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Lecture 6

PSYC 1001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Observational Learning, Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning

Course Code
PSYC 1001
Ayca Guler- Edwards

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Introduction to the Study of Psychology
March 6 & 13, 2018
Note: This is the beginning of the material for the final exam
Goals for today’s class…
Chapter 6: Learning
Behavioural Theory & foundations of the process of learning
Pavlov & Classical Conditioning (nature & function)
Skinner & Operant Conditioning (nature & function)
Bandura & Observational Learning
Learning is an adaptive process in which the tendency to perform a particular behaviour is
changed by experience.
-Engaging that behaviour
Learning generally refers to the effect on behaviour of certain types of interactions between the
individual and the environment (or between environmental events), which includes all sources
of stimulation impinging on the individual’s sense receptors within a given period.
-interaction between human or human themselves
Making connections (associations) between events.
-Events in its self or in the environment
Behavioural theories attempt to relate units of behaviour, called responses, to units of the
environment, called stimuli (the plural of stimulus).
Focusing upon explaining current behaviour and predicting future behaviour (relating future
stimuli to future responses)
-You can make a prediction in future certain theories, to predict behaviour.
“Learning is an adaptive process…”
-The process is functional, and it is able to learn
Evolutionary Theories would focus on the adaptive aspects of learning to survival.
Organisms that were able to “learn” (i.e. determine relations among events) were able to
survive in a changing environment. If we are able to learn, so we are capable to change
the environment. If we just repeat the mistake over and over, we can’t continue to
But learning still occurs even if the environment is not changing – the organism “learns”
that the environment has not changed. (the bear and the stream) We are also learning
something that the environment has not changed. Imagine you are bear, and looking for
food, just get used of the behaviour. But some organism does not lear, just get used of
the environment.
-We are here for the class is because of our ancestor have the ability to lear.

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Learning can not be observed directly, only inferred from changes in behaviour.
The “ah-ha” expression does not count as observable learning
Learning is a process of changing behaviour
Learning can occur even when there is no noticeable change in behaviour.
i.e. Stop, drop & roll
The Orienting Response – our attention is drawn to a novel stimulus
-Something unique happened and it chatted our attention.
Habituation – learning not to respond to an unimportant event that occurs repeatedly
-We are learning that thing is not dangerous.
(whistle vs. Baby’s cry)
Ignoring unimportant stimuli is adaptive for survival
Sensitization – based on some prior stimulus, we become more responsive (more sensitive) to a
subsequent stimulus. Not necessarily the same stimulus. (horror movie è creaking floor)
-instead get used of the habit, become more sensitive of the situation. Like a scary movie, live
in your home, you are habituate the sound, your parents did not come, so this is a very dark, you never
heard these sound before, now here you are, walking through the dark. Because of the situation you are
in, you are super paying attention to the creaking floor. Scary movie made us scary.
Short-term Habituation (We can do this is a moment)
The result of stimuli that are presented quickly in a short period
Long-term Habituation (We can do this for a long time)
Results when stimuli are spread over a longer period
Example: you like to go hunting, you have a dog and you and your dog go to hunting. There is a big
sound, so the dog begin shout. All the afternoon the dog is respond, but the dog got a little tired and did
not respond it. When they go home and heard gum, the dog respond all over again. So this is a short
term habituate. But the gun shot over and over again for a long time, the dog will not responded(so this
is long term habituation)
The dog was stimulated by the gum for a moment, or for the whole afternoon, is the short term
But the dog does not work at all during for a month when it heard the gum, so this is the long term.

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Classical Conditioning “Pavlovian Conditioning”
Pavlov & his dogs
Classical Conditioning involves learning about the conditions that predict that a significant
event will occur.
Something happens is gonna a cue, what he find here is he feeding the dog and watching his
saliva in response to the food. He realized that before the food is arrive, dog begin saliva. For
the dogs, they shouldn’t have the saliva before the food arrive, but now the dog begin saliva
before the food arrived. How the dog to put together, how they predict the future.
Pavlov’s Discovery
Originally studying the mechanisms underlying digestion (not psychology)
Realized that the dogs had learned to anticipate the food based on environmental stimuli (the
presence of the dish or the person doing the feeding)
Classical Conditioning
UN-conditioned Stimulus (UCS) – a stimulus that naturally elicits some response.
-UCS: stimulus some kind of environment condition, we did not to be trained how to trained for
this condition. Naturally produced the response. When the food is placed infant of the dog, the body
begin to produce saliva. Like your eye is dry, you naturally blink. didn’t need to be trained. Reflects.
UN-conditioned Response (UCR) – a response that is naturally elicited by the stimulus.
Pavlov’s dogs – naturally salivate in the presence of food
-You didn’t need to be trained, the saliva is UCR in response the food.
Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – some stimulus that was previously neutral (i.e. it did not
automatically elicit the response) – through repeated pairings with the UCS – becomes a “cue”
for the response (what was previously known as the UCR) – i.e. the CS now elicits the
response. It does not naturally produced the reflection, it is not gonna produce eye blink.
Initially start of neutral. Neutral stimulus to something neutral. For the dog, the sound of
chopping originally meaningless, the first time we pair this sound is meaniless. The third time,
number of repeat. the can opener follow by food, so the dog finally found the sound means that
the food is coming. it is a condition, we need to learn.
But this response is no longer referred to as the UCR
Conditioned Response (CR) – the response that was previously referred to as the UCR, when it
is elicited by the CS, is now referred to as the CR (but it’s still the same response). The stimulus
produce the sound, is the same slavia, it produced by the CR.
Without Prior Learning
UCS (food) naturally elicits UCR (salivation)
This is a natural reflex action
For the dog, the sound is neutral
Cs produce the response, even without the presence of the food.
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