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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
How are responses characteristically reinforced?
What two types of behavior maintained by social reinforcement from others are most often intermittently reinforced?
Both appropriate and inappropriate
Which type of reinforcement works best at maintaining operant behavior?
What is operant behavior?
Behavior operates on the environment, changes it in some way (produces consequences), and is itself altered as a result
Schedule of reinforcement
relationships among stimuli, responses, and the passage of time that lead to an increase in response strength;

"the rules used to present reinforcing stimuli"
What are 4 reasons why schedules of reinforcement are important?
1) They are ubiquitous
2) They determine the rate and temporal pattern of behavior
3) Determine resistance to extinction
4) Determine choice
Schedules of reinforcement are UBIQUITOUS
-they operate throughout the natural environment of humans and other animals
SORs "determine the rate and temporal pattern of behavior"
-different schedules determine different rates and patterns of behavior
SORs "determine resistance to extinction
-although responding always approaches near zero levels if extinction is arrange for a sufficient period, the quickness with which responding disappears and pattern of responding during extinction depend on the SOR prior to extinction
SORs "determine choice"
The time and effort allocated to one particular kind of behavior relative to another is determine in part by the schedule in effect for the alternative behaviors
What are the 4 simple schedules of reinforcement?
1) Fixed ratio (FR)
2) Fixed interval (FI)
3) Variable ratio (VR)
4) Variable interval (VI)
Fixed ratio
-response based
-a reinforcer follows after a fixed number of responses
-high rates of responding
-postreinforcement pausing (cessation of behavior following a reinforcer)
Fixed interval
-response and time based
-first response emitted after a given period of time has elapsed will be reinforced, since the delivery of the previous reinforcer
-relatively low overall response rates
-may be a Fixed interval scallop
Fixed interval scallop
Most responses are emitted toward the end of the interval
Variable ratio
-response based
-a reinforcer follows after a variable number of responses
-high rates of responding
Variable interval
-the first response emitted after some average period of time has elapsed will be reinforced (interval varies irregularly around the mean value)
-high and steady rate of responding
-makes behavior resistant to extinction
Amy math problems example
FR 10: gold star for every 10 math problems
VR 10: gold star for about every 10 problems
FI 60 min: Gold star at end of class period
Best schedule would be VI, because Amy would never know when the teacher was going to check
Concurrent Schedules
reinforcement is arranged simultaneously for two or more response classes
Rat example of concurrent VI 1 min and VI 5 min
One lever press by a rat would be reinforced on a VI 1 min, and presses on the other lever would be reinforced under a VI 5 min
What are humans constantly exposed to?
Concurrent schedules; they have to make choices

e.g. party
What two effects can stimuli that follow behavior have?
-Increase behavior in future
-Decrease behavior in future
when a response is followed by a change in the environment (punisher) and thereby decreases under similar circumstances
Positive punishment
adding a stimulus or increasing its intensity which weakens behavior
Negative punishment
removing a stimulus or decreasing its intensity which weakens behavior

e.g. decrease of putting coins in broken vending machine
How do you determine whether a stimulus is a punisher?
Determine the effects of the stimulus on future frequency of response
Unconditioned punishers
usually stimuli that could produce physical damage and have obvious survival value in avoiding them
Conditioned punishers
acquire their ability to weaken behavior through being paired with established punishers
Time-out (from positive reinforcement)
response-dependent institution of a period of time in which one or more positive reinforcers are unavailable;

negative punishment
positive punishment procedure that makes use of the Premack principle to decrease responding;

person is forced to engage in low-probability behavior each time a high-probability, and undesirable, response occurs
Response cost
removing a positive reinforcer that a person has earned whenever misbehavior occurs
Why have punishment procedures been criticized?
Because they can be inhumane if poorly thought out
What does adapting to one's environment require?
Failing to repeat responses that have adverse consequences and repeating responses that have beneficial consequences
What are 4 conditions for maximum response suppression?
1) Punisher delivered immediately after the response
2) Punisher follows every occurrence of response
3) Punisher initially presented at high intensity
4) Alternative to punished response is available
What has operant behavior historically been attributed to?
Free will or constructs such as purpose or intention
What did Skinner argue?
That operant behavior could be explained without reference to mental or cognitive events, because it is determined by its consequences
adopting the explanation that requires the fewest assumptions
What is human behavior very sensitive to?
Operant conditioning
What does this sensitivity account for?
behavior differences in people, even those who have grown up together
What does operant conditioning not automatically ensure?
That a person will acquire or emit responses that are desirable
WQhat is difficult to do?
apply principles of operant and classical conditioning to the behavior of humans in their natural environment