Successive approximation See shaping

A procedure used to train differential responding. The researcher arranges the presentation of SD and SA so that one follows the other. For example, a multiple schedule is programmed such that a red light signals VI food reinforcement, and this is followed by a green light that indicates that extinction is in effect. Superstitious behavior. Behavior that is accidentally reinforced. For example, a parent may inadvertently strengthen aggressive behavior when a child is...

Focus On Research The Generality Of Schedule Effects

Many behavior analysts assume that basic research with animals will yield general principles that extend to many different species, including humans. This assumption applies to the research on schedules of reinforcement. In this context, experimenters who describe patterns of behavior on a given schedule believe that similar regularities will develop for any species that has evolved the capacity for operant conditioning. The assumption of generality implies that the effects of contingencies of...

The Choice Paradigm

In the laboratory, choice and preference are investigated by arranging concurrent schedules of reinforcement. Figure 9.1 shows a concurrent operant setting. In the laboratory, two or more simple schedules (i.e., FR, VR, FI, or VI) are simultaneously available on different response keys (Ferster & Skinner, 1957). Each key is associated with a separate schedule FIG. 9.1. A two-key operant chamber for birds. Schedules of food reinforcement are arranged simultaneously on each key. Author Photo....

Operant and Generalized Imitation

It is possible to train imitation as an operant in a social contingency of reinforcement. The discriminative stimulus is the behavior of the model (Sj del), the operant is a response that matches the modeled stimulus (Rmatch), and reinforcement is verbal praise (S ocial). Matching the model is reinforced, while noncorrespondent responses are extinguished. These social contingencies are similar to the discrimination experiments involving matching to sample for primary reinforcement (see Chapter...

Teaching Autistic Children

Autistic children show an early lack of social interaction with parents, other family members, and peers. For example, these children often resist being held and may have tantrums if picked up or hugged. When autistic children get older they may be mistaken as deaf because they don't talk or even establish eye contact when talked to. These children often show repeated stereotyped patterns of behavior such as rocking back and forth, spinning a top, wiggling their fingers in front of their eyes,...

Rule Governed and Contingency Shaped Behavior

Stanley Milgram

People are said to solve problems either by discovery or by instruction. From a behavioral perspective, the difference is between the direct effects of contingencies (discovery) and the indirect effects of rules (instruction). When performance is attributed to direct exposure to reinforcement contingencies, behavior is said to be contingency-shaped. As previously noted, performance set up by constructing and following instructions (and other verbal stimuli) is termed rule-governed behavior...

The Miller Experiments

It is difficult to rule out operant conditioning of other behavior as a mediator of reinforced reflexes. However, Miller and DiCara (1967) conducted a classic experiment in which this explanation was not possible. The researchers reasoned that operant behavior could not mediate conditioning if the subject had its skeletal muscles immobilized. To immobilize their subjects, which were white rats, they used the drug curare. This drug paralyzes the skeletal musculature and interrupts breathing....

On The Applied Side Activity Anorexia And The Interrelations Between Eating And Physical Activity

In 1967, Carl Cheney (who was then at Eastern Washington State University) ran across a paper (Routtenberg & Kuznesof, 1967) that reported self-starvation in laboratory rats. Cheney (author of this textbook) thought this was an unusual effect, since most animals are reluctant to kill themselves for any reason. Because of this, he decided to replicate the experiment, and he recruited Frank Epling (former author of this textbook), an undergraduate student at the time, to help run the research....

On The Applied Side Schedules Of Reinforcement Of Abstinence From Cigarette Smoking

The use of drugs is operant behavior maintained in part by the reinforcing effects of the drug. One implication of this analysis is that reinforcement of an incompatible response i.e., abstinence can reduce the probability of taking drugs. The effectiveness of an abstinence contingency depends on both the magnitude and the schedule of reinforcement for nondrug use e.g., Higgins, Bickel, amp Hughes, 1994 . In an investigation of cigarette smoking, Roll, Higgins, and Badger 1996 assessed the...

Resistance to Extinction

Resistance Extinction

As extinction proceeds, emotional behavior subsides and rate of response declines. When extinction has been in effect long enough, behavior may return to operant level. In practice, however, a return to operant level is rarely accomplished. This is because many extinction sessions are usually required before operant level is attained. Extinction is typically measured as the number of responses emitted in some amount of time. For example, a bird may be reinforced on CRF for 10 consecutive daily...

Operant Conditioning

Thorndike Puzzle Box

Operant conditioning refers to either an increase or a decrease in operant behavior as a function of a contingency of reinforcement. In a simple demonstration of operant conditioning, an experimenter may alter the consequences that follow operant behavior. The effects of environmental consequences on behavior were first described in 1911 by the American psychologist E. L. Thorndike, who reported results from a series of animal experiments that eventually formed the basis of operant...

Edward Lee Thorndike 18741949

Watson's behaviorism emphasized the conditioned reflex. This analysis focuses on the events that precede action and is usually called a stimulus-response approach. Edward Lee Thorndike, another American psychologist Fig. 1.7 , was more concerned with how success and failure affect the behavior of organisms. His research emphasized the events and consequences that follow behavior. In other words, Thorndike was the first scientist to systematically study operant behavior, although he called the...

B F Skinner and the Rise of Behavior Analysis

Skinner Keller

The works of Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike, and many others have influenced contemporary behavior analysis. Although the ideas of many scientists and philosophers have had an impact, Burrhus Fredrick Skinner 1904-1990 is largely responsible for the development of modern behavior analysis. In the Focus on B. F. Skinner section, some details of his life and some of his accomplishments are described, and in the following, his contribution to contemporary behavior analysis is outlined. Skinner was...