Effect of Reinforcement (Food as Reward) on Operant Behavior in Rats

Topics: Reinforcement, B. F. Skinner, Operant conditioning Pages: 23 (4127 words) Published: February 7, 2013
Western Mindanao State University
Normal Rd. Baliwasan, Zamboanga City
S.Y 2011-2012

Psych 105: Experimental Psychology


Submitted by:
Dario J. Mendija Jr.
Perdimar H. Kamlon
Romcian M. Umbac
Rachel A. Burlas
Marvin A. Atilano
Abdul Rafi Dianalan

Submitted to: Prof. Cristina Quinalayo
Psychology as we know it didn’t suddenly appear on the intellectual scene. It is impossible to say just when it began, or who was responsible for it. Instead, we can only point to a number of current that takes us from philosophy and the natural sciences into something recognizably psychological. To give you the simple concept of this field, psychology is the study of human and animal behavior. As time ages, many psychological theories have evolved. Burhus Frederic Skinner, as one of the contributors has emphasized a theory on learning regarding to individual’s behavior. Skinner believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning. Skinner's theory of operant conditioning was based on the work of Thorndike (1905).  Edward Thorndike studied learning in animals using a puzzle box to propose the theory known as the 'Law of Effect' Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect.  Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect - Reinforcement.  Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened). Skinner (1948) studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a “Skinner Box” which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box. B.F. Skinner (1938) coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response.

A. Background of the study
Reinforcement, a term used to refer to anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur. Reinforcement, noted, defined by the effect that it has on behavior - it increases or strengthens the behavior. It might involve responses right after the reinforced present a kind of motivation. In this study, we could see the behavior, and the responses made by the rat in the presentation of reinforcement. The errors of the rat in the progress of the experiment shall be observed and noted and shown to answer the queries of the researchers at the same time address curiosity.

B. Theoretical Basis:
Physiological psychology research has identified separate but interactive neural pathways mediating reward and aversion (i.e., functioning as positive and negative reinforcement systems, respectively). Direct activation of brain reward mechanisms through electrical and chemical stimulation provides a tool for elucidating these neural systems. During the past four decades, considerable knowledge has been gained regarding the anatomical and neurochemical basis of these pathways. This brief presentation addresses only brain mechanisms involved in positive reinforcement because they are closely identified with pleasure in humans and because they underlie the primary process governing much of normal behavior. Deprivation and Positive Reinforces:

Experts who say educators can use positive reinforces ("positive consequences") to control students' behavior usually don't tell the educators they must first deprive students of whatever they plan to use as reinforce. As far back as 1938, Skinner described how deprivation is necessary when a person wants to use reinforces to control another organism. That was when he wrote, in the "preface" to his book, The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis...
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