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Tutor profile: Danielle C.

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Danielle C.
Graduate Student
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Questions

Subject: Psychology

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Question:

What is operant conditioning?

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Danielle C.
Answer:

Operant conditioning is learning that happens voluntarily and is driven by the consequences of behavior. These consequences are reinforcement and punishment. Reinforcement is when the consequence increases the likelihood of the behavior. For example, you tell your dog to sit, it does, and you give it a treat. The treat is the reinforcement. The dog will be more likely to sit if it knows that it will get a treat. Punishment is when the consequence decreases the likelihood of the behavior. For example, if a child touches a hot stove, it hurts. That pain is punishment in the sense that the child will be less likely to touch the stove again.

Subject: English

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Question:

I have to read a scientific paper for school, but I don't know how to read it. Help!

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Danielle C.
Answer:

First, have an idea about what your goals are for reading the paper. This can be as simple as, your teacher wanting you to have some background knowledge for the next class or as intricate as you needing to use this article in a paper you're writing. Either way, you want to read the abstract (the first paragraph of text) first. This will give you a general overview of the article's main points. Then, read the conclusions. This gives you an idea of where the paper is going. The middle of the paper is your map. It shows you how the writer got from the research question to the conclusion. Headings in the text are a very useful tool in making decisions about where to focus your attention when you have a specific goal for reading. Make sure you pay specific attention to the vocabulary in the beginning of the article, this will help to make connections later on.

Subject: Cognitive Science

TutorMe
Question:

In what ways is replication important to cognitive science empirical research?

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Danielle C.
Answer:

Replication is used to confirm results or hypotheses using different samples, procedures, and types of measures and analyses in the hopes of producing similar outcomes. By doing this, we can say that what we learned is "generalizable" or in other words, we can say that what we learned can't be applied in all situations. Failures to replicate can also help us to identify research flaws or can produce interesting findings in their own right. This is particularly important in cognitive science because not only is it a relatively new field, but it is also multi-faceted and interdisciplinary.

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