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Law of effect Operant conditioning, sometimes called instrumental learning, was first extensively studied by Edward L. Thorndike —who observed the behavior of cats trying to escape from home-made puzzle boxes.
With repeated trials ineffective responses occurred less frequently and successful responses occurred more frequently, so the cats escaped more and more quickly.
In short, some consequences strengthen behavior and some consequences weaken behavior.
By plotting escape time against trial number Thorndike produced the first known animal learning curves through this procedure. That is, responses are retained when they lead to a successful outcome and discarded when they do not, or when they produce aversive effects.
This usually happens without being planned by any "teacher", but operant conditioning has been used by parents in teaching their children for thousands of years.
Skinner[ edit ] Main article: Skinner — is referred to as the father of operant conditioning, and his work is frequently cited in connection with this topic.
His book "The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis",  initiated his lifelong study of operant conditioning and its application to human and animal behavior.
Following the ideas of Ernst MachSkinner rejected Thorndike's reference to unobservable mental states such as satisfaction, building his analysis on observable behavior and its equally observable consequences.
Operant conditioning, in his opinion, better described human behavior as it examined causes and effects of intentional behavior.
To implement his empirical approach, Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamberor "Skinner Box", in which subjects such as pigeons and rats were isolated and could be exposed to carefully controlled stimuli. Unlike Thorndike's puzzle box, this arrangement allowed the subject to make one or two simple, repeatable responses, and the rate of such responses became Skinner's primary behavioral measure.
These records were the primary data that Skinner and his colleagues used to explore the effects on response rate of various reinforcement schedules. He also drew on many less formal observations of human and animal behavior. Skinner defined new functional relationships such as "mands" and "tacts" to capture some essentials of language, but he introduced no new principles, treating verbal behavior like any other behavior controlled by its consequences, which included the reactions of the speaker's audience.
Concepts and procedures[ edit ] Origins of operant behavior: Thus one may ask why it happens in the first place.
The answer to this question is like Darwin's answer to the question of the origin of a "new" bodily structure, namely, variation and selection. Similarly, the behavior of an individual varies from moment to moment, in such aspects as the specific motions involved, the amount of force applied, or the timing of the response.
Variations that lead to reinforcement are strengthened, and if reinforcement is consistent, the behavior tends to remain stable. However, behavioral variability can itself be altered through the manipulation of certain variables.
Reinforcement and Punishment psychology Reinforcement and punishment are the core tools through which operant behavior is modified.
These terms are defined by their effect on behavior. Either may be positive or negative. Positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement increase the probability of a behavior that they follow, while positive punishment and negative punishment reduce the probability of behaviour that they follow.
Another procedure is called "extinction".July 31st, – 6 Hours Until Wedding The morning of Harry's sixteenth birthday – and his and Hermione's wedding – he woke up after hearing a voice outside the curtains of his bed.
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Mixture Models Two Routes to Mixture Models these completely arbitrary, and we’d still have a perfectly good mixture model.
In practice, a lot of effort is given over to parametric mixture models, where the f k the wrong choice of parameters, and lose identiﬁability. If there are distinct repre-.