If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:9:25

Operant conditioning: Innate vs learned behaviors

Video transcript

innate behaviors also known as instincts versus learn behaviors and the main differences in innate behavior is a behavior that's performed correctly the first time an animal or human performs it in response to a stimulus it's something that they innately possess another name for an innate behavior is an instinct which is a more common word that people are familiar with learn behaviors in the other hand are behaviors that are learned through experience so I've already written down some of the most common types of innate and learned behaviors and when it comes to innate behaviors I split them up into what I consider simple behaviors versus complex behaviors the three types of simple innate behaviors are reflexes taxes and Kinesis and let's consider them in the context of a spotlight shining bright so here we have a spotlight and you can see it shining bright in your eye if you have a spotlight shine directly in your eye your natural response is to squint or to blink and blinking is a kind of a reflex because no one ever taught you how to blink it was just a behavior that comes naturally since the day you were born taxes is a type of movement where an organism either goes towards or away from a stimulus but it's a purposeful movement if you've ever lit a candle at night and notice a lot of bugs flying towards it that's a form of taxes because of the purposeful movement the Flies and bugs are flying towards the stimulus of the candle so I'll write here bugs flying to light Kinesis on the other hand is a random movement and using the example of the spotlight if you were to turn on the spotlight in a dark room and there's a group of rats on the floor they might respond to the stimulus of this light by randomly scurrying in different directions and that's Kinesis because it's a random movement in phonce to a stimulus I'm not trying to necessarily move towards the light or away from the light they're just trying to move so I'll write here rats scurrying now people often get confused with the terms taxes and Kinesis because they say it has to do with movement in response to a stimulus and since taxes can be either towards or away from a stimulus it sounds an awful lot like Kinesis but you have to remember taxes is a purposeful movement being purposeful see they're going towards her way for a reason and if you say the word taxes a different way at least the way it's spelled you can say taxis and if you were getting to a taxi you expected to purposefully move in a particular direction at least we hope Kinesis on the other hand just has to do with random movement so if you wanted to purposefully get somewhere would you rather take a taxi or Kinesis I don't know what that would be so those are the simple innate behaviors when it comes to complex behaviors you have things like fix action patterns migration and circadian rhythms so for complex behaviors let's put this in the context of a bird so here we have our bird and a fixed action pattern is a more complex type of innate behavior it's an instinct but this complex behavior is already ingrained in the animal so a really common example of fix action pattern is like a mating dance you've probably heard of birds that perform these mating dances to attract mates and these dances are just fixed types of behaviors that they've already know how to do that attract a mate migration is another complex behavior and you can think of it as in context of birds as birds flying south for the winter so migration is another complex form of an innate behavior and then circadian rhythms are kind of your body's biological clock it regulates things like your sleep-wake cycle if you've ever been jet-lagged that's when your circadian rhythm was knocked out of whack so in context of a bird you could say you know a bird wakes up naturally in the morning very early to sing its song so I'll draw a musical notes here is a singing bird so alright here waking up early to sing so these are the most common innate behaviors and a learned behavior is a behavior that's acquired through experience so the most common types of learned behaviors are habituation classical conditioning operant conditioning and insight learning so they kind of tie together most of these terms I'm going to draw a little scenario here so imagine this is you and it's your first day of college and it's a first time living in a dorm room and of course you have a roommate who's let's say a roommate who's gotten there about a week earlier than you I don't know why he's bigger but he is this is you this is your roommate and if you ever had the experience of living in a dorm one thing that often happens is people making popcorn will unintentionally burn it so here we have popcorn I'm going to draw smoke here symbolizing the burnt popcorn what happens when the popcorn burns is it sets off fire alarms so here's a fire alarm you and we'll say the fire alarm is ringing off loudly so this being your first day in this dorm room you hear this loud fire alarm and you freaked out but your roommate who's been there for a week barely even flinches that behavior of barely even flinching is a form of habituation the way you can think of habituation is as the decrease in or end of a response to a stimulus so the fact that your roommate didn't even react to that stimulus of the fire alarm ringing off loudly is a form of habituation in the next term here is classical conditioning in classical conditioning can be summed up as one stimulus being associated with a second stimulus that produces a particular response so the fact that you freaked out to the sound of a fire alarm is a form of classical conditioning and really if you think of it it's natural to be afraid of fire no one had to teach you to be afraid of fire because it's naturally scary and naturally induces fear now fire alarm on the other hand isn't dangerous like a fire but you you in this case reacted to the fire alarm in the same way you would kind of react to a fire that's because a fire alarm here represents or has been associated with the stimulus of a fire and so you respond in a similar way so that's classical conditioning now operant conditioning is a kind of learning in which the consequences that follow some behavior either increase or decrease the likelihood that behavior occurring again so while this fire alarm is ringing off your roommates telling you you know don't worry that I can smell the popcorn burning and he says don't bother going out because the RAS in your dorm never write anyone up anyway so he knows he doesn't have to go outside because he won't get in trouble based off of his prior experience and that's a kind of operant conditioning so insight learning is a kind of mental process that's marked by the sudden solution to a problem it's kind of like in a ha moment where you just come up with a solution suddenly and I couldn't really think of a way to integrate it into popcorn being burnt but one example is things like a math equation so if you were asked to solve a particularly difficult math equation it might take you some time but if you suddenly come up with a solution or way to figure it out that's insight learning and that's because you've already learned to add subtract multiply divide and using those skills to solve the problem and when you finally have some sort of insight or a ha moment on how to solve that problem that would make it insight learning and so these are the basic types of learned behaviors and these are the basic types of innate behaviors so to summarize so when it comes to simple and eight behaviors think of a spotlight when it comes to complex innate behaviors think of a bird and finally when it comes to learned behaviors learn not to burn your popcorn