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 classic
al 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.
Note: APA style format, No Plagiarism, must cited with some of the references provided. Thank you.
Submit your assignments (Parts I and II)
Resources to use for this assignment:
• Readings
• Course Text: Learning and Behavior
o Chapter 5, “Operant Learning: Reinforcement”
o Chapter 6, “Reinforcement: Beyond Habit”(pp 168-176)
o Chapter 7, “Schedules of Reinforcement” (pp. 193– 212 only)

Huang, I., & Melvin, J. N. (1990). Effects of ratio reinforcement schedules on choice behavior.

Lee, R., Sturmey, P., & Fields, L. (2007). Schedule-induced and operant mechanisms that influence response variability: a review and implications for future investigations.

Book Excerpt: Zimbardo, P. G., Johnson, R. L., & Weber, A. L. (2005). Learning. In Psychology: Core concepts (pp. 224–269). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved from http://www.ablongman.com/samplechapter/0205424287.pdf (Read pp. 236-241)

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