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Sniffy the Virtual Rat Pro, Version 2.0 with CDROM
Synopses & Reviews
Bring the theories of learning to life using SNIFFY, THE VIRTUAL RAT! Instructors praise Sniffy, a realistic digital rat in an operant chamber (Skinner Box), for his ability to give students hands-on experience in setting up and conducting experiments that demonstrate the phenomena of classical and operant conditioning. Users begin by training Sniffy to press a bar to obtain food. Then, they progress to more studies of more complex learning phenomena. Throughout each, a series of "Mind Windows" enables students to visualize how Sniffy's experiences in the chamber produce the psychological changes that their textbooks discuss in connection with learning. Available on a cross-platform CD-ROM, the Pro version of Sniffy includes 40 exercises that cover every major phenomena typically covered in a Psychology of Learning course. The CD-ROM comes with a Lab Manual that walks users through the steps necessary to set up classical and operant conditioning experiments that closely resemble the experiments discussed in learning texts. (Screen shots are included for both Macintosh and Windows users.) The manual also includes instructions on how to print or e-mail results, so that Sniffy can become part of students' homework assignments and term papers.
Book News Annotation:
It is not unexpected that a book dedicated to the memory of Pavlov, Skinner, and Thorndike is about behavioral conditioning. What may surprise those schooled in these principles of psychology and delight those concerned about the ethics of using live animals, is that Sniffy is a digital rat. In this lab manual, Alloway (U. of Toronto-Mississauga) offers 47 exercises on topics covered in psychology of learning courses, instructions on how to print/e-mail homework results, a glossary, and the software on a CD-ROM.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Meet SNIFFY, THE VIRTUAL RAT! Using this CD-ROM and lab manual, you'll get a hands-on experience in setting up and conducting experiments that demonstrate the phenomena of classical and operant conditioning using Sniffy the digital rat. Sniffy includes 40 exercises that cover every major phenomena typically covered in a Psychology of Learning course. The CD-ROM comes with a Lab Manual that walks you through the steps necessary to set up classical and operant conditioning experiments that closely resemble the experiments discussed in learning texts. Throughout each, a series of "Mind Windows" allows you to visualize how Sniffy's experiences in the chamber produce psychological changes.
About the Author
Tom Alloway was trained by Winifred Hill at Northwestern University and is an expert in animal behavior, specifically ants, as well as operant and classical conditioning. He's the former chair at UT-Mississauga. Greg Wilson runs his own software company and created the first version of Sniffy over 10 years ago. Jeff Graham was trained in cognitive psychology and neural network models of memory. He teaches the computer component of introductory psychology at University of Toronto at Mississuaga with over 1200 students per year.
Table of Contents
Preface: Installing and Running Sniffy Pro. Acknowledgments. Quick Guide to Menus and Commands. 1. Introduction to Sniffy. 2. Introduction to Classical Conditioning. 3. Basic Phenomena of Classical Conditioning: Acquisition, Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery and Stimulus-Intensity Effects. 4. Compound Conditioning, Blocking, Overshadowing, and Overexpectation. 5. Inhibitory Conditioning. 6. Associative Structures in Classical Conditioning: Sensory Preconditioning and Higher-Order Conditioning. 7. The Nature of the Association in Classical Conditioning. 8. Habituation, Sensitization, Background Conditioning and the CS and US Pre-Exposure Effects. 9. Introduction to Operant Conditioning. 10. Basic Operant Phenomena: Magazine Training, Shaping, Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery and Secondary Reinforcement. 11. The Effects of Punishment on Response Elimination. 12. Schedules of Reinforcement and the Partial-Reinforcement Effect. 13. Stimulus Discrimination and Stimulus Generalization. 14. Shaping Behaviors Other than Bar Pressing. Appendix: How to Manage Your Sniffy Pro Files. Glossary. References. Index.
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