PSYC 325 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Dual Process Theory, Startle Response, Perceptual Learning

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Latent learning= learning takes place without any initial evidence that learning has occurred.
Recognizing and responding to repetition
Habituation= decrease in strength/ occurrence of a behavior after repeated exposure to the stimulus that
produce the behavior.
The process of habituation:
Acoustic startle reflex (ASR)=defensive response to loud and unexpected noise.
Orienting response= an organism natural reaction to novel stimulus.
Fixation time= the duration of staring, decrease with repeated presentation.
Advantage of habituation= avoid wasting time and energy on an elaborate response to every repeated event.
Stimulus specificity and dishabituation
Habituation is stimulus specific.
The more similar the stimulus is, the less the fixation time increase (Stimulus Generalization).
Dishabituation=the renewal of responding after a new stimulus presented.
For example, in sexual responding: Coolidge Effect.
Factors influencing the rate and duration of habituation
-How starling the stimulus was
-No. Of time experienced
-Length of time btw repeated exposures
-Rapid repetition=more rapid habituation (massed exposure= repeated closely together; spaced exposure=
spread out overtime)
-Short term habituation= goes away in several mins and hours/ long term habituation
-Spontaneous recovery= the reappearance/ increase in strength of a habituated response after a period of no
stimulus presentation
-How long the effect last
-Habituation accumulate over time
The process of sensitization
Sensitization= experience with an arousing stimulus lead to a stronger (heightened) response to a later
Human show sensitization of startle reflex when using Skin Conducted Response (SCR)= change in skin
conductivity & emotions.
Fewer exposures typically necessary to produce sensitization than habituation (stimulus specific).
Dual process theory
Repeated event always lead to the process underlying both sensitization and habituation-> determine the
strength of responding-> depends on how often repeated and the intensity and how recent.
Perceptual learning
Learning in which repeated experience with a set of stimuli makes those stimuli easier to distinguish.
For example:
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