Psyc302: Learning and Memory Written Assignment II
This assignment is designed to provide you with an opportunity to explore the principles of operant behavior and shaping behavior. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Where to begin:
1. Begin by reading and studying chapter 5 in your textbook.
2. Watch the video provided for you: Drs. Robert Epstein & BF Skinner with Pigeons.
You can locate the video on YouTube using the exact search “Drs. Robert Epstein & BF Skinner with Pigeons.” [Go to www.youtube.com and type in Drs. Robert Epstein & BF Skinner with Pigeons in the search line.] The video is 27 minutes and 44 seconds in length.
What to address in your paper:
Discuss the conditioning process of the first pigeon in the video.
o What happens during each stage of conditioning? What behaviors are being reinforced? What is the final desired behavior? Is this behavior reinforced every time it is performed? If not, when is the reinforcer delivered? Does the pigeon repeatedly perform this behavior? Explain how the pigeon is conditioned.
Examine the behavior of Jack and Jill.
o What is unique about their behavior? What did Jack do when Jill was removed from the chamber?
Must all operant behaviors be naturally occurring behaviors? Please explain your rationale.
How does operant behavior play into problem solving behavior?
o What types of experiences and/or behaviors may be necessary in order for children and non-human primates to successfully engage in problem solving behavior? (Consider cookies and bananas appetitive stimuli.) What will a pigeon do if placed in a chamber with a plastic banana (in which it has been reinforced for pecking) and a box?
According to Skinner, what is the most important consideration when explaining behavior?
What to include in your submission:
Title page (properly formatted)
a. Introductory paragraph
b. Discussion of each of the prompts provided above
c. Concluding paragraph(s)
a. Textbook (cite following APA formatting guidelines – use the example on your course syllabus!)
b. Video (make sure to properly cite following APA formatting guidelines – use your manual and/or www.apastyle.org)
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