By Stephen Walker
Introduces the paintings of significant figures who've strongly prompted theories in academic and scientific psychology and relates rules concerning the scope and boundaries of behaviour amendment to contemporary alterations within the perspectives of studying theorists.
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Additional resources for Learning Theory and Behaviour Modification
An animal first reinforced for every response, and then put immediately on the task of making a hundred responses per reward (FR100) would almost certainly give up. However, suppose that the task requirement is increased gradually, or that, as in Skinner’s original experiment (1938), the animals are first trained on an interval schedule (which allows for backsliding because rewards are always available at some point for just one response). In this case ratios of tens or hundreds may be undertaken by rats and pigeons, and a ratio of 54 120,000 responses per (large) reward has been reported for a chimpanzee (Findley and Brady, 1965).
But we should be careful not to forget that, in practical terms, experimental results stand apart from theory. There is little in subsequent work to deny the empirical generalization which impressed itself on the earlier learning theorists that, however it may come about, the effect of reward procedures on future behaviour is profound, dramatic and pervasive. 62 38 5 Punishment, avoidance, conflict and anxiety Apart from administrations of morphine, repeated beyond the point of addiction, no motivating event used in animal experiments has as long-term an effect on future behaviour as the delivery of painful electric shocks.
However, memory is clearly most humanlike in monkeys and apes. On such tasks as sorting pictures into different object categories, or sorting nuts, bolts and washers into different piles according to size and type, young chimpanzees may perform as well as human 3- or 4-year-olds (Hayes and Nissen, 1971). Baboons (Beritoff, 1971) and chimpanzees (Menzel, 1978) remember where they have seen food being hidden for minutes and hours, and they remember for weeks and months exactly where in a particular room they themselves once found food, never having been back to that room in the intervening period.