Skinner Behavioral Theories by Norbahiah

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Psychological Foundation Theories
What is Learning ?

“a relatively permanent change in behavior that
results from practice.” (Atkinson et al 1993).

Learning is acquiring new knowledge, behaviors,
skills, values, preferences or understanding, and may
involve synthesizing different types of information.
Learning categories

Through Säljö (1979) research, learning fell into five
main categories:





Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge.
Learning as memorizing.
Learning as acquiring facts, skills, and methods.
Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning.
Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a
different way.
Psychology Learning Theories
Cognitive Theories
Behavioral Learning
Theories
Instruction Theory
Instructional
Design
Situated Learning
Theories
Constructivism
The process / flow ..
ID Designer
Designing
Effective
Instructional
Design
Learning
process &
outcomes
Psychological
Theories
Cognitive
Behavioral
Instructional
Situated
Constructivism
Behavioral Theories
Behavioral Perspective
Classical Conditioning:
Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936 Classical Conditioning Theory
Behaviorism:
John B. Watson 1878-1958 Behaviorism
Edward L. Thorndike 1874-1949 Connectivism
Edwin Guthrie 1886-1959 Contiguity Theory
B. F. Skinner 1904-1990 Operant Conditioning
William Kaye Estes 1919 - Stimulus Sampling Theory
Neo-behaviorism:
Edward C. Tolman 1886-1959 Sign Theory & Latent Learning
Clark Hull 1884-1952 Drive Reduction Theory
Keneth W. Spence 1907-1967 Discrimination Learning
Behavioral Perspective
Classical
Conditioning:
Stimulus/
Response
• categorize the unconditioned stimulus / response and conditioned
stimulus / response
• unconditioned stimulus / response and
• Eg : Dog salivate (salivate unconditioned respond) when they eat (food – unconditioned
stimulus)
• conditioned stimulus / response
• Eg : Bell rang (bell unconditioned stimulus) and dog salivate (salivate unconditioned
respond)
Behaviorism:
Stimulus,
Response,
Reinforcement
• is more concerned with behavior than with thinking, feeling, or
knowing. It focuses on the objective and observable
components of behavior.
• The behaviorist theories all share some version of stimulus-response
mechanisms for learning
Neo behaviorism:
Stimulus-Response;
Intervening Internal
Variables; Purposive
Behavior
• The neo-behaviorists, then, were a transitional group, bridging the
gap between behaviorism and cognitive theories of learning.
Behavioral Learning Theories


The behavioral learning theory generated by B.F
Skinner that is based upon the idea that learning is a
function of change in behavior.
Changes in behavior are the result of an individual’s
response to events (stimuli) that occur in the
environment.
B.F Skinner
B.F Skinner



Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20,
1904 – August 18, 1990) was born in
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Grace
and William Skinner
He was an American psychologist,
author, inventor, social philosopher,
and poet.
Skinner received a PhD from Harvard
in 1931, and remained there as a
researcher until 1936.
B.F Skinner


He then taught at the University of Minnesota at
Minneapolis and later at Indiana University, where he
was chair of the psychology department from 1946–
1947, before returning to Harvard as a tenured
professor in 1948.
In 1948, he joined the psychology department at
Harvard University where he remained for the rest of
his life
B.F Skinner


He became one of the leader of behaviorism and his
work contributed immensely to experimental
psychology.
He also invented the “Skinner BOX”, in which a rat
learn to obtain food by pressing a lever
Operant Conditioning
BF Skinner
Operant Conditioning



As a behaviorist, Skinner believed that internal
thoughts and motivation could not be used to explain
behavior
He suggested to look only at the external, observable
causes of human behavior.
Skinner used the term “operant” to refer to any
active behavior that operates upon the environment
to generate consequences
Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as
instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning
that occurs through



rewards / reinforcement and
punishments for behavior.
Through operant conditioning, an association is made
between


a behavior and
a consequence for that behavior
Examples of Operant Conditioning
Increasing Behavior

We can find examples of
operant conditioning at
work all around us in
increasing the
behavior

Children completing
homework to earn a reward
from a parent or teacher
Decreasing Behavior

Operant conditioning can
also be used to decrease
the behavior by removal
of an undesirable outcome
or the use of punishment

The children are required to
attend the retention class if
they did not completed their
homework
Operant Conditioning Key Concepts
Increase behavior
Stimulus
presentation
Stimulus
Removal
• In an attempt
to increase the
likelihood of a
behavior
occurring in
the future,
• presentation of
an appetitive
stimulus.
• In an attempt
to increase the
likelihood of a
behavior
occurring in
the future,
• the removal of
an aversive
stimulus.
Decrease behavior
+
reinforcement
+
punishment
reinforcement
punishment
• In an attempt
to decrease the
likelihood of a
behavior
occurring in
the future,
• presentation of
an aversive
stimulus.
• In an attempt
to decrease the
likelihood of a
behavior
occurring in
the future,
• the removal of
an appetitive
stimulus.
Operant Conditioning Key Concepts
Operant Conditioning
Increase Behavior
Positive
Reinforcement
If you stroke a cat's
fur in a manner that
is pleasing to the cat
it will purr. The cat's
purring may act as a
positive reinforcer,
causing you to stroke
the cat's fur in the
same manner in the
future.
Negative
Reinforcement
When a child says "please"
and "thank you" to his/her
mother, the child may not
have to engage in his/her
dreaded chore of setting
the table. Therefore, not
having to set the table will
act as a negative reinforcer
and increase the likelihood
of the child saying "please"
and "thank you" in the
future.
Decrease Behavior
Positive
Punishment
If you stroke a cat's fur
in a manner that the
cat finds unpleasant, the
cat may attempt to bite
you. Therefore, the
presentation of the
cat's bite will act as a
positive punisher and
decrease the likelihood
that you will stroke the
cat in that same
manner in the future
Negative
Punishment
When a child "talks back"
to his/her mother, the
child may lose the privilege
of watching her favorite
television program.
Therefore, the loss of
viewing privileges will act
as a negative punisher and
decrease the likelihood of
the child talking back in
the future.
Skinner Box
B.F Skinner
Skinner Box



A Skinner Box is a often small chamber that is used to
conduct operant conditioning research with animals
It is an experimental environment that is better
suited to examine the more natural flow of behavior.
B.F Skinner became famous for his work with rats
using his “Skinner Box” (is also referred to as an
operant conditioning chamber).
Skinner Box


Within the chamber, there is usually a lever (for rats)
or a key (for pigeons) that an individual animal can
operate to obtain a food or water within the chamber
as a reinforcer.
The chamber is connected to electronic equipment
that records the animal's lever pressing or key
pecking, thus allowing for the precise quantification
of behavior.
Skinner Box
A Skinner box typically contains
one or more levers which an
animal can press, one or more
stimulus lights and one or more
places in which reinforcers like
food can be deliver
The animal’s presses on the levers
can be detected and recorded and
a contingency between these
presses, the state of the stimulus
lights and the delivery of the
reinforcement can be set up, all
automatically.
Schedules of Reinforcement Component
Partial
Reinforcement
Reinforcement
component
reinforcement is
given only part
of the times
they gives the
desired response.
Continuous
Reinforcement
reinforcement is
given every
time they gives
the desired
response.
Ratio
Reinforcement
Partial reinforcement
is when you're
reinforced after a
number of the
desired behaviors.
Interval
Reinforcement
With interval
schedules you're
reinforced only
after a certain
interval of time
Fixed ratio
schedules
Variable ratio
schedules
Fixed interval
Schedules
Variables
Interval
Schedules
Schedules of Reinforcement Component
Ratio Reinforcement
Fixed Reinforcement
Fixed ratio
Fixed interval
Schedules deliver reinforcement
after every specific number of
response
Schedules deliver reinforcement
for the first response after a
fixed length of time since the
last reinforcement, while
premature responses are not
reinforced.
Variable ratio
Variable interval
schedules deliver reinforcement
after a random number of
responses (based upon a
predetermined average)
Schedules deliver reinforcement
for the first response after a
random average length of time
passes since the last
reinforcement
Fixed ratio

Example: every second
response is reinforced


Lab example: rat
reinforced with food after
each 5 bar-presses in a
Skinner box.
Real-world example:
The student must make
three requests using the
word “please” before
being reinforced.
Advantages
Builds a high response rate. The
higher the ratio, the higher the
rate.
Disadvantages
An irregular burst of responding
can occur if the reinforcement is
stopped.
Variable ratio

Example: on average,
every third response is
reinforced


Lab example: 1st times 3
times pedal 1 food /2nd times
5 times 1food / on average, a
rat is reinforced for each 10
bar presses
Real world example:
The student may be
reinforced on the average
three requests. Thus, he may
be reinforced following four
requests using the word
“please” or following two
appropriate requests.
Advantages
Because of its unpredictable.
Reinforcement schedule, the
student’s rate of responding
remains essentially constant and
resistant to extinction.
Disadvantages
Not effective for teaching new
behaviors
Fixed interval

Example: reinforcement
provided for the first
response after 1 second


Lab example: rat is reinforced
for the first bar press after 15
seconds passes since the last
reinforcement
Real world example:
After 5 minutes has passed,
the teacher reinforces the
next request in which the
student uses the word
“please.”
Advantages
Ease of implementation
Disadvantages
The student stops performing
following the reinforcement and
begins to work again just prior to
the next reinforcement period
Variable interval

Example: reinforcement is
provided for the first
response after an average of
3 seconds since the last
reinforcement.


Lab example: rat is reinforced
for the first bar press after an
average of 10 seconds passes
since the last reinforcement
Real world example:
The student receives
reinforcement on the average of
every 5 minutes for using the
word “please” when making a
request. Sometimes the
reinforcement occurs after 3
minutes or sometimes after 6
minutes.
Advantages
Ease of implementation. Because
the time intervals are of different
lengths, the student never knows
which response will be reinforced.
This unpredictability creates a
steady pattern of responding
Disadvantages
Not effective for teaching new
behaviors
Conclusion
When teaching new skills or behaviors, make sure the
student understands what behavior is required to earn
the reward. Then, each time he performs the behavior,
immediately reinforce him. Timing is everything.
• The shorter the delay between the behavior and
reinforcer, the greater the chance the behavior will be
strengthened or increased.
• In contrast, the longer the delay between the
behavior and reinforcer, the greater the risk that
another behavior will be inadvertently reinforced.
Reference
Reference





Boeree, D. C. (1998). B. F. SKINNER . Retrieved 2006, from
http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/skinner.html
Brittan Barker, J. K. (n.d.). Glossary of Terms for the Experimental
Analysis of Behavior. Retrieved from
http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/Faculty/Wasserman/Glossary/ho
mepage.html#home
Cooper, S. (2009 ). Theories of Learning in Educational Psychology.
Retrieved 2009 , from http://www.lifecirclesinc.com/Learningtheories/learningmap.html
Ferguson, T. J. (n.d.). The basic Process of Learning. Retrieved from
http://www.usu.edu/psycho101/lectures/chp4learning/learning.ht
m
(n.d.). Retrieved from
http://inst.usu.edu/~mimi/courses/6260/theorists/Skinner/Skinner.
html

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