Fixed Ratio Schedule Training with Lab Rats Essay

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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to explore the examined effects of the subjects' behavior change as a function of a schedule. Rat participants were placed in an operant chamber for sessions of habituation, magazine training, and shaping on a fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement. These rats did not have any previous exposure to the operant conditioning chamber, or any training. These rats were to press a lever for reinforcement on a fixed ratio schedule of four presses by the end of the experiment. The data showed that there was a significant difference in the means. The main effect of fixed ratio reinforcement schedules in conjunction with the means suggests that behavior does in fact change as a function of schedule demands. The
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Pavlov then experimented with this act further to have a bell act as a starting point for the dogs to salivate. This experiment sparked classical conditioning, or associative learning. The process of classical conditioning is to make an association between two stimuli to elicit a response. There is a presentation of a neutral stimulus, or conditioned stimulus, along with a stimulus of some importance, or the unconditioned stimulus. The presentation of these stimuli will provoke an innate and reflexive response called the unconditioned stimulus. When the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus are paired repeatedly, the two stimuli will soon become associated and the organism being presented with these stimuli will start to produce a behavioral response to the conditioned stimulus. This behavioral response is called the conditional response. Both the conditional stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus must be new and novel to one another (Hollis, 1997). The organism can not be privy to any stimulus before conditioning has begun, each stimuli must be new to the organism. Operant conditioning is different in that the behavior is learned by a consequence that increases or lessens a behavior. This kind of conditioning was made famous by Edward L. Thorndike and was continued by B.F. Skinner, and is also know as instrumental conditioning. Operant

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