Recently in Reinforcement Category

"The use of physical punishment may stop unwanted behaviors, but it may also result in resentment or fear of the parent, or negative feelings toward themselves. Unacceptable behavior can also be addressed by chiding, withholding privileges, or shaming. Punishment should be linked with communication. From the series Inside Out: Introduction to Psychology."



Is this punishment or reinforcement? Can  you explaing the behaviors in theis video using what we know about behavior analysis?


"Staffers whose health is ranked "platinum" will benefit from a 30 percent discount, while those in the bronze range will get 22 percent. That's a difference of $4 on a $50 grocery purchase. Staff members who opt out of the in-store health screenings still get the usual 20 percent employee discount."

How would a behaviorist describe what Whole Foods is doing here? What might they consider doing to imporve their successes?

Bed Jumping?

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I thought this was something different when I first read the headliner. These people go to hotels, jump on beds, and post pictures of the act.

How would you describe this in behavioral terms?




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Behavioral psychology research is shedding light on why some people become compulsive gamblers--and how to boost the success rate of treatment programs.

How does this relate to what we have been studying. How does it relate to schedules of reinforcement? Who is that guy in the picture?



Effective conditioning requires a correlation between the experimenter's definition of a response and an organism's, but an animal's perception of its behavior differs from ours. Various definitions of the response are explored experimentally using the slopes of learning curves to infer which comes closest to the organism's definition. The resulting exponentially weighted moving average provides a model of memory which grounds a quantitative theory of reinforcement in which incentives excite behavior and focus the excitement on the responses present in memory at the same time. The correlation between the organism's memory and the behavior measured by the experimenter is given by coupling coefficients derived for various schedules of reinforcement. For simple schedules these coefficients can be concatenated to predict the effects of complex schedules and can be inserted into a generic model of arousal and temporal constraint to predict response rates under any scheduling arrangement. According to the theory, the decay of memory is response-indexed rather than time-indexed. Incentives displace memory for the responses that occur before them and may truncate the representation of the response that brings them about. This contiguity-weighted correlation model bridges opposing views of the reinforcement process and can be extended in a straightforward way to the classical conditioning of stimuli. Placing the short-term memory of behavior in so central a role provides a behavioral account of a key cognitive process.

Vending Machine Illustration

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What caption would you write for the image below if you were using it in the context of conditioning and learning? Can you find some other good images that could be used to illustrace C&L concepts?


Confusing Consequences - Short Essay

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by Dr. Plonsky.

I have found that many people confuse negative reinforcement and punishment. These people include dog trainers, college students, and surprisingly, even many college professors and Introduction to Psychology textbooks. In fact, I recently read the book Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor and was a bit dismayed to find this confusion there as well. Note that this is not an attempt to flame the book or criticize it unduly. I like the book and learned a lot from it. I recommend it highly to anyone interested in training animals (and sometimes even those interested in training their children). Nonetheless, I do believe that the book suffers from the problem of confusing negative reinforcement and punishment. As such it propagates this confusion because many dog trainers look to this book as a definitive source on the science of behavior.

Intra-Cranial Self-Stimulation

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"If it was possible to become free of negative emotions by a riskless
implementation of an electrode - without impairing intelligence and
the critical mind - I would be the first patient."
Dalai Lama (Society for Neuroscience Congress, Nov. 2005)