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 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 Lite version of Sniffy includes twenty-three exercises that cover the essential phenomena of learning psychology, making it equally appropriate for psychology of learning and introductory psychology courses. 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 (R) 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.
Greg Wilson runs his own software company and created the first version of Sniffy over 10 years ago. 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. 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 Mississauga with over 1500 students per year.
Preface Installing Sniffy Lite. 1. Introduction to Sniffy. 2. Introduction to Classical Conditioning. 3. Phenomena of Classical Conditioning: Acquisition, Extinction, and Spontaneous Recovery. 4. Introduction to Operant Conditioning. 5. Basic Operant Phenomena: Magazine Training, Shaping, Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery, and Secondary Reinforcement. 6. Schedules of Reinforcement and the Partial-Reinforcement Effect. 7. Shaping Behaviors Other than Bar Pressing.