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Monash University

Learning Learning  Change in an organism’s behaviour/ thought as a result of experience. Habituation  Process of responding less strongly over time to repeated stimuli  Simplest and earliest form of learning Sensitization  Repeated exposure to stimuli  Responding to something better after being exposed to it before Classical conditioning (PAVLOVIAN)  Form of learning which animals respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response Unconditional stimulus  UCS- stimulus that elicits an automatic response  EG: meat Unconditional response  UCR- automatic response to a nonneutral stimulus that does not need to be learned  EG: salivation  Animal does not need to learn to salivate Conditioned response  Response previously associated with a nonneutral stimulus that elicited by a neurtal stimulus through conditioning  RESULT= LEARNING  EG: salivation Conditioned stimulus  Initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a response due to association with an unconditioned stimulus  EG: BELL (sound)  Bell= salivation Pavlov noted that classical conditioning occurs in 3 phases, acquisition, extinction and spontaneous recovery. Acquisition  Learning phase during which a conditioned response is established.  Closer CS and UCS the faster learning occurs Extinction  Gradual reduction & eventual elimination of the CR after the CS is presented REPEATEDLY  Organism learns the CS (sound) no longer signals the UCS (food) Spontaneous recovery  Sudden re-emergence of an extinct conditioned response after a delay in exposure to the conditioned stimulus  Reappears in weaker form Renewal effect  Sudden return of a conditioned response following extinction when an animal is returned to the environment which the conditioned response was acquired.  EG: phobias- overcoming phobia then symptoms reappear when put in phobic environment. Stimulus generalisation  Process where conditioned stimuli is similar but not identical  EG: salivation to both bell and whistle Stimulus discrimination  Process that occurs when we produce a less obvious CR to CS.  Allows us to distinguish among stimuli that share some similarities  Without it we would be scared to pet a new dog if we were bitten by same type of dog. Higher-order conditioning  Developing a conditioned response to a conditioned stimulus by virtue of its association with another conditioned stimulus  EG: feeling thirst after someone says coke Latent inhabitation  Experiencing CS alone many times, its difficult to classically condition it to another stimulus Operant conditioning / Instrumental conditioning  Learning controlled by the consequences of the organism’s behaviour.  Organism’s behaviour being shaped by what comes after it, usually REWARD  Organism “gets something” EG: Food, sex, attention/ avoiding something unpleasant Law of effect  Principle that if a stimulus followed by behaviour in a reward, the stimulus is more likely to give rise to the behaviour in the future.  By psychologist Thorndike (Puzzle Box)  S-R psychology- all learning occurs by trial and error= reward  If we are rewarded for a response to a stimulus we are more likely to repeat it in the future Insight  Grasping basic nature of the problem  “Aha reaction” once animal solves problem it will get it correct every time after that. Skinner Box/ Operant conditioning chamber  Small animal chamber constructed to allow sustained periods of conditioning to be administered and behaviours to be recorded unsupervised.  Skinner focuses on Reinforcement, punishment and discriminative stimulus. Reinforcement  Outcome that STRENGTHENS the probability of the behaviour. Positive reinforcement
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