Alright so back to behaviorism but I want to introduce a new wrinkle, a new paradigm really that came into play that really expanded the reach of behaviorism and really showed people how applicable it was to every day life. So let's go there. All right, week four, lecture four called learning by consequence. Because as you'll see this new kind of behaviorism something called operant conditioning has everything to do about the consequences of behavior and how they ultimately evolve behaviors. shape how you choose to behave in a given situation. Operant condition was really pioneered by B.F. Skinner. Skinner's known for all sorts of things. He created a bunch of cool little apparatus, that things like Skinner box as we now call it or the operant conditioning chamber. but he was really the driving force behind this new approach of, of operant conditioning. One thing I want you to note is this isn't that long ago anymore. We're talking, you know mid 1900s when Skinner was really reigning supreme, sort of 50s through the 70s not long ago at all. What skinner emphasized was what he called the three term contingency. Let me take you a little bit slowly through this, it'll make sense in just a couple minutes but the basic idea is this. We find ourselves in some situation and we choose to behave a certain way and then things happen as a result. And ultimatley the notion was that our mind, not consciously but our mind kind of put things together and figured out relationships between what we're going to call discriminative stimulus, a response and the result, the consequence, which we're going to call the reinforcing stimulus. So let me just jump right to an example to, to make this concrete. and it's an example related to the first dog I had, Max. So we brought Max into our home. And at that point Max knew nothing about us, knew nothing about our home. and so as she became, it's Maxine by the way, as she became more comfortable with the home, she would experiment with things, she would try things. And so, let's say we brought her into our living room and she would jump up on the sofa. Now sometimes when she jumped up on the sofa, she got kicked off the sofa and yelled at and told, no, no, don't do that. Other times she'd jump up on the sofa and she'd get to just lay there and be comfortable. And so the notion is very early on she's trying to figure out. Why am I sometimes being punished and why am I sometimes not being punished? So she's kind of paying attention to the scene. Again, none of this need be conscious. I'm not suggesting she's doing any deep thought processes. But that her brain is making these connections. And at some point her brain might realize that there's a critical stimulus that's determining what happens. And in my household that critical stimulus was my father because my father was the one who set the rules on the dog's behavior. I didn't do that, I just took the dogs for a walk and picked up the dog crap laying around the lawn. He set the rules and so the way things were actually working is that if dad was present when Max hopped on the sofa, sorry. That's the bottom one. If Dad was present when Max hopped on the sofa, then she got kicked off and punished. But if he wasn't present and she hopped on the sofa, she got comfort and warmth. So the kind of reinforcement, the kind of consequence associated with this behavior, dependent on dad's presence or absence. So in this example, dad is the discriminative stimulus. And what we mean by discriminative is the presence or absence of dad's signals what the reward is likely to be. The reward or punishment. Okay. So Skinner thought this was a model of how all of our behaviors evolve. That we go into new situations, that we behave randomly. Sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen. Over time and over experience we kind of learn what's predicting a good thing and what's predicting a bad thing. And ultimately it's that that controls our behavior. We just walk into our situation and depending on the discriminative stimuli we will behave in a way that tends to give us good outcomes. So eventually Max, for example, if she walked into the room and Dad was present, she would not hop on the sofa. Because she does not like this. She would only hop on the sofa when Dad was not present then she would be rewarded, okay. Again, not conscious, just a, a behavioral tendency that she would develop. Now, so it's all about the consequences to some extent. And Skinner made a big deal about talking about kind of splitting the potential consequences into ultimately four kinds. The kind that made a behavior more likely to reoccur, so he called those reinforcements and the kind that made it less likely to occur. Punishment. and each of these can take one of two forms. to some extent the distinction's not critical although I am going to highlight the importance of this in the next slide so let me just very quickly give you the following. If you're in some situation and you behave a certain way, there's two ways of something good happening. One way is through the actual addition of something good. So let's say you see someone you're attracted to and you decide I'm going to go talk to them. And after you, as you start talking to them, they smile, they seem happy, you're world just got a little better, something good was introduced. Well, that's cool. That reinforced your behavior and you're more likely when you're in that situation again to repeat that. If you see somebody else you'd like to talk to, you're more likely to do it now because of this positive experience. but there's another way you could have a positive experience. Let, let's say your mom was really frantic. She had too many things to do and you tell her, "you know what mom, I'll go get the groceries for you because I can see you're really stressed out, so I'll go get the groceries. and you do that for her and when you bring them back, she says, you know, "honey that we such a nice thing for you to do and it really helped me out". "So as a reward, you do not have to do the dishes for the rest of the week." Okay, so notice the subtle distinction. She's not adding something positive to your world. She's removing something negative, your chores. But either way, it's a good thing, right? And so any time a behavior is followed by a good thing then it's more likely to increase. Similarly any time a behavior is or conversely I should say, anytime a behavior is followed by a bad thing its less likely to repeat and there's two bad things. So one is the actual addition of a bad thing. You go up to your father and say, give me the car keys. He goes slap, [LAUGH] that's a direct addition of a negative stimulus. You're not likely to go give your dad that attitude again, okay? But another way is if you went and said, give me the car keys. And he said, not only am I going to not give you the car keys now but you will not get to drive the car again for a month. Okay. Again, he didn't slack you, he didn't add a negative stimulus to your rent, he subtracted a positive one, your access to the car. Okay? Now, in psychology terms, these first two are called positive and negative reinforcement like something added or subtracted that reinforces the likelihood. These two are called punishment versus response cost. Kind of a hard lingo to follow. but this distinction is sometime between punishment and response cost is sometimes seen as really important. and it's often highlighted in terms of, how best to raise children. So, in the spirit of trying to give you some useful life advice from this course. Let's go there. and let me give you an example. Let's say we have little Micky here and little Micky has developed a bad habit and let's talk about how the habit even developed in the first place. You have friends over every now and then and let's say once, just by chance, you had friends over and little Micky ran out naked. Yoohoo I'm naked, I'm naked! And what did all your friends do? They laughed they smiled, they giggled, they thought it was really cute and they rewarded him basically. And so Mickey liked that and so next time your friends are over. Woohoo I'm naked! And this is happening over and over again. And at some point, you're saying, okay. This isn't funny anymore. This is, I, I do not want him to be a 15 year old kid. Woo hoo, look at me, I'm naked. we have to put an end to this. And so we want to somehow reduce that behavior. Well, two ways of doing it, in my, sort of, best formula. depending on his behavior. So, one way is to positively reinforce the behavior you want. So, let's say you have friends over some time. And Mickey comes out with clothes on or at least a diaper and a hat. He comes out this way. well then you could positively, way to go Micky, nice to come out with clothes on. Good boy, I'm going to give you a nice healthy grape to reward you. yeah. That's one thing. So, now you're rewarding an opposite behavior. You're rewarding non-nakedness. Okay, which is going to make non-nakedness more likely and therefore make nakedness less likely. but what if he comes out naked. Okay, now here's the distinction that a lot of psychologists would make. Yes you could yell at him, scream at him, hit him, tell him he's bad but if you do any of those punishment, adding something negative kinds of punishment. You're kind of eroding the relationship you have with that child. You're making that child feel less loved and we all want our children to feel loved. So they say instead of adding something negative it's much smarter to use the response cost technique. So you would use it, you know, this, this would be the best way to use it, to say "you know Mickey, I love you very much you're my beautiful child but while I love you a lot I do not like this running around naked behavior at all. and so I'm going to punish that behavior". I'm not punishing you but I'm punishing the behavior. "So whenever you show that behavior, you no longer get to watch your favorite shows". So, you know, Little Einstein, Sesame Street, whatever it is little Mickey watches, today you're going to have to watch CNN or something like that. Something little Mickey does not like. And you say hey as soon as you start behaving right, you, you get your good TV shows back again. but if you behave wrong you're going to lose that privilege. So the subtle distinction being made here, is when you take away something positive, it's, it's less scarring. physically or psychologically. You're not really hurting the child by removing something positive. And in fact, you can remove something positive and still give love at the same time. You can say I love you. You're a good boy who's doing this bad thing. And it's that bad thing that we have to get rid of. But the good boy is fantastic. So you can simultaneously give love and yet penalize the behavior. and, and especially if you do that while positively reinforcing when he's right. So the first time he comes in with clothes on, you give him a lot of positive reinforcement. This is considered the best way to shape the child's behavior while keeping the really good, loving relationship. All right? Cool. Now I want to end this section with a really interesting point about Skinner. Skinner ultimately believed that all there was to behavior was your reward history. So if he saw me in a certain situation and you asked him what do you think Steve would do in that situation? He would say well all i have to know to know that is I have to know about when Steve was in this situation or ones like this in the past. How did he behave and then what happened after he behaved in these situations? How often was he rewarded or punished for given behaviors? You tell me the behavior where he was mostly rewarded and very seldom punished. That's probably the behavior that he will emit. He won't think about this. It's, it's a naturally occurring connection between these discriminative stimuli, the ones that kind of cue him to what the rewards, contingency will be. And the behaviors and the consequences that occurred in the past, but if I knew all that, I could tell you with certainty how we would behave. And so ultimately, Skinner was saying we don't have any conscious choice over our behavior. Our behaviors are determined by our previous reward history. Which is kind of odd because we all feel like we control our behavior. We feel like we choose how to behave. But when Skinner was asked about that he said, yeah oh yeah, I agree. We all feel like that, that conscious experience is there and it's real but that notion that it's controlling your behavior is wrong. In fact, he argued, consciousness is an epiphenomenon. What is an epiphenomenon? Well, here's the best example I've heard. If you take a motor engine like this one and you turn it on and it starts running, what naturally happens is a magnetic field develops around the engine as it runs. So its all around here a magnetic field develops. If you had something that could measure magnetic fields you would detect it. Its there. It exists but it exists as a consequence of this machinery and it doesn't alter the working of the machinery in any way it just emerges from the machinery. Skinner thought our conscious experiences were like that. That our brain was really doing everything and making the decisions and determining our behavior and our conscious experience was just like that magnetic field, something that emerges around the machinery. But doesn't actually play any causal role. It's not actually doing anything. It's just there. which is a very provocative idea. You know, a very and, and really humbling idea if it's true. Because we all feel like we are the authors of our own lives. you know, Skinner said things like this. I did not direct my life. I didn't design it, I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is. So, to his death, Skinner believed that this was true. That our notion of conscious control was just an illusion. that consciousness was just an epiphenomenon and that all of our behaviors evolved over our lifespan as a function of how we were rewarded, and how we were punished. Very extreme view. Skinner was a very extreme character. If you'd like to know a little more about Skinner, well here's something. So here's a formal video on operant conditioning you can check out. And Skinner will be featured well in this one. this is from the, the comedy TV show, The Big Bang Theory. it's a funny little episode where, where they're using operant conditioning. so just. A little humor sometimes helps you learn a bit. and here's another whole video that's more specifically Skinner speaking about consciousness. That's epiphenomenon idea. So, check that out, and hear it from him himself. operant conditioning itself most definitely works. In fact it's used in the training of animals all the time. When you go to Seaworld and things like that and you see animals do amazing things. Why do they do it? Well, because we give them a fish afterwards or we do something like that. So operative conditioning is the basis of most animal training programs. It's used to shape their behavior. So check that out if you want a little bit more, information about that. And then finally there's a TedEd talk that's all about classical and operant conditioning. kind of brings the two together. So I thought this would be a good place for you to, to check that out. kind of solidify your knowledge so far. Alright, now you guys are becoming behaviorists. Experts on behaviorism. Fantastic. [LAUGH] A great little journey we're on together. hopefully I'll see you in the next step of the journey, until then, have a great life.