PSYC 2010- Chapter 6 Notes (Knowledge Checklist!!!!)
PSYC 2010- Chapter 6 Notes (Knowledge Checklist!!!!) Psyc 2010-003
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Dimery on Thursday February 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 2010-003 at Clemson University taught by Edwin G. Brainerd in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 70 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.
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Date Created: 02/18/16
Chapter Six Conditioning & Learning Learning is extremely important to humans because we are born as “Tabula Rasa”. John Locke stated this. We are born like a piece of blank paper-‐ there is no knowledge or information present at birth. Learning has to fill itself out on this piece of paper. Learning is a relatively durable or even permanent change in knowledge or behavior that is due to experience. Some primitive species are born knowing everything that they need to know. Habituation is when there is a decrease in 2 behavioral responses with repeated exposure to a stimulus. An example of this would be someone coming into a classroom when the class has already started-‐ if this happens over and over again then eventually people will stop looking up at the door. The orienting response is turning your sense organs such as your eyes, ears, and nose to maximize information about a new stimulus. The startle response occurs to more intense stimuli. This will reflect surprise or even fear-‐ eventually even this will begin to habituate. People can habituate to things such as parties, vehicles, and fights. On the other hand, some things are hard to habituate to. Intense (jets taking off), unpredictable, or stimuli at night (roommate returning from a party), are harder to habituate to. Barking dogs fall into all of the above categories of things that are hard to habituate to. Adaptation is when sense organs become less and less sensitive to a repetitive stimulus. Some examples of this would be sunglasses, after-‐shave or perfume, feel of your shoes or clothing on your skin, and the smell of a closed barn. Without habituation or adaptation any other kind of learning would be impossible. We are constantly exposed to thousands of different stimuli at any given moment-‐ 99.9% of these stimuli are not important to us. If we were not able to ignore or adapt to these stimuli that are not of interest to us, we would not be able to focus enough to learn anything else. Classical conditioning is responsible for many of our “silly” fears. This is the type of learning where a stimulus gains the ability to cause a response in us that was originally caused by another response. The unconditioned stimulus is the stimulus that causes an unconditioned response without any previous conditioning. The unconditioned response is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus without any previous conditioning. The conditioned stimulus is something that used to be neutral, but because of conditioning it is now able to produce a conditioned response. The conditioned response is a learned reaction because of a conditioned stimulus. A neutral stimulus is something that does not produce a response on its own. Pavlov’s study: Pavlov observed that whenever dogs were shown meat, they started to salivate. He then paired the meat with a bell, and eventually just the bell by itself caused the dogs to salivate. • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ meat • Conditioned stimulus-‐ bell • Unconditioned response-‐ salivation • Conditioned response-‐ salivation Little Albert study: Little Albert enjoyed playing with a white lab rat, but whenever a loud gong was constantly sounded behind him while playing with the rat, he eventually became afraid of the white rat even though it was completely harmless. Over time he also became scared of other white things (generalization). • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ loud gong • Conditioned stimulus-‐ white lab rat • Unconditioned response-‐ fear • Conditioned response-‐ fear Concept Check 6.1 Example 1: Sam’s parents light a fire in the living room one night, and an ember shoots out and burns his arm. Whenever another fire is lit, Sam screams and runs from the room. • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ burn • Conditioned stimulus-‐ all fires • Unconditioned response-‐ fear • Conditioned response-‐ fear Concept Check 6.1 Example 2: Melanie is driving to work on a rainy day and sees brake lights in front of her. She hits her brakes as fast as possible but still skids into the car in front of her, which causes an accident. Now every time Melanie sees brake lights in front of her, she tenses up. • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ accident • Conditioned stimulus-‐ brake lights • Unconditioned response-‐ tensing up • Conditioned response-‐ tensing up Concept Check 6.1 Example 3: Tyrone has recently discovered he has an allergy to cats. If he’s in the room with a cat for more than 30 minutes, he will start wheezing. Now whenever he sees a cat enter a room he starts wheezing. • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ allergy • Conditioned stimulus-‐ cat entering room • Unconditioned stimulus-‐ wheezing • Conditioned stimulus-‐ wheezing There are a few other terms associated with classical conditioning. Extinction is when there is gradual weakening and eventual disappearance of a conditioned response. This can occur whenever the conditioned stimulus is presented alone, without the unconditioned stimulus. Pavlov demonstrated this by ringing the bell by itself for the dogs for awhile without presenting them with any food, and eventually the dogs stopped salivating to just the bell. Spontaneous recovery is when an extinguished response shows up again after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus. The response will usually be weaker than it was before. Generalization is when an organism that has learned a response to one stimulus, responds in the same way to a different, similar stimulus. This was what happened in the Little Albert case. The more similar that the new stimulus is to the original stimulus, the more likely that generalization will occur. Discrimination is the opposite of generalization. This is when an organism that has learned a new response to a stimulus does not response in the same way to other similar stimuli. An example of this would be a dog getting excited when it hears your car pull in the driveway, and so it also gets excited if it hears any car pulling up. If your car has a distinct noise to it then eventually the dog will only get excited when it hears your car pull up. Another example is whenever you hear a certain tone in your parent’s voice; it stimulates a response in you that no other tone does. Operant conditioning is when voluntary responses become controlled by their consequences. Edward Lee Thorndike has a Law of Effect that stated: If a response leads to “satisfaction”, it will be “stamped in”, and more likely to reoccur. If a response leads to “dissatisfaction”, it will be “stamped out”, and will be less likely to reoccur. This is a common sense learning that not a lot of people take seriously. It is one of the most powerful types of learning. It can tell you a lot about why people do the things that they do. B.F. Skinner made a slight, but significant change to operant conditioning. His basis for the change was the fact that something that is satisfying to one person might not be satisfying to another. He decided to use the term reinforcement. Reinforcement occurs whenever an event is followed by a response that increases the organism’s tendency to make that response. The response is strengthened because it leads to awarding consequences. Skinner conducted an experiment in which he used a Skinner box. This allows for an animal to be placed inside of a box and their response can be recorded as well as the consequences of the response. One example would be an electric shock being stimulated inside of the box, and a rat jumps around and accidentally hits a lever inside of the box, which turns the shock off. The electric shock will eventually come back, and after a few times of accidentally hitting the lever, the rat will realize that it is the pulling down of the lever that causes the shock to go away. The rat now knows to pull the lever as soon as the shock comes to make it go away quickly. This is an example of negative reinforcement, which is explained in the next section. There are different types of reinforcement. Primary positive reinforcement is related to body needs. It is when a response is made stronger because it causes a rewarding stimulus. It includes things like food, drink, sleep, and sex. They can lose their effectiveness through satiation, which is whenever you receive too much of a particular reinforcer. Secondary positive reinforcers are learned reinforcers that gain their value by being paired with a back-‐up reinforcer. An example of this would be good grades meaning your parents let you go on an awesome spring break trip. They can lose their effectiveness through satiation, or by no longer being paired with a back-‐up reinforcer. Positive generalized reinforcers are learned reinforcers that are paired with an unlimited amount of back-‐up reinforcers. These are the most powerful type because it is really hard to satiate to them. An example of this type would be money. It is really hard for money to lose effectiveness because there is always something else that you can buy. We are not born knowing the power of these. Negative reinforcement is when a response is made stronger because it causes the removal of a negative (aversive) stimulus. The difference is you aren’t exactly gaining a positive reward, just removing a negative outcome. Escape conditioning is when an organism learns some response that decreases or ends some negative stimulation. An example of this would be leaving a party where your peers were picking you on. Avoidance learning is when an organism learns a response that prevents a negative stimulation from occurring. An example of this would be to not attend parties because of the concern of your peers picking on you. Avoidance learning sort of brings classical conditioning and operant conditioning together. The difference between escape conditioning and avoidance learning is that with escape conditioning you still receive some of the aversive stimulus, it is just removed very quickly. With avoidance learning you do not receive any of the aversive stimulus. This can be done because of warning signals or by using your internal clock. There are some other terms associated with operant learning. Acquisition & shaping are the initial stage of learning for operant conditioning. The response will gradually increase because of reinforcement. Extinction is when the response gradually starts to weaken and then is completely terminated. This occurs because of the reinforcement being terminated. An example of this would be having a roommate who is always talking about their significant other. If you stopped sounding interested whenever they bring this person up, or make a point to sound bored or change the subject, eventually they will stop talking about this person all the time. You would be extinguishing the reinforcer of giving them attention. The only problem with extinction is that sometimes it can be way too slow to be really effective. Generalization is when an organism’s response to one stimulus results in their response to another similar stimulus. An organism’s response would increase to a new stimulus that is closely related to the original stimulus. Discrimination is when an organism does not respond the same way to a stimulus that is related to the original stimulus. It is the opposite of generalization. Punishment is when an event that follows a response weakens the tendency to make that response, probably because the event was negative. An example of this would be spanking a child or taking away a toy when they do something wrong. Punishment and negative reinforcement is not the same thing. Punishment is the presentation of a negative stimulus, therefore weakening a response. Negative reinforcement is when there is the removal of a negative stimulus, which strengthens the response. B.F. Skinner believed that if you have to use punishment then you have failed with operant conditioning. He essentially thinks that punishment is never necessary. Punishment can be looked at on a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum there are parents who never punish their children, and on the other end there are parents who always punish their children, this leans more towards abuse. In the middle of the spectrum are parents who punish their children a moderate, acceptable amount. People are punished even if their parents are total not punishers. Teachers, and friends can give punishment. There are also natural consequences for your behavior. An example of this would be when a mom tells a child not to play around the ironing board and the child does anyway. The child pulls the hot iron down and gets a burn. The mother does not have to specifically punish the child; the burn is enough of a punishment. Dr. Brainerd believes that punishment is appropriate in certain circumstances, such as when a behavior needs to be stopped very quickly. To stop bad behaviors in the bud and to eliminate dangerous behaviors like aggression to a parent or sibling, you should use punishment. In operant conditioning, a good outcome is more likely to increase the strength of a response if the outcome occurs very quickly after the response. Conditioning proceeds much slower if the outcome is very delayed after the response. In the real world, most responses are only reinforced a small amount of the time. Continuous reinforcement is when every instance a designated response is reinforced. Intermittent reinforcement is when a designated reinforcement is only reinforced some of the time. There are four main types of intermittent reinforcement: 1. Fixed ratio-‐ the reinforcer is given after a fixed number of nonreinforced responses. An example of this would be a salesperson receiving a bonus after every fourth gym membership sold. 2. Variable ratio-‐ the reinforcer is given after a variable number of nonreinforced responses. There is a predetermined average for this number. An example of this would be a slot machine paying off every one in six tries, on average. 3. Fixed interval-‐ the reinforcer is given for the first response after a fixed time interval has passed. An example of this would be being able to get clean clothes out of the washing machine every 45 minutes. You then would have to wait another 45 minutes to get clean clothes from this washing machine. 4. Variable interval-‐ the reinforcer is given for the first response after a variable time interval has passed. There is an average for this amount of time. An example of this would be someone calling a busy line and not being able to get through. The amount of time they were on the line would vary; the reinforcer would be getting through the line. Fixed ratio and fixed interval both have a lower resistance to extinction. Variable ratio and variable interval both have a higher resistance to extinction. Higher ratio will generate an overall higher response rate, and shorter intervals will generate higher rates overall. Preparedness explains why some phobias are a lot more common than others. The things that were threats to our ancestors are things that we are more likely to be afraid of now. Conditioned taste aversion is whenever you eat something and it makes you sick, and you feel nauseous whenever you smell or taste it again. It is sort of like classical conditioning, except the time between the stimulus and the response are much longer than regular classical conditioning. This does not work with things that have to do with visual or auditory stimuli. Researchers believe it is because of natural selection causing organisms to realize really quickly that they cannot eat certain food or they will die. Latent learning is learning that is not apparent from the behavior of an organism when it first occurs. This was demonstrated by 3 groups of rats in an experiment. All of the rats in all of the groups ran through a maze a repeated number of times. The rats in group 1 received a treat when they got through the maze quickly. The rats in group 2 did not receive anything for getting through the maze quickly. The rats in group 3 received nothing at first but then when about half of the trials were done they started to receive a treat for getting through the maze quickly. The rats in group 1 improved a lot from the start. The rats in group 2 did not improve very much. The rats in group 3 improved much more after the treat was introduced. Rats that displayed latent learning formed a cognitive map in their brains of the maze. Signal relationships deal with the fact that some signals are better and more dependable than other signals. Good signals allow you to accurately predict the unconditioned stimulus. To demonstrate this some rats had paired stimuli 100% of the time and some rats had paired stimuli only 50% of the time. Fear was much more common in the group that had the more dependable signal. Response-‐outcome relationships aka superstitious behavior was established by noncontingent reinforcement. This is when a response is accidentally made stronger by a reinforcer. This would be like if you listen to a certain artist while studying for an exam and you make an A on the exam, you might start listening to that artist more often when you’re studying. This is the same reason that some athletes wear “special” socks while playing or eating the same lunch before a game. This is also why people say, “Knock on wood” so they do not jinx themselves. Observational learning accounts for a great deal of learning in humans. This is when an organism’s response is influenced by observing what others do (models). Albert Bandura did a study involving a Bobo Doll. It was just a big doll that was able to stand up and be punched like an actual person. When children saw a teacher beat up the doll and call it names, they all mimicked the teacher’s action. This led to the later concern of media violence, which is explained right after this. Bandura also said there were 4 basic processes for this type of learning: 1. Attention-‐ to learn by observation you need to pay attention to what other’s are doing 2. Retention-‐ you need to be able to store what you are observing into your memory 3. Reproduction-‐ you need to be able to replicate what you are observing on your own 4. Motivation-‐ you need to have the motivation to enact what you observed The things that people mimic from others is based off of what they observe happening to the person after they have done a certain action. This is called vicarious reinforcement and punishment. An example of this would be a little kid seeing another little kid get hurt after they attempt a trick on their bike. This little kid will most likely not want to try to do this same trick. There was a study done to see whether or not children being exposed to violent behavior on TV made them more prone to aggressive activity themselves. This was the power of modeling. Some children watched a TV show where there was some violence and other children did not watch this. Then the children were put into a room with different toys, some toys just being normal and others being ones that could have violence inflicted on them. The children who were exposed to the TV show with the violence were the ones who played with the toys they were able to be violent with. Other studies have shown that being exposed to a lot of violence in TV shows or video games makes one less sensitive to the actual violence going on in the real world. It also showed that people exposed to more violence by media were less sensitive to people that were suffering or in need. Many researchers argue that the effects of media violence are weak because there are so many other things that can influence one’s aggression. These studies were done with correlational research. Personal Application-‐ Achieving Self-‐Control through Behavior Modification • Behavior modification is a systematic approach to changing behavior through the application of the principles of conditioning-‐ assumes that what is learned can be unlearned • The first step would be to identify the behaviors that you want to change, sometimes this is a hard thing to do-‐ statement should be precise • The second step is to gather baseline data-‐ observe the target behavior for a few weeks. It is good to keep written records • The biggest step is to design an intervention program-‐ it is important to find a positive reinforcer that works for you • You should have some sort of punishment if you do not follow through Critical Thinking Application-‐ Recognizing Contrast Effects: It’s All Relative • Classical conditioning is used in persuasive ways • Different products are paired with popular things such as celebrities, loving families, pets, or music • Their goal is to make their products be associated with pleasant feelings • Sometimes classical conditioning will be involved with things such as taking someone out to a dinner or event • Election campaign ads are also done in this same way
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