chapter 5 prompts

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  • Quantity: 2 or 3 posts combining for a total of about a page of content
  • Quality: relevance to chapter material and use of text content increases point value
  • prompts:
  1. Spanking: Yes or No? Let the debate begin.
  2. I always ask my lecture classes about taste aversions they have acquired (a food they used to like, but now don’t because of an unpleasant incident (see text module 5.1). There are always some great stories here. So, I’ll ask here. Can you also put your experience into the classical conditioning diagram?
  3. See if you can figure out the following insight problem (text module 5.3): A room is too dark. The window in the room is two-foot high by two-foot wide. A man makes the window twice as big, but the window is still two-foot high by two-foot wide. How did he do it?
  4. Suppose a close friend has a habit that annoys you, so you embark on a covert operant conditioning project to eliminate the annoying behavior. Is it ethical? Will your friend be angry when s/he learns what you’ve done? Would you be angry if someone did this to you?
  5. Work and pay can be divided into two schedules of reinforcement: fixed Interval – where pay is by the hour independent of what you do, and fixed ratio – where pay depends on what and how fast you produce. Who has worked in both situations and which did you prefer? Or, which would you prefer in your next job?
  6. We know that we are more likely to imitate someone else’s behaviors when we aren’t sure what to do. For example, the first time you went to a funeral or visitation, you probably watched what others were doing. Give an example of a time in which you imitated someone else because you did not know what to do. Has anyone learned a sport by observation?
  7. Every time the parents sit down to watch their favorite TV program their 2-year-old child begins full-blown temper tantrums. Sometimes the parents yell at them to stop, sometimes they don’t. The temper tantrums seem to be increasing in frequency. Now that you are an expert on the use of operant conditioning principles, what errors can you point out in the parents’ behaviors? What would you suggest to them instead?
  8. Dogs frequently condition phobias (like fear of the vacuum even when turned off)? Anyone have pet examples? How is the learned fear very similar to Watson’s Little Albert experiment? [Hint on the vaccum: loud noise is the UCS]
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