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Knock Wood!

Hock Presentation for Psych

Tia B

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Knock Wood!

Intro! Theoretical Propositions Superstitions are a normal part of human behavior.
Belief that there is a connection between an action and an event (there isn't.)
Noncontingent reinforcement- accidental reinforcement.
Skinner set out to make a pigeon superstitious. Flashback! Results Method Skinner Box that dispensed food every 15 seconds
Subject was rewarded every 15 seconds, no matter what
Subjects: 8 pigeons
Fed less amounts prior to the experiment to increase motivation
Pigeons were left in a cages for a couple days, doing whatever it is pigeons do.
Behavior was recorded after several days. 6/8 became "superstitious."
One turned counterclockwise two or three times before receiving reinforcement.
One thrust its head into an upper corner.
Another bobbed its head.
Two developed a pendulum-like motion.
One made incomplete pecking movements toward the floor.
All new behaviors (they became superstitous!)
Increased time between reinforcement (to see what would happen).
increased time to a minute
head-bobbing pigeon become more energetic to the point where it appeared to be dancing.
Put behavior to extinction
Superstition gradually decreased, then disappeared.
One pigeon responded over 10,000 times before extinction occured.
3 kinds of learning:
Classical conditioning
Operant conditioning Knock Wood! Skinner, B.F. (1948). Superstition in the pigeon. "Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38," 168-172. Presentation by Tia Banerjee Situation Behavior Consequence Reinforcement = Learning Punishment = No learning Used in everyday behavior
Behaviors considered to be exclusive to humans could be taught to "lowely creatures" (ex. pigeons, rats).
Superstition- belief in something
Required human cognition (thinking, knowing, reasoning)
Skinner- Superstition could be explained using principles of operant conditioning. "In any given situation, your behavior is likely to be followed by consequences." Skinner- radical behaviorist
Skinner box- cage or box with a food dish that food is dispensed into when a button is pressed. Reinforcers- encourages a certain behavior
Punishers- discourages a certain behavior
Extinction- when reinforcement is taken away and a behavior disappears Flashback. Flashback. Flashback Some Final Thoughts and Stuff Pigeons were able to get rid of their superstitions. Why can't we?
noncontingent reinforcement
expectations stay high
If reinforcement was there every time, then disappeared, the behavior would stop.
Superstitions are a part of society!
Many buildings don't have a floor labeled 13.
There are 4 million $2 bills NOT in circulation because people are superstitious.
Are superstitions psychologically unhealthy?
Creates feelings of increased power and control
Can lead to reduced anxiety, more confidence, assurance, and improved performance :) !
Why was this study in the book?
Discusses another method of learning as well as a common occurance in society. Connections!
Chapter 8, Learning
Operant Conditioning
Variable-interval reinforcement schedule. (Finally) the end!
Full transcript