Instrumental Learning Vs Instrumental Learning

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Instrumental learning; Goal Directed Vs. Habitual Habits and routines are a part of our everyday life. They are performed almost automatically. They allow attention to be focussed elsewhere in a continuously changing environment. (Graybiel, 2008). Instrumental learning is a way of learning, which occurs through reinforcements and punishments. Classical theories of instrumental learning emphasized the relationship between stimulus and response (Thorndike, 1911). Classical theories however failed to account for the individual’s current needs and motivation. Instrumental learning can be controlled by a goal-directed or a habitual system (Staddon and Cerutti, 2003). In the initial learnings, instrumental actions are goal-directed, but as the learning progresses, actions become more habitual, stimulus driven and independent of the action-outcome contingency (Dickinson, 1985). Goal directed system involves learning the relationship between an action and the outcome of that action. They are sensitive to changes in the goal value. Habit system involves learning the association between stimulus and response without any link to the behaviour. It is independent of the current value of the goal (Balleine and Dickinson, 1991; Schwabe and Wolf, 2011). In order to differentiate between habitual and goal-directed behaviour in the lab, behavioural tests were developed. These tests were based on the theory that goal-directed behaviour alone is sensitive to changes in the motivational value

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