Sniffy and Basic Operant Phenomena
Northwestern State University
My experience with Sniffy was difficult at times, but very informative. I’ve learned a great deal about Classical conditioning, in the first experiment with Sniffy, and Operant Conditioning in this one. The experiment with Operant Conditioning took much more time than the previous experiment. The total time it took for me to complete the five exercises in this experiment was about four hours. The exercises included magazine training, shaping Sniffy to press the bar, extinction, secondary reinforcement, and spontaneous recovery. Magazine training and shaping Sniffy to press the bar took up the greatest amount ...view middle of the document...
I felt as though he did not understand what actions were being reinforced. This exercise took the longest to complete by far. Also, there were great lengths of time when he wouldn’t come anywhere close to the hopper. For the last exercise, spontaneous recovery, nothing happened on my screen. I couldn’t get a cumulative record window because nothing happened. I still don’t know what went wrong with that exercise. I think that I was frustrated more because I was still learning the program, but when I got the jest of it, things seemed to move more quickly.
I learned so much from this assignment. I learned that with time, animals such as Sniffy can be trained to do almost anything with the right type of reinforcement. I also learned that this training gets quicker and quicker with time. It took Sniffy a great deal of time to associate the sound of the hopper and the food, but once he did associate the two he learned to press the bar on his own fairly quick. I learned that it is important to be careful not to reinforce any specific behavior before Sniffy learns to press the bar on his own because he may not know which behavior is being reinforced.
A person just like an animal can learn through operant conditioning. For example, a child...