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Training Effects

Klossek & Dickinson, 2012 figure 1a

This is from a different study than the one I will emphasise: in this study they only demonstrate instrumental behaviour in young children.

Klossek & Dickinson, 2012 figure 2

Even young children can perform instrumental actions, but perhaps not very young children.

Training Effects (Klossek, Yu & Dickinson, 2011)

Source: \citep[p.~180]{dickinson:2016_instrumental} Which is about Klossek, U. M. H., Yu, S., & Dickinson, A. (2011). Choice and goal-directed behavior in preschool children. Learning and Behavior, 39, 350-357.

Subjects: 3-4 year olds


Choice Group : perform Action1 to see Clip1 or Action2 to see Clip2

Single-Action Group : only one action is available at once

(Frequency of Action1 and Action2 is matched across groups!)

Devalue Clip1 (expose to satiety)

Test: both actions available. What do Ss select?


Choice group selects Action2

Single-Action Group selects Action1 and Action2 equally

As predicted if Instrumental
As predicted if Habitual
‘We argued that the variation in the development of behavioral autonomy arose from the different contingency experienced of the two groups. Once responding at a high and constant rate in the single-action condition after extended training, agents no longer experience the full causal contingency, speci cally episodes in which they do not respond and do not receive the outcome. As a result, the action-outcome causal representation necessary for goal-directed action is not maintained.’ \citep[p.~181]{dickinson:2016_instrumental}

Klossek et al, 2011 figure 1

‘Mean response rates per second during training for the choice and single-action groups. Error bars represent the standard errors of the means’

Klossek et al, 2011 figure 2

‘Mean percentage response rates for the choice and single- action groups during the postdevaluation extinction test. Error bars represent the standard errors of the means’

Whether you learn about the effects of an action

can influence

whether that action becomes dominated by instrumental or habitual processes.