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Chapter 5 notes

by: Kirsten Swikert

Chapter 5 notes Psychology 100

Kirsten Swikert
GPA 3.2

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Intro to Psychology
Mark Graves
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kirsten Swikert on Thursday March 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psychology 100 at Western Kentucky University taught by Mark Graves in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Intro to Psychology in Psychlogy at Western Kentucky University.


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Date Created: 03/17/16
Learning • Psychologists generally define learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior acquired through experience • Learning is not inborn (meaning like infant reflexes) and it involves changes in behavior that are enduring but not necessarily permanent • Learning: a relatively permanent change in behavior acquired through experience • Associative learning: learning that certain events occur together • Ivan Pavlov: a prominent Russian psychologist who did research on digestion in dogs o Founder of classical conditioning o Discovered that dogs will salivate in response to the sound of a tone in a process we now call classical conditioning Classical Conditioning • A form of learning that depends on the role of association • A previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response identical or similar to the one that was originally elicited by another stimulus as the result of the pairing or association of the two stimuli • Neutral stimulus: a stimulus that produces no relevant response o The tone • Unconditioned stimulus: a stimulus that elicits an unlearned response o Dog's food • Unconditioned response: an unlearned response to a stimulus o Dog salivating when food is presented • Conditioned stimulus: a previously neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response after it has paired with an unconditioned stimulus o The tone • Conditioned response: an acquired or learned response to a conditioned stimulus o Dog salivating when it hears the tone • Extinction: the process by which the association between the unconditioned stimulus and conditioned stimulus is broken o Conditioned responses gradually weaken and eventually disappear because of the repeated presentation of the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus • Spontaneous recovery: the spontaneous return of a conditioned response following extinction o May return when re-exposed to the conditioned stimulus • Reconditioning: the process of relearning a conditioned response following extinction o Likely to be learned more quickly Stimulus Generalization and Discrimination • Stimulus generalization: the tendency for stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit the conditioned response o White rat conditioning resulted in fear of white bunnies as well o The greater the difference between the original and related stimuli, the weaker the response o Has survival value o Deja vu • Stimulus discrimination: the ability to differentiate conditioned responses to different but related stimuli o Ex: fearing certain types of dogs instead of all dogs o By learning to discriminate among related stimuli, we are able to fine-tune our responses to the environment • Factors that strengthen classical conditioning: o Frequency of pairings: the more often a CS is paired with a US, the stronger the CR o Timing: § The strongest CR’s occur when the CS is presented first and remains present throughout the administration of the US § Weaker CR’s occur when the CS is presented first but is withdrawn before the US § Even weaker, if present at all, CR’s occur when the CS and US are presented simultaneously o Intensity of the unconditioned stimulus: a stronger US will typically lead to faster conditioning than a weaker one • Robert Rescorla’s view of classical conditioning is that it involves a cognitive process by which organisms learn to anticipate events based on cues, called conditioned stimuli, that come to reliably predict the occurrence of these events • Watson and Rayner’s study of learned responses: classical conditioning helps explain the development of conditioned emotional reactions, such as conditioned fear responses o Little Albert study: they conditioned him to fear white rats by using a loud gong sound and that carried over into a fear of animals with fur and even a fur coat (related stimuli) o Conditioned emotional reaction: an emotional response to a particular stimulus acquired through classical conditioning o Behavior therapy: a form of therapy that involves the systematic application of the principles of learning o Phobias: excessive fears of particular objects or situations • Classical conditioning in the real world o Advertising o Positive emotions o Drug cravings o Taste aversions o The immune system Operant Conditioning • Learning responses that produce changes, or consequences, in the environment o Process of learning in which the consequences of a response determine the probability that the response will be repeated • B.F. Skinner was the major figure in operant conditioning o Skinner box: an experimental apparatus developed by him for studying relationships between reinforcement and behavior § Cage containing a food-release mechanism that responds by being pushed on § Operant response: a response that operates on the environment to produce certain consequences § Reinforcer: a stimulus or event that increases the probability that the response it follows will be repeated § Superstitious behavior: behavior acquired through coincidental association of a response and a reinforcement o Discriminative stimuli: a cue that signals that reinforcement is available if the subject makes a particular response o Skinner believed in radical behaviorism: the philosophical position that free will is an illusion or myth and that human and animal behavior is completely determined by environmental and genetic influences o He did not believe that thoughts and feelings should be observed because they aren’t scientific • Thorndike and the Law of Effect o Using a puzzle box, he demonstrated cats used trial and error to discover an exit (with food) o Law of Effect: we are more likely to repeat responses that have satisfying effects and are less likely to repeat those that lead to discomfort § Part one: reinforcement § Part two: punishment • Reinforcement o Reinforce: any event that strengthens the behavior it follows o Positive reinforcement: increases a behavior by presenting a pleasurable stimulus after the response o Negative reinforcement: increases a behavior by stopping or removing a negative stimulus § Any form of reinforcement strengthens behavior o Primary reinforce: satisfy basic biological needs or drives o Secondary reinforce: acquire their value through learning and, usually, association with a primary reinforcer • Discriminative stimulus: a cue that signals that reinforcement is available if the subject makes a particular response • Shaping o Involves the reinforcement of closer and closer approximations to a desired response o Reinforcement of successive approximations to the desired behaviors • Extinction: the process by which the association between response and reinforcer is broken Schedules of Reinforcement • Predetermined plans for timing the delivery of reinforcement • Schedules of continuous reinforcement: a system of dispensing a reinforcement each time a response is produced o Responses are learned more rapidly • Schedule of partial reinforcement: a system of reinforcement in which only a portion of responses is reinforced; more resistant to extinction o Fixed ratio: reinforcement is given after a specified number of correct responses § Lower resistance to extinction o Variable ratio: the number of correct responses needed before reinforcement is given varies around some average number § Higher ratios generate higher response rates § Higher resistance to extinction o Fixed interval: reinforcement is given only for a correct response made after a fixed amount of time has elapsed since the last reinforcement § Short intervals generate higher rates overall § Lower resistance to extinction o Variable interval: the amount of time that must elapse before reinforcement can be given for a correct response is variable rather than fixed § Higher resistance to extinction § Short intervals generate higher rates overall • Escape learning: organisms learn responses that allow them to escape aversive stimuli • Avoidance learning: they learn responses that allow them to avoid aversive stimuli Punishment • Positive punishment: a behavior decreases when it is followed by an unpleasant stimulus o Biting into a hot red pepper, tongue burns, you avoid biting into hot peppers in the future o Getting a speeding ticket • Negative punishment: a behavior decreases when a positive stimulus is removed o Child 1 hits child 2 on the playground, child 1 is removed from the playground/required to sit in time out, child 1 no longer hits other children on the playground o Teenager speeds in parents’ car, teenager is no longer allowed to drive the car • Punishment involves the presentation of an aversive or unpleasant stimulus, or removal of a reinforcing stimulus, after an undesired response occurs • Punishment generally leads to a decline in the frequency of the punished response • Drawbacks of punishment: o May temporarily suppress but not eliminate behaviors o Does not teach new behavior o Can have undesirable consequences o May become abusive o May represent inappropriate modeling Reinforcement • Positive reinforcement: a positive event or stimulus is introduced after a response o Give a dog a treat after properly doing a trick correctly, the dog will be more likely to correctly do the trick because it thinks it will receive a treat • Negative reinforcement: an aversive stimulus is removed after a response o Buckling your seatbelt will stop the annoying buzzer, you’re more likely to buckle your seatbelt before starting the engine to avoid hearing the buzzer • Punishment: application of aversive stimulus; an aversive stimulus is applied after a response o Parent scold’s child for slamming the door, child is less likely to slam the door • Punishment: removal of a reinforcing stimulus; a reinforcing stimulus is removed after a response o Child loses TV privileges for hitting a sibling, child is less likely to engage in hitting Cognitive Learning • Third form of learning psychologists study, involves learning via cognitive processes that cannot be directly observed in the organism’s behavior • Involves thinking, information processing, problem solving, and mental imaging • Cognitive learning: learning that occurs without the opportunity of first performing the learned response or being reinforced for it o Insight learning o Latent learning: cognitive map o Observational learning • Insight learning: the process of mentally working through a problem until the sudden realization of a solution occurs o An aha moment o Looking at a problem from different angles • Latent learning: occurs without apparent reinforcement and is not displayed until reinforcement is provided o Hidden learning occurs without apparent reinforcement o Cognitive map: a mental representation of an area that helps an organism navigate its way from one point to another o Learned behavior is only displayed once it was reinforced • Observational learning: behaviors are acquired by observing and imitating the behaviors of others o Bobo doll and Albert Bandura o Vicarious learning/modeling Putting Reinforcement into Practice • Applying reinforcement o Be specific o Use specific language o Select a reinforce o Explain the contingency o Apply the reinforce o Track the frequency of the desired behavior o Wean the child from the reinforce • Giving praise o Connect o Use hugs o Be specific o Avoid empty flattery o Reward the effort, not the outcome o Avoid repeating yourself o Don’t end on a sour note


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