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Learning Week 9 notes

by: Elizabeth Heitmann

Learning Week 9 notes Psyc 4450

Elizabeth Heitmann

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Notes from the week of 4/18
Christopher L. Hubbell
Class Notes
learning, psych, Psychology
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elizabeth Heitmann on Sunday April 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 4450 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute taught by Christopher L. Hubbell in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Learning in Psychlogy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


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Date Created: 04/24/16
Week of April 18 Associative Learning: Theoretical Considerations III. Avoidance a. Two-factor Theory i. Mowrer 1. Signaled avoidance a. Once task is done correctly, rat will never fail again 2. Both classical conditioning and reinforcement take place a. Tone-shockconditioned fear b. Jumping hurtle makes tone stopjumping is reinforced ii. Motivational Role of Fear 1. Rescorla and Lolardo (1965) a. Sidman Avoidance Task i. Shock every 10 sec. unless rat jumps ii. If shock is avoided, shock is turned off for 30 sec. iii. Once learned, start discrimination training + - 1. CS -shock or CS - no shock iv. Avoidance response doubled when CS+ presented v. Avoidance response eliminated when CS- presented iii. Escape from fear is reinforcing 1. Brown and Jacobs (1949) a. Control: light and tone-no shock b. Experimental: light and tone-shock c. Present stimuli in avoidance task d. Experimental group jumped faster when light and tone was presented i. Escape from fear is reinforcing b. Bolles’ SSDR Model i. Two-factor theory misinterpreted avoidance behavior ii. Animals have innate responses 1. Species specific defense reactions a. Rats will freeze, flee or fight 2. When bar pressing was response that turned off shock, rats couldn’t learn because bar pressing is not involved in one of their defense reactions iii. Stimulus Change 1. Jumping is reinforced because environment seems to change 2. Bar pressing doesn’t trigger an environmental change 3. If bar pressing opened an escape route, it would be reinforced c. The case of the nonchalant jumper i. Rats are no longer afraid once they figure out how the avoidance task works d. Seligman and Johnston(1973) i. Subjects develop initial expectation that shock occurs when the signal occurs ii. Develop new expectation that they don’t get shocked when they jump over the wall iii. Rats jump because they prefer no shock iv. Fear is present initially, but eventually they jump because it has a preferred effect IV. Instrumental Conditioning and Classical Conditioning: One recess or Two? a. Do they involve the same contingencies? b. Do they affect the same response? c. Do they obey the same laws? Dimensions CC IC Same or Different Contingenci SS* RR* Different es Responses Autonomic>skelet Skeletal>autono Different al mic Principles Contiguity Contiguity same Frequency Frequency Intensity Intensity Contingency Contingency Preparedness Preparedness Extinction Extinction Generalization Generalization Discrimination Discrimination Partial Partial reinforcement reinforcement d. One Process? i. An E1E2 associative system 1. RS* or SS* ii. Are they separate or are they manifestations of the same underlying system? Associative Learning from an Evolutionary Perspective I. The General Process View a. Same associative processes used no matter CS or US b. Assumptions of the General Process View i. It is a general system ii. There is an interchangeability of events iii. There is generality across species iv. All learning is associative learning II. An Evolutionary Perspective a. Ethologists: behavioral biologists that watch animal behavior in nature b. Noticed the differences in animal behavior c. Principles of Evolution i. Natural selection ii. Adaptive view iii. Niche: specific environments occupied by a species d. Learning and Evolution i. To the extent that species haves common ancestor, they share common behavior ii. To the extent that evolution involves divergence from a common ancestor, learning should have diverged equally iii. Learning differs cross-species iv. Imprinting 1. Ducks follow the first moving object they see after birth, usually their mother 2. Helps learn to recognize their species 3. Develop behaviors of the object 4. Irreversible v. Song learning 1. Sometimes it is innate 2. White crowned sparrows learn by listening to adults a. Exposed to adult song shortly after birth (10-50 days) b. Reproduce whichever song is heard during that time, even if it was not the song of their species vi. Adaptive role of learning 1. Imprinting important for safety 2. Song learning important for mating e. Summary i. Learning is not the same associative processes ii. It takes place in different forms in different species that occupy different niches III. The Challenge from within: Are CC and IC uniform processes? a. Classical Conditioning i. Gut defense vs. Skin Defense 1. The 2 parts of classical conditioning b. Instrumental Conditioning: Misbehavior of Organisms i. Unlickable cats 1. Thorndike couldn’t train cats to lick themselves ii. Puzzling monkeys 1. Harlow gave monkeys a puzzle box, with a lid 2. Opened box easily when nothing was present 3. Took monkeys longer to open the box when a raisin was inside iii. Miserly raccoons 1. Brelands couldn’t get raccoons to put a coin in a piggy bank for food c. Why does Instrumental Conditioning Fail? i. Inflexible reflexes 1. Can’t reinforce something that is reflex, because it only occurs under very specific conditions ii. Competition from conditioned responses 1. Fails because of an existing conditioned response 2. Raccoons wouldn’t put coin in piggy bank because of an existing conditioned response a. The coin was paired with food so the conditioned response was to treat the coin like food b. Raccoons wanted to keep the coin iii. Chapuis, Thinus Blanc and Paucet (1983) 1. L-shaped wall around food 2. Dogs could go around the wall at the short end or go the long way 3. When barrier was opaquedogs took shortest route 4. When barrier was meshroute choice was 50/50 5. Intense motivation made them so excited that rational thought was lost d. Summary i. Associative learning is not a general process ii. Animals seem to be prepared or at least predisposed to acquire certain knowledge more readily than other knowledge and that reflects the greater value of that knowledge in the animal’s environment IV. Variations on a theme a. An Adaptationist Approach i. Basic mechanisms for learning are the same but they have become specialized in different species due to environmental niches ii. The more similar the species the more similar they learn iii. Broad outlines of problems faced by species are remarkably similar b. CC and IC reconsidered i. There are exceptions to the rule that don’t fit the general process view c. An associative analysis of imprinting i. The role of perceptual learning 1. Process allows a duckling to form associations between different parts of their mother in order to recognize her Cognitive Considerations of Associative Learning: What is learned when a response is reinforced? I. S-R Theory a. The development of S-R Theory i. Thorndike’s Associative Analysis and Watson’s Behaviorism 1. Thorndike assumed that associations form between sensations and that things that brought pleasure were more easily stamped in 2. Watson believed that this wasn’t very scientific and that learning should only be described in terms of changes in behavior not using mental processes ii. S-R Theory 1. Combination of 2 ideas a. The associationist idea that learning is simple associations between stimuli b. The behaviorist idea that explanations for learning must be made in terms of visible overt behavior b. A cognitive rejoinder i. Cognitive psychologists rejected these assumptions ii. Believed learning was more complex and subtle than simple associations being formed c. The issue i. Argument whether mental state should be involved


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