Explain how VR and FR reinforcement schedules would affect the acquired behavior in your rat.

 

Paper instructions:
• Application: Part 1: Classical Versus Operant

Conditioning
Thus far in this course you have examined the two

behavioral theories of learning: classical conditioning

and operant learning. Both are similar in that they

explain learning as influenced by external stimuli in the

environment. However, there are clear differences

between the theories, and they explain behavior in

different ways. When you observe a behavior, you may

not know how it was learned. Many everyday

behaviors can be acquired by either classical or

operant conditioning. Identifying how behaviors can be

acquired differently helps you distinguish between these

two theories. Continue to note that different sources

identify “operant learning” differently. Your text refers to

it as “operant learning” while other sources may identify

it as “operant conditioning.”
To prepare for this assignment:
• Review Chapter 5 in the course text, Learning

and Behavior. Pay particular attention to the section

titled, “Operant and Pavlovian Learning Compared.”
• Think of some behaviors that can be acquired by

classical and operant learning. Select one for this

assignment.
• Bring the behavior you selected to mind. Reflect

on how it can be acquired via classical conditioning.
• Again, bring the behavior to mind. This time,

consider how the behavior can be acquired via operant

learning.
The assignment (1 page):
• Describe the behavior you selected.
• Explain the acquisition of this behavior via

classical conditioning.
• Explain the acquisition of this behavior via

operant learning.
Support your Application Assignment with specific

references to all resources used in its preparation. You

are asked to provide a reference list only for those

resources not included in the Learning Resources for

this course.

Application: Part II: Schedules of Reinforcement
This week, you explore reinforcement as a critical

type of operant learning. Chapter 7 in your textbook

explains that successful reinforcement depends on its

frequency or schedule. Reinforcement does not always

occur every time a behavior occurs. Usually it occurs

on some occasions but not others. When this is the

case, the behavior is considered to be on an

intermittent schedule of reinforcement. For example,

you may receive appreciation, such as “thank you”

some of the times that you hold the door open for

someone but not others. If you are reinforced by “thank

you” often enough, you learn to continue that behavior.

According to your text, the most important types of

intermittent schedules are fixed ratio, variable ratio,

fixed interval, and variable interval.
This week you will apply the concepts of variable

ratio and fixed ratio schedules to your proposed

experiment.
To prepare for this assignment:
• Review Chapter 7 in the course text, Learning

and Behavior. Pay particular attention to the section on

simple schedules.
• Review the Schedules of Reinforcement’ section

in Psychology, Core Concepts. Be sure to focus on the

details for Variable Ratio (VR) and Fixed Ratio (FR).
• Think about how different reinforcement

schedules, variable ratio (VR) and fixed ratio (FR) in

particular, affect acquired behavior(s).
The assignment (1 page):
• Describe how you would apply reinforcement

schedules in your proposed experiment.
• Explain how VR and FR reinforcement

schedules would affect the acquired behavior in your

rat.
Support your Application Assignment with specific

references to all resources used in its preparation. You

are asked to provide a reference list only for those

resources not included in the Learning Resources for

this course.


 

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