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Lecture 1, Week 1 Notes

by: Malissa Notetaker

Lecture 1, Week 1 Notes PSY-B 344

Malissa Notetaker
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About this Document

Notes from the first lecture of class!
Dr. Christine Czachowski
Class Notes




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Malissa Notetaker on Wednesday August 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSY-B 344 at Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis taught by Dr. Christine Czachowski in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 43 views. For similar materials see Learning in Neuroscience at Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis.

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Date Created: 08/24/16
Psychology 344­ Learning  Lecture 1­ 8/22/16    ● What is learning?  ○ “Learning is an enduring change in the ​mech ​ anisms of a behavior involving  specific stimuli and/or responses that results from prior experience with those  stimuli and responses.”  ○ It is one of the biological processes that help adaptation to an environment    ● What is the difference in learning and performance?  ○ Learning has to do with ​the mechanisms of behavior  ■ Can happen without observation   ● Example­ Teaching a person a new fact­ can’t observe the learning  ○ Performance can change for other reasons other than learning  ○ “Performance­ action at any particular time, often requiring proper motivation”    ● An example of learning vs. performance­ Tolman’s Maze Experiments  ○ Used 2 groups of rats­ one that had been in the maze before and one that had not  ■ No food in the maze, no start and finish  ○ Then put both groups in the maze, tested with a “baited” prize  ○ The rat that had explored the maze before found the food faster.  ■ This was because the rat had experienced and learned the basic map of the  maze  ■ Showed that learning took place w/o reinforcements  ○ Experiments that are trying to understand mechanisms of behavior are created to  show that performance of a behavior does mean that learning took place    ● Why doesn’t behavior always point to learning?  ○ Need to exclude other possible causes that can influence a change in behavior   ■ Fatigue  ■ Alteration in physiological or motivational state  ■ Change in a situation/ environment  ■ Maturation     ● Instincts vs. Learning  ○ The two means by which an organism can respond or adapt are instincts (being  born with the behavior due to genetics) or learning the behavior  ○ Disadvantages of learning:  ■ Takes time & energy  ■ Can have negative outcomes  ● Trial and error are needed to learn­ in some situations, the error  can result in harm or death  ● Opportunity costs since there was a time when there was no correct  response given  ○ Advantages of learning:  ■ Can acquire new tricks­ helps some animals master tricks that  non­learning animals can’t  ■ The learned tricks can be better than the instinctive tricks  ■ Learners have the ability to adapt to environmental changes, whereas  instinctive do not  ■ Learners have the ability to colonize new land  ● Can live in multiple habitats 


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