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35 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
alternative names for operant conditioning
-instrumental (goal-directed)
premise of operant conditioning
we learn as a result of reward and punishment
Thorndike's Law of Effect
behavior is initially random; behaviors followed by pleasurable consequences (rewards) become stronger and more frequent; behaviors follwoed by unpleasant consequences (punishers) become weaker and less frequent. He later revised his proposition by deleting the part about punishers as he did not have sufficient evidence that punishment effectively decreases behavior.
theory of operant conditioning addresses what tho conditions
punishment and reward
consequences or contingencies of behavior
reinforcement and punishment
positive or negative
increases target behavior
positive or negative
decreases target behavior
positive contingency or consequence
something is added following emission of the behavior
negative contingency or conseqence
something is taken away following emission of the behavior
possible consequences or contingencies of behavior
positive reinforcement
negative reinforcement
positive punishment
negative punishment
positive reinforcement
reward. after the target behavior is performed, something of value is given to the person. It increases the target behavior.
negative reinforcement
relief. after the target behavior is performed, somethng aversive or annoying is removed. It increases the target behavior. e.g. seat belt alarm; nagging
positive punishment
pain. after the target behavior is performed, something aversive is added. It is punishment because it brings about a less desireable state, thereby decreasing the behavior.It is positive because something is added. e.g.spanking, an extra chore.
negative punishment
loss. After the target behavior is performed, something valuable is removed. It brings the person to a less desirable state and decreases the behavior. e.g. loss of TV privledges, response cost, money to a late fee.
response cost
a cost that is imposed for a negative behavior. e.g.loss of token, points.
questions to ask to determine nature of consequence
-target behavior?
-consequence of behavior (something added or something taken away?
-is the person being brought into a more desirable state or a less desirable state (increase or decrease behavior)
Acquisition Phase
period during which new learning occurs
period in which reinforcement is withheld.
Discontinuation of reinforcement leads to the progressive decline in the occurrence of a previously reinforced response.
operant strength
measured by the rate of responding (e.g. frequency of pigeon pecks) during both acquisition and extinction trials.
what influences operant strength
schedule of reinforcement
continuous reinforcement
reinforce every occurance of the behavior.
Best schedule for acquiring new behaviors.
Best schedule for acquiring new behaviors
continuous reinforcement; after acquisition, best to change to intermittent
reinforcer loses its value through overuse
Problem with continuous reinforcement
susceptible to satiation and extinction.
after acquisition, changing from continuous to intermittent reinforcement
four types of intermittent reinforcements
-Fixed interval (FI)
-Variable interval (VI)
-Fixed Ratio (FR)
-Variable Ratio VR)
fixed interval
reinforcement after a specific amount of time. (e.g. yearly raise). Reinforcement occurs the first time the target behavior occurs, but after a fixed interval of time has passed. Response rate is usually low or non-existent during most of the interval and then increases significantly at the end of the interval. Has the lowest response rates during new learning.
variable interval
reinforcement of behavior after a variable, unpredictable time has elapsed. Subject cannot anticipate when reinforcement might occur and therefore continue to perform at a moderate rate without pause. regular responses but not at a particularly high rate.
fixed ratio
reinforcement occurs after a certain, unchanging number of responses (e.g. piece work where payment is made after every ten pieces are completed). Response rate is typically moderate to high; may be a pause after reinforcement, expecially if ratio is high.
variable ratio
reinforcement after a an unpredictable, varying number of responses (e.g. slot machine). Produces a steady pattern of behavior at a high rate.
partial reinforcement schedule
only some instances of the desired response are reinforced
variable interval schedules produce...
steady rate of response
ratio schedules require...
certain number of operant responses (e.g., 10 responses) to produce the next reinforcer.
Fixed Ratio schedules support...
high rate of response until a reinforcer is received, after which a discernible pause in responding may be seen, especially with large ratios.
Variable Ratio schedules support...
a high and steady rate of response