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Tutor profile: Ammon G.

Ammon G.
Psychology Undergrad Student

Questions

Subject: Writing

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Question:

Your audience and the type of writing you are doing, determines how you structure your written piece. Journalists follow a different structure when writing short articles than a college student writing an essay. For example, journalists often use the "inverted pyramid" structure when writing their articles. What does this structure look like and how does it differ from others?

Ammon G.
Answer:

With an inverted pyramid structure, all the important and juicy information is presented at the very beginning of the article. Journalists often try to fit the who, what, when, and where in the very first sentence of the article, while also being concise. This is meant to both hook the audience and give them the majority of the information from the start. As one continues to read the article, one finds more minor (and less juicy) information. This differs from other structure types in the fact that many other structures reveal more and more important information throughout the writing. The most obvious examples of this are novels. Less obvious examples might be magazine articles and essays. While most of these employ the same strategy of initially "hooking" the audience in some way- with either a startling title or provoking introduction- they do not typically outline all the who's, whats, whens, and wheres at the beginning. An example of an opening sentence for an article following the inverted pyramid structure might be: This evening at about 6:00 p.m. at Walmart, local resident, John Doe, was shot and killed by an armed robber after trying to prevent the robber from leaving the store with jewelry and money he had just stolen moments before. This sentence addresses the who (John Doe, the robber), the what (John Doe was killed, Walmart was robbed), the when (6:00 p.m. this evening), and the where (local Walmart) all in one sentence. If this were a real article, it would go one to give more supporting, though less major, details. All the major information is given at the beginning.

Subject: Psychology

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Question:

What is reinforcement and punishment in behavioral learning?

Ammon G.
Answer:

According to Behaviorism (a school of thought in Psychology), reinforcement and punishment are processes that influence the occurrence of behavior. Reinforcement is a process that increases the likelihood of a behavior re-occurring and punishment is a process that decreases the likelihood of a behavior re-occurring. There are two types of reinforcement and and two types of punishment. When it comes to reinforcement, positive reinforcement refers to the process where a desirable stimulus is presented to an individual to reinforce a desirable behavior. For example, let's say a mother wants her child to learn to clean up their room. To apply positive reinforcement, the mother could give verbal praise (positive stimulus) to her child when she sees the child cleaning up (desirable behavior). Negative reinforcement refers to the process where an aversive stimulus is removed from an individual as a result of her/his desirable behavior. An example of this would be taking out the garbage (desirable behavior) to get rid of the awful stench (aversive stimulus). The disappearance of the stench reinforces the act of taking out the garbage. As for punishment, positive punishment refers to the process of presenting an aversive stimulus to an individual to decrease their undesirable behavior. An example of this would be sending a child to timeout for being unkind to their sibling. Negative punishment is the process of removing a desirable stimulus from an individual to decrease their undesirable behavior. An example of this could be removing TV privileges from a child for bad behavior. It can be a bit confusing to determine the difference between positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement, or positive punishment and negative punishment. It's helpful to think of the "-" and "+" signs when thinking about positive versus negative. When it comes to positive reinforcement or positive punishment, you will always be ADDING (+) a stimulus, whether it's a desirable stimulus to reinforce a behavior, or an aversive stimulus to punish a behavior. With negative reinforcement and negative punishment, however, you will always be taking away (-) a stimulus, whether it's an aversive stimulus to reinforce a behavior, or a desirable stimulus to punish a behavior. Another quick, but important point. A stimulus can only be considered a reinforcer if it ACTUALLY increases the occurrence of a behavior. If you reward a child for a certain behavior, but the child does not continue in that behavior, you haven't actually reinforced it. The same goes for punishment. If you deliver some kind of consequence for bad behavior, but the bad behavior continues, you haven't actually punished it. In both cases, you would need to rethink your teaching strategy.

Subject: Digital Media

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Question:

What kind of program is Adobe After Effects? How is relevant to media creators? In a nutshell, how does it work?

Ammon G.
Answer:

Adobe After Effects is a media compositing program that functions primarily to create 2D and 3D animations, motion graphics, and visual effects. Whereas Adobe Premiere Pro can perform these functions to some extent along with its primary purpose of video editing, After Effects provides more powerful tools and a more useful interface that are designed to effectively carry out these functions. Not only that, but After Effects files work well with Premiere Pro files, which makes it easy for video producers to bring animations created in After Effects into their Premiere Pro Projects. In a nutshell, After Effects projects work like this. Within a project, you may have one or more compositions. You can think of compositions like paintings or pieces of art. Each composition is made up of layers, which you could compare to the paints (or some other medium) that make up a work of art. In this case, a composition can be composed of multiple mediums (videos, photos, vector files, etc.), each on its one layer. These layers are combined and manipulated to produce the desired effect or animation.

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