The Premack Principle

In this video I describe the Premack Principle which refers to the idea that behaviors can be high or low probability which in turn means that high probability behaviors can serve as reinforcement for low probability behaviors. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d like to see covered in a future …

Chaining, Shaping, & Instinctive Drift

In this video I describe the how conditioning to be used to train more complex behaviors. This can be accomplished with chaining, which involves linking together previously conditioned behaviors, and shaping, which involves reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behavior. Next I provide examples of behaviors which cannot be conditioned due to biological constraints on learning described by Keller and …

Operant Boxes & Schedules of Reinforcement

In this video I describe the operant boxes used by Skinner (often called “Skinner boxes”) to study the relationship between different schedules of reinforcement and behavior. Then I describe 4 possible schedules of reinforcement including fixed-ratio, variable-ratio, fixed-interval, and variable-interval, as well as how random rewards created “superstitious” behaviors in pigeons. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see …

Operant Conditioning

In this video I explain the difference between classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Next I explain Thorndike’s work with cats in puzzle boxes which led to his Law of Effect. This approach was greatly expanded by B.F. Skinner’s work on operant conditioning which distinguished primary and secondary reinforcers, as well as positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment. …

Scared Infants and Sick Rats: Aversive Conditioning

In this video I explain two examples of aversive conditioning; John Watson’s “Little Albert” study pairing presentation of a rat with a loud noise, and John Garcia and Robert Koelling’s work on learned taste aversions in rats. Taste aversions demonstrate our biological preparedness for some learning, which allows us to learn certain types of associations more easily than others. Don’t …

Extinction, Generalization, and Discrimination

In this video I explain some other terminology for describing aspects of classical conditioning including acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, stimulus generalization, stimulus discrimination, and second-order or higher-order conditioning. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d like to see covered in a future video? Let me know by commenting or sending me …

Classical Conditioning

In this video I introduce learning theory and the basic concepts of behaviorism. This begins with the work of Ivan Pavlov on classical conditioning and covers the basic vocabulary for discussing this type of learning including neutral stimulus, unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions …

Culture and Perception

In this video I consider the role of culture on perception. The fact that we must learn how to perceive the world creates the possibility that our culture can shape our perception. I provide one example of this, known as the carpentered-world hypothesis, which can used to explain susceptibility to the Müller-Lyer illusion. The carpentered-world hypothesis suggests that cultural experience …

Depth Perception

In this video I describe the many cues that we use to perceive depth and experience a 3D world based on the 2D information from our retinas. These include monocular cues (linear perspective, relative size, texture gradient, interposition, and shading), motion-based cues (motion parallax and optic flow) and binocular cues (disparity and convergence). Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel …

Perceptual Constancy

In this video I describe perceptual constancy, which refers to the idea that we perceive a relatively stable and unchanging world despite the fact that sensory information is changing dramatically. I explain how this applies visually to size, brightness, and shape. We often forget this learning process because it occurred during infancy, but it is demonstrated clearly in previously blind …