

  • Training:

    • Positive

    • Negative

  • Extradimensional shift

    • Positive

    • Negative


Slide18 l.jpg


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Concept learning: Categories extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Pigeons can learn to peck at slides containing trees and not at slides that do not contain trees.

  • Pigeons can learn to peck at one key for pictures of cats and at another key for pictures of flowers.

  • However, pigeons find it hard to discriminate between one set of cats and another, or one set of flowers and another.


Category learning in humans l.jpg
Category learning in humans extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Like the pigeons, people find it easy to discriminate between categories.

  • Also like the pigeons, people find it hard to discriminate within categories. Examples?

  • And yet it is easy to discriminate within categories of which we are members.

  • The ease of discrimination between categories biases us toward categorical thinking.


What is the cr l.jpg
What is the CR ? extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Response equivalence based on effects

  • Place learning: Shift strategies and foraging.

    • Shift strategies are harder to learn if some food remains in the first place visited.

  • Species-specific responding: Instinctive drift

  • Behavior systems analysis (Timberlake)


Predator learning l.jpg
Predator learning extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Predators have a UR of approaching and contacting the US of prey characteristics.

  • But they must learn effective biting and to attack motionless prey (Eibl-Eibesfeldt ‘70)

  • Is the learning due to instrumental conditioning? Young predators improve even if their attacks are unsuccessful.

  • Removing the CS for predators: Tiger attacks in northern India.


Autoshaping or sign tracking l.jpg
Autoshaping or sign tracking extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Pigeons will learn to peck a lighted key that predicts food, even though the food is not contingent on pecking the key (Brown & Jenkins, 1968)

  • But the key peck is not an operant:

    • Pigeons autoshape even if the response is prevented by a plexiglass barrier.

    • Pigeons peck the key differently for food and water reinforcers (Jenkins & Moore, 1973).

    • Male pigeons learn to court a light that predicts access to their mates (Rackham, 1971).


Contiguity vs contingency again l.jpg
Contiguity vs. contingency, again extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Are R and SR connected because they are contiguous or contingent?

  • Hammond’s (1980) contingency study:

    • Phase 1: Reinforce only 5% of responses

      • Result: 3000 bar presses per hour

    • Phase 2: Continue phase 1 reinforcement, but add reward 5% of the time when no response was made.

      • Result: Response rate trailed off to near zero

    • Phases 3 & 4 repeated 1 & 2 (ABAB design)


Hammond s 1980 results l.jpg
Hammond’s (1980) results extradimensional (changes dimension)

Phase 1

2

3

4

Phase Conting.

Phase p(SR)

1 .05 - 0

2 .05 - .05

Rate of responding

3 .05 - 0

4 .05 - .05

Training periods


More contingency contiguity research l.jpg
More contingency-contiguity research extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Partial reinforcement, contingency learning and the partial reinforcement extinction effect

  • Superstitious learning:

    • Skinner and contiguity explanations

    • Staddon and Simmelhag:

      • Interim behaviors

      • Terminal behaviors


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Learned helplessness extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Seligman and Maier’s classic study (1967)

  • Latent inhibition explanations: Learned irrelevance of responding

  • Treatment by forced success experiences

  • Inoculation by early success experiences

    • Childhood competence vs. inferiority

    • Classroom success in early childhood education

    • What about early sexual experiences? Abuse?


Associative bias l.jpg
Associative bias extradimensional (changes dimension)

  • Behaviors that occur with hunger are easily conditioned with food rewards; grooming behaviors are not

  • Species-specific defense reactions (SSDRs):

    • Rats learn to flee more readily than to press a bar to terminate shock

    • Rats learn to press a bar more readily than to flee to obtain food

    • Human examples of SSDRs: Skiing downhill, driving through a skid