Psychology 2: Conditioning & Learning
Psychology 2: Conditioning & Learning Psyc 2010-003
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mikaela Notetaker on Sunday October 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psyc 2010-003 at California State University Sacramento taught by Dr. Harrison in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see PSYC 2 - Introductory Psychology in Psychology (PSYC) at California State University Sacramento.
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Date Created: 10/16/16
Psychology: Conditioning & Learning ● Pavlov’s experiments and their importance ○ Pavlov’s experiments are important because they exemplify interesting behavioral phenomenon and they help with studying associative learning ● The reasons classical conditioning is still widely studied. ○ It helps humans discover more about complex behaviors ○ Classical conditioning occurs in our lives ● Classical (Pavlovian) conditioning. ○ Ivan Pavlov’s experiment involved a dog ○ This is called classical conditioning which is also argued as a theory of identity ○ This experiment was conducted by Pavlov who repeatedly gave a dog food after ringing a bell. After some repetition, the dog knew the bell was a signal for food so as a result the dog would salivate ○ This experiment was conducted again in the lab with other range of signals (e.g. different tones of light or sound) with different results besides food (e.g. shocks) ○ This experiment explains the reasons why humans associate a stimulus with a psychologically significant event (like a beach towel stimulating feelings of happiness and warmth or a food you dislike stimulating feelings of nausea and disgust) ■ Through this observance, neutral stimuli, e.g. fish, can become something more significant to a person who was scarred from a bad stomach ache after eating fish ● Stimuli within classical conditioning. ○ US unconditioned stimulus elicits a natural reaction (UR) before conditioning ■ Examples of unconditioned stimuli that elicits natural reactions are an unexpected loud noise or cold showers that startles the body and creates goosebumps ○ URunconditioned response a natural, unconditioned/untrained reaction/response to US ■ Example of unconditioned response that reacts to US are immediately dismissing the leftover fish for dinner after remembering the stomach ache you got from eating it the night before ■ US is exemplified by the dog food in Pavlov’s experiment because it prompts the natural reaction of the dog’s salivation (the natural and untrained response) before the dog is conditioned. ○ CS conditioned stimulus elicits a trained response (CR) and also holds NO significance to the person or animal until it is matched with something that does have importance; the CS is the bell that holds association with something else ■ Example of a conditioned stimulus is the bell in Pavlov’s experiment; the bell is the object that is being used for conditioning and it has become associated with food; the dog does not respond conditionally CR until the food is associated with the bell ○ CR conditioned/ trained response ■ Example of a conditioned response is the dog drooling after hearing the sound of the bell ■ The CR is almost always the same as the UR ● The concept of the dog drooling is the same in the dog naturally drooling (UR) and the dog conditionally drooling (CR) ○ Tying it all up: Actually eating (US) prompts salivating (UR) while seeing a food commercial (CS) prompts salivating (CR) ■ Actually eating is the US because it elicits a natural reaction ■ Seeing a food commercial is the CS because it food commercials are purposefully (conditionally) used to prompt conditioned reactions ○ Real World Example: You wake up early(US) and you produce the natural response of most people by feeling grumpy (UR). An alarm clock has no significance to you until you have to use it to get up early. Therefore, because an alarm clock will be used to get you up early the alarm clock has become the CS (the alarm clock is being paired with you waking up early). Likewise, because the alarm clock is being paired with you waking up repeatedly, your grumpy response is now a CR ○ When a stimulus is paired repeatedly with a natural response, both the stimulus and the natural response become conditioned. ● Instrumental (operant) conditioning. ○ Operant conditioning is another form of conditioning besides classical conditioning ○ Instrumental conditioning and classical conditioning both need surprise and prediction error to occur for a successful logical outcome in studies ○ Observed by Edward Thorndike and enlarged by B.F. Skinner ○ Instead of a stimulus, a behavior is correlated with a significant event; when animals learn about the relationship between behaviors/actions and consequences/results ○ Example: A boy experiences operant conditioning in his car racing video game; the boy operates on his environment, the streets on which he races (operant behavior), by testing different streets to find hidden passages. He engages in his race course (operant response). Through different trials of going through different streets, the boy discovers a hidden passage. The boy learns this new path. He has experienced operant conditioning. ○ A sequence of behaviors (repeatedly going through the race course) was positively reinforced by finding the hidden passages (the reward) ■ The operant conditioning= the boy learning the paths that lead to the hidden passages ■ The operant behavior= the boy operating on the environment by testing unknown streets ■ The operant response= engaging with the environment (race course) ■ The reinforcers= the new passages ● The definition of operant behaviors. ○ Operant behaviors= voluntary behavior (operates on the environment) ○ Example: A rat in a cage with a box that holds a lever to release rat food. The rat has no knowledge about the workings of the lever which is why the rat has to learn. The rat accidentally presses the lever and the box releases food (this accidental but voluntary behavior is called operant behavior because the behavior was based on the rat operating on the environment; an action the rat made itself) ● The definition of reinforcers ○ Results that increase behavior ○ A result of a behavior (rat accidentally pressing the lever) being reinforced repeatedly until chances of it likely happening again increases (the rat learning) ○ The rat begins to recognize and learn the lever is the quick way to receive food. This is when the food begins to become the reinforcers because the repeated arrival of the food from the pressed lever is helping the rat learn to press the lever when it becomes hungry ● Thorndike's law of effect. ○ When a behavior has a positive effect or result, it is likely to be repeated again in the future ○ When the operant response (engaging in the environment) is influenced by their results (positive results or negative results, e.g. discomfort) ○ Negative results influence the animal to not repeat the behavior that brought about these results in the future. ■ Punishers Results that do not increase behavior ● Involuntary and voluntary behaviors & classical and operant conditioning. ○ Voluntary behavior becomes influenced by results operant conditioning ■ Voluntary behavior can cease if the animal receives negative results ■ A student raises his hand to say something unrelated to the teaching topic and is docked points. The students stop raising his hand. The raising of his hand is the student’s voluntary behavior. His voluntary behavior is stopped because he received the negative result ○ Involuntary behavior is evident in classical conditioning (the dog involuntarily drools at the sight of food); the dog actively participates by displaying involuntary behavior to attain an award ● Difference between operant and classical conditioning. ○ They differ in what is learned ○ Classical conditioning an animal has learned to associate a stimulus with a significant event ○ Operant conditioning an animal has learned to associate behavior with a significant event ○ Likewise, classical conditioning elicits a response based on a stimulus while operant conditioning emits a response based on voluntary behavior ● The influences classical and operant conditioning have on human behavior in the real world. ○ Both methods work together to help psychologists understand learning and behavior in the real world; these types of learning occur constantly throughout our lives; it is similar to the laws of gravity because it is always in effect ○ They work separately to identify different learning methods ● Taste aversions becoming classically conditioned ○ Food CS are prevalent in modern society because humans always elicit a response of hunger or excitement when they see food ads or smell foods. ○ Taste aversion conditioning a phenomenon when a person associates a food with sickness and rejects it ○ Flavors can be a part of classical conditioning; when a person senses the flavor sugar (US) in his or her food he or she craves more (UR); the cue of that sugar flavored food (CS) in the future will elicit the behavior of cravings or hunger (CR) because the person has associated that food with sugar. ● Fears becoming classically conditioned. ○ Fear conditioning is a type of Pavlovian conditioning; a CS is associated with an aversive (avoiding a punishing stimulus) US like body shocks; the CS is made to evoke fear after multiple trials with learning to associate the CS with the US, the punishing stimulus. ○ This is seen with small impacted spaces (CS) that are associated with emotional trauma (US) ○ This is seen as well when a person ingests a drug and cues (e.g. smell of the room) become associated with the time of drug ingestion; when the person smells the same smell afterward then the smell may cue physical or emotional responses related to the drug (because the smell was associated with the drug). ● Conditioned compensatory responses influences our reactions to drugs, which in turn influences drug addiction and dependence. ○ Conditioned compensatory responses in classical conditioning; a conditioned response (e.g. a patient who has received morphine repeatedly before) opposes an unconditioned response (e.g. morphine a drug that relieves pain); the patient has received morphine repeatedly before thus the body recognizes the drug and compensates for the upcoming drug effects by making the patient more sensitive to pain; by making the patient more sensitive to pain, the body is opposing the drug; this in turn decreases the impact of the drug on the patient; the conditioned response opposition towards the unconditioned response decreases the strength of the unconditioned response. ○ A drug taker will be able to tolerate the drug when being surrounded by cues that have been associated with the drug (these cues cause compensatory responses) ○ Therefore, drug overdose is not due to excessive consumption but because the drug was taken in a different environment with different cues that are not associated with the drug (which do not help the drug taker tolerate the drug). ○ Because conditioned compensatory responses weaken the strength of the unconditioned response (e.g. the morphine) the drug taker takes more morphine to make up for the weakened morphine to reduce the increased pain ○ This shows classical conditioning to be a part of drug addiction ○ Classical cues lead to operant behavior (voluntary behavior) because in the presence of cues associated with reward an animal would voluntarily work harder to obtain that reward; this associates with negative cues (a sound of a bell signals incoming pain) as well when an animal will voluntarily work harder to escape the trauma cues associated with those cues. ● Block influences and learning. ○ Studies show that pairing a CS and US together is not adequate enough to be able to learn from ○ In blocking, an animal first learns to pair one CS (a sound of a bellStimulus A) with a US (food). Once the animal learns this association, an animal is presented a pairing of Stimulus B (light) and Stimulus A (both stimuli are paired with the US). Next, a light is turned on alongside the ringing of the bell. The animal has learned the association between the bell and the food, which is why the animal does not know the association between the light and the food. The animal’s conditioned response focuses only on the association with Stimulus A because the conditioning with A “blocks” the conditioning of B when B was paired with A. ● Why prediction errors are important for classical conditioning to take place. ○ Prediction errors need to be made before classical conditioning to occur because you learn from the classical conditioning better ○ Prediction error chance the CS would not present an expected result ● Conditions that strengthen classical conditioning. ○ CS and US are intense or noticeably important ○ CS and US are new and have not been exposed to the animal ○ Organism’s body has been prepared to associate the CS and US ● Preparedness and its relation to classical conditioning. ○ Preparedness an organism’s evolutionary history has prepared this organism to easily learn associations (e.g. A person can relate the taste of alcohol with sickness without knowing the effects of alcohol and without actually ingesting it) ● Extinction in conditioning ○ A response to a CS can be terminated by repeatedly presenting the CS without the US or when (in instrumental conditioning) behavior is no longer reinforced ○ Extinction can also occur by repeated exposure without aversive consequences ○ “Extinguished” behaviors are related to behaviors reduced in strength ○ Extinction is useful for the reasons it helps clinical psychologists eliminate unwanted behaviors ○ A person is shown spiders repeatedly in neutral conditions (systematic exposure) so the person can eventually associate spiders without fear ● The definition of spontaneous recovery and its relation to extinction ○ However, extinction DOES NOT eliminate the original learning because it only INHIBITS rather than erases original learning ○ A person associates the smell of chalkboard with agonizing detention. After years of being near chalkboards, the smell no longer is associated with agony. However, one day the person enters a new building for the first time with a chalkboard and the smell of chalkboard immediately sends agony of detention ○ This is called spontaneous recovery being exposed again to the conditioned stimulus (smell of the chalkboard) and following an interval of exposure to it after extinction; the smell can evoke the CR again ● Explanation of the renewal effect. ○ Occurs after extinction; CS is tested in a new context (new environment, e.g. a new room) and the CR can return even though the CR originated from a different environment ● Ways extinction can best be used to treat behavior disorders. ○ Extinction can be best used for behavior disorders by learning basic research on learning to help defeat relapse effects; for example, therapists can conduct extinction therapies in the environment the patient is most likely to relapse ● The relation of stimulus control and discriminative stimulus to instrumental learning. ○ Stimulus control a stimulus controls an operant behavior; this relates to instrumental learning (associating actions with results) Example: only when a light is turned on in the cage there is food in the box for the rat; the rat needs to learn that when the light is on he can push on the box’s lever for food; the operant behavior of pushing on the lever for food is controlled by the light (stimulus); this is similar to a traffic light when a car sees its green but only goes when the arrow turns green ○ Discriminative stimulus an operant response being controlled by a stimulus; “sets the occasion for” the operant response and DOES NOT ELICIT response. Example: A canvas is laid out for a painter but the canvas sets up the occasion for the painter to paint and does not elicit any action from the painter ○ Stimulus having control over behaviors and responses is applied as techniques in labs to learn about animals’ perception, learned categorization, and psychological processes ● Explanation of the quantitative law of effect. ○ A mathematical rule ○ The effectiveness of the reinforcer making it more likely for the operant behavior to occur again depends on the strength of the reinforcers earned from the alternative behaviors ○ Some reinforcers will lose their strength of effectiveness with the presence of other reinforcers; ex. Pigeon with picking two options (one being the farthest button but rewards more food, second being the closest but rewards less food) ● Definition of the reinforcer devaluation effect. ○ When an animal stops choosing the option that was once good because it caused an aversion; the animal has learned and remembered the consequence ○ The behavior is observed as goaldirected; how much the animal wants or doesn’t want the reinforcer ○ However, learning the values of pressing each of the levers can result with the animal pressing the levers automatically and routinely (a habit is formed) even though one option was averted previously ● Classical and instrumental conditioning and their influence on learning. ○ Outside the lab they occur at the same time ○ Through conditioning, an organism can learn to associate a response and an outcome ○ The value of reinforcers change when there are other reinforcers involved in the situation ○ An organism can learn to associate the stimulus with the reinforcing outcome (classical conditioning); the stimulus will help evoke responses that help the organism prepare for the reinforcer; the stimulus will also evoke approach (positive outcome) or retreat (negative outcome) ● Definition of observational learning. ○ Observing surroundings and behaviors to learn more about them ● Social Learning Theory. ○ Observational learning is part of Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory ○ Theory that people learn responses through observation of other’s behaviors ○ This theory and observational learning hinge on social models (authorities who are targeted for observation) ○ Observational learning consists of four parts: ■ Attention ■ Retention retain memory of observed behavior ■ Initiation learner must initiate the learned behavior ■ Motivation to engage in observational learning ● Bandura's "Bobo" doll experiments and its relation to social learning theory. ○ Bandura had children observe an adult social model interact with a clown down ○ One group the adult interacted aggressively ○ Second group adult interacted nonviolently ○ Both groups adult left ○ Based on the experiment, scientists learned that the children, who were exposed to the adult behaving violently, learned to behave violently as well towards Bobo thinking violent behavior was acceptable ● Definition of vicarious reinforcement. ○ The violent group of children were noted to be less violent when they say the violent adult model receive punishment for being aggressive towards Bobo ○ The children were influenced to change their behavior by observing punishment for the violent actions
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