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PSY 3011 Introduction and behavior

by: Cassie Ng

PSY 3011 Introduction and behavior PSY 3011

Marketplace > University of Minnesota > Psychology (PSYC) > PSY 3011 > PSY 3011 Introduction and behavior
Cassie Ng
U of M

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Learning and behavior ED.7 Chapter 1 1) The search for general principles of learning 2) The Assocaitionsits 3) Aristotle 4) Similarity 5) Contrast 6) The British Assocaitionists: Si...
Intro to Learning and Behavior
Brothen, Thomas
psy, learning, behavior
75 ?




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This 8 page Bundle was uploaded by Cassie Ng on Monday September 12, 2016. The Bundle belongs to PSY 3011 at University of Minnesota taught by Brothen, Thomas in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 169 views. For similar materials see Intro to Learning and Behavior in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Minnesota.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Chapter 1: History, Background, and Basic Concepts 1 Chapter 1 traces the history of interest in the psychology of learning and the search for general  learning principles—a theme that will be carried out through the book. For many of you, the  information on basic physiological, behavioral, and cognitive principles will be a review. The Search for General Principles of Learning 2 ­­Different ways to study learning . Behaviors that must occur continuously for a person to survive, such as breathing and the  beating of the heart, it is difficult to think of many human behaviors that do not depend on prior  learning  . The goal of much of the research on learning has been to develop general principles that are  applicable across a wide range of species and learning situations . Use animals for experiments, e.g: studying the behavior of rats in such a sparse environment,  could discover principles that govern the behavior of many animals, including human beings, in  the more complex environments found outside the psychological laboratory   . Orderly principles of learning and behavior that might be obscured by many extraneous factors  in the natural environment may be uncovered in a laboratory environment  The Associationists 4  ­ Associations: Philosophers who developed early theories about how people learn to  associate separate thoughts or ideas as a result of their experiences  ­ The Greek philosopher Aristotle is generally acknowledged to be the first Associationist   ­ He proposed three principles of association that can be viewed as an elementary theory of memory  ­ Suggest that these principles describe how one thought leads to another  Aristotle 4 ­­contiguity . One of Aristotle’s principles of association, which states that two ideas will be associated if  they tend to occur together in space or time  . In modern psychology, contiguity between stimuli is an important factor in classical  conditioning, and contiguity between a response and its consequences is important in operant  conditioning  ­­similarity:  . One of Aristotle’s principles of association . States that the thought of one concept often leads to the thought of similar concept  ­­contrast: . One of Aristotle’s principles of association . States that the thought of one concept often leads to the thought of the opposite concept  The British Associationists: Simple and Complex Ideas 5 ­ The British Associationsits included Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, James Mill and John  Mill  ­ These writers are called the British Empiricist because of their belief that every person  acquires all knowledge empirically, that is through experience   ­ Believed that every moment, every idea and every concept a person has is based on one  or more previous experience  ­ According to the Associationists, there is a direct correspondence between experience  and memory  ­ The view that all ideas, no matter how complex, are the product of simple ideas, which  are in turn the product of simple sensations   Ebbinghaus’s Experiments on Memory 7 ­­nonsense syllables: A meaningless syllable consistent separated by a vowel, first used in  memory experiments by Hermann Ebbinghaus    ­­variables . Independent various: In scientific research, a variable that the experimenter manipulates to  determine how this affects the dependent variable  . Dependent variable: In psychological research, the behavior of a subject that is measured by the experimenter to see how it is affected by changes in the dependent variable  ­­savings score:  . Ebbinghaus’s measure of the strength of memory, which showed how much less time was  required to relearn a previously learned list of nonsense syllables  . E.g: If a person needed 20 repetitions to learn a lost the first time, but only 15 repetitions to  relearn the list at a later time, this was a savings of 5 repetitions, or 25%  The Effects of Repetition 8 ­­Brown: (Thomas Brown)  . Stated that the frequency of pairings affects the strength of an association.  . This principle is obviously supported by the simple fact that a list that is not memorized after a  small number of repetions will eventually be learned after more repetitions  ­­overlearning: Continuing to practice a response after performance is apparently perfect, which  often results in stronger or more accurate performance in a delayed test  The Effects of Time 8 ­ Another of Thomas Brown’s principles was recency: The more recently two items have been  paired, the stronger will be the association between them  ­­forgetting curve: A graph showing how performance on a memory task declines with the  passage of time since learning  The Role of Contiguity 8 ­ The Associationsits’ principle of contiguity states that the more closely together two items are  presented, the better will the thought of one item lead to the thought of the other. Ebbinghaus  reasoned that if the contiguity principle is correct, the strongest associations in his lists should be between adjacent syllables, but there should also be measured (though weaker) associations  between nonadjacent items.  ­­Ebbinghaus’ ingenious method: For testing this ideas, which involved rearranging the items in  a list after it was memorized, and then learning the rearranged list  The Influence of the Associationists and Ebbinghaus 10 ­­continues to present day . Two major approaches to the study of learning arose­ the behavior and cognitive approaches  . Continue to investigate how people (and animals) learn complex concepts and novel ideas  . Ebbinghaus’s efforts to vary his independent variable systematically and to record his  dependent variables accurately and objectivity are goals the modern learning researches also  strive for in their experiments   Behavioral and Cognitive Approaches to Learning 10 ­ Two of the most characteristics of the behavioral approach are  . 1) Heavy reliance on animal subjects &  . 2) Emphasis on external events (environmental stimuli and overt behaviors) and a  reluctance to speculate about processes inside the organism 3 The Use of Animal Subjects 10 ­­subject effects: The finding that when people know they are participating in an experiment,  their behaviors may change or improve, even if they are in a control group and receive no special treatment  ­­convenience:  . The species most commonly used are easy and inexpensive to care for, and animals of a  specific age and sex can be obtained in the quantities the experimenter needs  . Their participation is as regular as the experimenter’s: Animal subjects never fail to show up for their appointments, which is unfortunately not the case with human subjects  ­­comparative simplicity:  . Researchers may have a better chance of discovering the basic principles of learning by  exanimating creatures that are less intelligent and less complex than human beings  . Although human beings diff from animals in some respects, they are also similar in some  respects, and it is these similarities that can be investigated with animal subjects   ­­3 criticisms (Arguments)  1) Many important skills, such as the use of language, reading and solving complex problems,  cannot be studied with animals  2) The use of animal subjects is that human beings are so different from all other animals that it  is not possible to generalize from the behavior of animals to human behavior  ­­skill differences: The difference between psychologists and cognitive psychologists seems to  be only that cognitive psychologists are especially interested in those complex abilities that only  human beings possess, whereas behavioral psychologists are typically more interested in learning abilities that are shared by many species  ­­generalizability:  . There is abundant evidence that research on learning with animal subjects produces findings  that are also applicable to human behavior  . Some scientists have emphasized that the many advances in medicine, including vaccines,  surgical techniques, and prescription drugs would not have been possible without research on  animals  . If research with animals were to shop, it would severely impede progress in medical research  and hamper efforts to improve the health of the world population  ­­ethics: Some of the most radical animal rights advocates believe that animals should have the  right as people, and that no animals should be used in any type of research whatsoever  The Emphasis on External Events 12 ­­observable vs unobservable:  . Observable: The observable events, in psychology are the stimuli that a person senses and the  responses a person makes; they are certainly not the subjective reports of trained introspections . Unobservable: As psychological data, B.F.    ­­intervening variable issue:  . A theoretical concept that cannot be observed directly, but is used in science to predict the  relationship between independent and dependent variable  Issues:  . Scientists from all disciplines tend to agree that, if all else is equal, a simpler theory is  preferable to a more complex theory  . The use of an intervening variable such as thirst dangerous because we can easily fool ourselves into thinking we have found the cause a behavior when we are actually talking about a  hypothetical and observable entity  . Even though, Miller suggested that intervening variables are often useful when several  independent and dependent variables involved The Basic Characteristics of Neurons 16 ­­structure and characteristics . Neurons: The nervous system of all creatures are composed of specialized cells called neurons,  whose major function is to transmit information  . The three major components of a neuron are the cell body, the dendrites, and the axons  . The cell body contains the nucleus, which regulation the basic metabolic functions of the cell,  such as the intake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide  .Transmitters: When its dendrites and cell body receive sufficient stimulation, a neuron is said to  ‘fire’—it exhibits a sudden change in electrical potential lasting only a few milliseconds  Synapse: Refers to a small gap between the axon terminal of one neuron  Physiological Research on Simple Sensations 17 . Our sensory systems analyze the complex stimulus environment that surrounds us breaking it  down into ‘simple sensations’  . Now known about the traditional ‘five sense’ (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell) and about  several internal senses (which monitor the body’s balance, muscle tensions, position of the limbs  etc)  ­­receptors: The nervous system’s only contact with the stimuli of the external environment  comes through a variety of specialized neurons    Physiological Research on Feature Detectors 18 ­­Hubel and Weisel . Hubel and Weisel found neurons in the brain that can be called feature detectors, because each  neuron responded to a specific visual stimulus  . Visual cortex:They found several different types of feature detectors in the visual cortex, an  area in the back of the head, just beneath the skull  . Simple cells:They also found individual neurons that responded to more complex shapes. One  class of cells, which they called simple cells, fired most of rapidly when the visual stimulus was  a line of a specific orientation, presented in a specific part of the visual field  ­­role of experience Physiological Research on Learning 20 ­­chemical changes:  . Long term potentiation: The increase in the strength of excitatory synapses as a result of  electrical stimulation  . Long­term potential has been demonstrated in brain areas that are implicated in the storage of  long term memories, such as the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex  . For this reason, some investigators believes that long term potentiation may be a basic process  through which the brain can change as a result of a learning experience  ­­new synapses:  . New synapse are developed as a result of experience came from studies in which animals were  exposed to enriched living environments . Other studies have found that more structured types of learning experiences can produce  cellular changes in more localized areas of the brain   ­­complex idea:  . That is, the physical or chemical changes described in the preceding sections do not occur in  just a few neurons in one part of the brain, but in many neurons in many different brain areas . A very different hypothesis is that the information about individual concepts or ideas is  localized or stored in small, specific sections of the brain  . The cerebral cortex may contain many unused or dormant neurons, perhaps with weak inputs  from various feature detectors  . Better evidence for localized memories comes from reports of people who suffered damage to  small sections of the brain as a result of an accident or stroke. Brian injury can, of course,  produce a wide range of psychological or physical problems, but in a few individuals the result  was a loss of very specific information  . It is possible that the both hypotheses are partially correct, with some types of learning  producing changes in fairly specific parts of the brain, and others producing changes over large  portions of the brain  1. Explain the difference between the acquisition and performance of a behavior, using an example to illustrate your answer. Page 2. 2. List Aristotle’s three principles of association, and give some examples of each. Page 4-5. 3. Describe James Mill's theory about how complex ideas are formed. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this theory. Pages 6-7. 4. Why did Ebbinghaus use nonsense syllables as the items he studied in his memory experiments? What was his measure of how much was remembered after some delay interval? Give an example to show how this measure was calculated. Pages 7-8. 5. Describe Ebbinghaus's experiment that provided evidence for Thomas Brown's principle of recency. Draw a graph that shows the approximate pattern of results Ebbinghaus obtained. Pages 8-9. 6. What is overlearning? Describe Ebbinghaus's experiment on overlearning, and discuss his results. Page 8. 7. Describe the procedure and results of Ebbinghaus's experiment that provided evidence for the principle of contiguity. Pages 8-10. 8. Discuss several advantages of using animal subjects in psychological research. Pages 10-11. 9. What are two common criticisms of the use of animal subjects in psychological research? How might a behavioral psychologist answer each of these criticisms? Page 11-12. 10. Describe some of the current requirements for the care and use of animals in research in the United States. Pages 11-12. 11. According to John B. Watson, what is wrong with the technique of introspection? What were his criteria for acceptable data in psychology? Explain his reasoning. Pages 12-13. 12. According to B. F. Skinner, what are two problems with the use of intervening variables in psychological theories? Pages 13-14. 13. Use an example to show how Neal Miller argued that the criterion of simplicity sometimes favors the use of an intervening variable in a psychological theory. Pages 14-15. 14. Evaluate the Associationist position that our sensory systems analyze stimuli by breaking them down into "simple sensations," using physiological evidence to support your answer. Pages 17-18. 15. Describe the characteristics of the neurons Hubel and Wiesel found in the cat's visual cortex. How do these neurons differ from those in the retina? Pages 18-20. 16. To what extent are the feature detectors in the cat's visual cortex altered by visual experience? Describe the results of some relevant experiments. Page 20. 17. Describe the evidence that experience can alter the physical characteristics of a rat's brain. Exactly what characteristics of the brain have been shown to change? Pages 21-22. 18. List several types of changes at the level of the synapse that could, in principle, occur as a result of a learning experience. Pages 21-22. 19. What is neurogenesis? Describe some evidence that it occurs in animal brains. Page 22. 20. Describe the experiments of Lashley, Penfield, and more recent researchers on the question of where complex ideas or memories are stored in the brain. Pages 23- 24.


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