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Learning and Part 1 of Motivation

by: Desiree Lynch

Learning and Part 1 of Motivation PSYCH 1100

Marketplace > University of Connecticut > Psychlogy > PSYCH 1100 > Learning and Part 1 of Motivation
Desiree Lynch
GPA 3.7

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During this weeks lectures we finish up the Learning unit and begin Motivation. I've highlighted key terms and names to remember. I offer many examples throughout the notes as a way to simplify t...
General Psychology
Dr. Swadlow
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Desiree Lynch on Thursday November 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSYCH 1100 at University of Connecticut taught by Dr. Swadlow in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 27 views. For similar materials see General Psychology in Psychlogy at University of Connecticut.


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Date Created: 11/12/15
Psych Notes- Learning Instrumental conditioning- animal is instrumental to changing the environment. B.F. Skinner believed in positive reinforcement and shaping the behavior through successive approximations. How to shape behavior through successive approximations- find primary reinforcer and a good secondary (conditioned) reinforcer. You wait for the behavior to be emitted and reinforce behaviors that approach the desired outcome. In very small steps, increase the demand. The demand is the condition in which you give reinforcement- reinforcement only occurs when the desired behavior is emitted. What would serve as a positive reinforcer? 1. For example, the professor can be reinforced by the students positive reaction to his lecture (interested looks, paying attention). From this you can manipulate how the professor moves- he goes in one direction, you make a positive face. When he goes in a direction that you don’t want him to, you act disinterested. From this the teacher moves in such a way that depends on his students faces and he acts upon the student’s desired behavior in order to get that positive reinforcement. 2. Another example would be sounding a buzzer when an animal faces the direction that you want it to and then give it some food. Eventually, as the animals nears the object you want it to interact with and sounding the buzzer as it gets closer, the buzzer becomes a positive reinforcement. You successively are shaping the behavior of the rat. This method is great for training people and other animals. Partial Reinforcement and schedules of reinforcement- There doesn’t always have to be a reinforcement. If we get a reinforcement every once in a while, we can get different outcomes. Partial reinforcement: hard to extinguish- acquiring the correct response takes longer to get 1. Fixed Ratio schedule- high rates; pause after reinforcement; “piece rate”. Schedule reinforcement talks about the relationship between doing the correct behavior and the reinforcement. Fixed Ratio schedule- Fixed number of times you have to do something to get reinforcement- the ratio is fixed and doesn’t change. Fixed ratio tend to have very high rates to respond- person tends to take a break after receiving their reinforcement- piece rate is like when you have to produce a certain about of pieces in order to get a dollar 2. Variable ratio schedule- high rates; no pauses; gambling, very hard to extinguish. The ratio varies- you generate high rates because on average you have to work quite a bit for the reinforcer, but there are no pauses. This is the same schedule that people work on when at the casino (gambling). This is an addictive process (hardest ratio to extinguish) although the payout (reinforcer) usually does not outweigh the work that is put in. 3. Fixed Interval schedule- means after you get a reinforcement, a certain interval of time passes. It doesn’t matter how many times you press that bar, you won’t get a reinforcement. You have to wait for the interval amount of time to pass to press the bar in order to receive the reinforcement. Pause after reinforcement; scallop like response; checking the mail (you wait for the anticipated mail to come the next day- after an appropriate amount of time passes until you try again for the reinforcement). 4. Variable interval schedules- high rates, no pauses; calling back when line is busy Punishment  Suppresses but does not extinguish undesirable behavior- Punishment is when you deliver a stimulation to a behavior and intend to decrease that behavior. An example would be that your dog is jumping up on the table and so you give the dog a whack on the nose as punishment to show that the behavior is undesirable. Can be physical and conditioned punishments. An example of conditioned punishment would be asking your professor a question and the professor mockingly responding, “You don’t know that?”  People who are punished more tend to be punishers in the future. Punishment CAN suppress behavior. But this doesn’t mean that the behavior completely stops- the “punished” learns to stop doing the behavior in front of the “punisher” (cat learns to scratch furniture when the owner isn’t around). May sometimes be useful to suppress an undesirable behavior long enough for positive reinforcement to shape a new, competing behavior. Take the “punished” away from the behavior that they’re doing and then showing them what they should be doing. Some side effects-  Often elicits emotional responses that are incompatible with learning new behaviors. You may become embarrassed from being punished in class and you can’t focus on the material anymore  Negative effects may generalize to persons delivering the punishment or the entire situation- if a child is punished too much is school, they end up disliking school altogether. Complex (Non-associative) learning  Characterized by “sudden understanding” or insight. A very insightful solution the problem, not a slow trial and error solution to the problem. Not an “S” shaped learning curve  Insight learning- Kohler, the mentality of apes 1925. The multiple stick problem (monkey learns that he needs one stick to reach the other, longer stick in order to reach the banana).  Latent learning: learning develops with time, not with continued reinforcements (you sleep on it and realize what the solution is when you wake up).  Development of “cognitive maps” of the environment.  Observational learning (Bandura)- learning that occurs when watching the behavior of others and then mocking that behavior (theorized by Albert Bandura). Motivation (Factors that energize and direct behavior)  Rationalism: we decide, consciously, what is in our best interest, and we do it -Freud destroyed this view: we are guided by unconscious motivations  Instinct theory- innate biological forces that predispose use to act in certain ways -Do human have instinct? Some have said yes. E.g., are all human gregarious, acquisitive (need to have “stuff” in our possession), combative (consider: is there a society on the planet that hasn’t had a war), constructive? Is war in our genes? Some have concluded that humans don’t have as many instincts as “lower mammals”. Debatable. -Freud posited “life” and “Death” instincts.  Imprinting: the interaction of instinct with learning  Love is a motivating force, but what is “love”?  Example: what is “mother love”?- baby gets run over by a car and the mother lifts the car up just to save the child that’s trapped and the baby ends up surviving. Another example would be that a dog becoming curious of a litter of kittens and the mother cat becoming fiercely protective of them- although the dog was much bigger than the mother cat, she still went up against the dog just to protect her children.  Conrad Lorenz and his ducks- wanted to study the attachment between the mother and the ducklings -Critical period: instead of seeing the mother, the duckling hatched and saw a football to replace the mother. Because the football still gave the duckling food, the duckling regarded it as its mother and they “bonded” (the ducklings would follow the football around). -irreversible: once the duckling bonds with the football, it’s irreversible. Has to happen during the critical period in order for the duck to imprint on the football. -determines later choice of sexual partners: ducks will from then on try to procreate with footballs. There is something innate about this, the duck happens to bond with whatever is moving when it first hatches (regardless of what the mother actually is).  Harry Harlow and his monkeys -Monkeys raised with “surrogate” mothers. He wanted to see how children react when abandoned by their mothers. How should institutional children be raised?  One surrogate mother was a “wire” mother. She has a bottle but was made of chicken wire. The second mother was just a doll. When the baby was hungry, it would go to the chicken wire mother, but when it was frightened, it would go to the doll mother. This created the concept of contact comfort. -Importance of “contact comfort”- needed to introduce contact comfort to make the child feel safe and have it bonded with the mother.  Rats born to the smell of lemon- took rat baby away from their mom and gave them a surrogate, on some of the mothers they put a little bit of citrus so that when they go for food, the smell the citrus. They took the rats away from the surrogate mothers and then gave them to another set of mothers with no smell. The rats grew up, they took the male rats with the citrus conditioning and were shown female rats that they were to mate with. Some of the female rats had citrus on them, and so they were chosen by the males to mate with. Because the male rats had imprinted on their citrus scented surrogate mothers, they associated that smell with something they should procreate with.  Nature/Nurture question in field of: o Perception/learning  Depth perception (visual cliff)  Binocularity (critical period)  Angular acuity (oriented bars)  Human faces, voices  How cats learn to hunt  How squirrels learn to crack nuts (not born with innate knowledge on how to crack nuts, but they do have innate curiosity of nut like objects and learn to crack the nut)  Motivation o Imprinting- choosing of attachments o Harlow o Mating choices in rats Often, what is innate is fascination with certain stimuli, which generates a tendency to learn a particular type of information.


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