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Lecture

PSYCH 101 Unit VI (b) Memory

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 101
Professor
Richard Ennis

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PSYCH 101  Unit VI: Learning Contiguity: What goes with what? • Associations of things that belong together, or things what do not belong together o E.g. thunder predicting lightning, a knock on the door predicting a person coming through the door Classical Conditioning: • Ivan Pavlov: o In the 1950s, Pavlov developed a surgical procedure where he attached a window to the stomach of a dog, allowing researchers to see inside the stomach of a live animal o He wanted to see if different foods causes different types of digestive fluids to be secreted, but then he noticed that no matter what food he gave the dog would salivate regardless o As soon as the dog could predict the coming of food, they would salivate o Though his desired experiment did not occur, he made another experiment which developed into classical conditioning  He essentially trained the dogs to associate the ringing of a bell to the act of being fed • Classical conditioning therefore involves the association of 2 unrelated things in order to make a subject exhibit a certain desired behaviour • An example: o Julia Roberts, a beautiful Hollywood actor, is the unconditioned stimulus (US)  She has an inherent quality about her (i.e. her beauty) that makes her sexually arousing to most men  This causes the unconditioned response (UR) o Toyota decides to exploit this in order to try and get sales for their Corolla vehicles, and they pair the Corolla with Julia Roberts  The Corolla itself is a neutral stimulus (NS) at first, but its associative pairing with Julia Roberts causes men to become aroused (i.e. the initially UR) o After prolonged pairing and association between Julia Roberts being in a commercial with the Corolla, the Corolla becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS), which can now invoke the desired arousal in men (conditioned response) even when the unconditional stimulus of Julia Roberts is no longer there o Therefore, now we are more likely to buy a Corolla because it invokes sexual arousal within us since the car was once associated with Julia Roberts Acquisition and Extinction: • The strength of a conditioned response grows with more conditioning • However, extinction occurs when the conditional response begins to diminish o So when a given conditional stimulus is no longer paired with unconditional stimulus for a long period of time, then the conditioned response naturally falls as well • But then, even if the conditioned response is extinguished, following a rest period, the conditioned response can return by spontaneous recovery when paired with the unconditional stimulus Generalization and Discrimination: • Generalization: o Refers to the tendency to have conditioned responses triggered by related stimuli  E.g. Pavlov conditioned dogs to droll when rubbed; they then also drooled when scratched  E.g. If you were bit by a roaring leopard, you may tend to then afterward avoid large cats who roar • Discrimination: o Refers to the learned ability to only response to a specific stimuli, preventing generalization  E.g. Pavlov conditioned dogs to drool at bells of certain pitch, but slightly different pitches did not trigger trolling John Watson’s Little Albert Experiment: • Watson was able to apply Pavlov’s research to humans • He and one of his grad students (Rosalie Rayner) did an experiment involving a baby, who was famously dubbed Little Albert. o Watson would become the “Father of Behaviourism” • What the experiment comprised of: o Little Albert was shown a white rat, to which Albert played with and enjoyed, showing no fear at all o Then, Watson comes up behind Albert and bangs a bar of steel with a hammer to produce a loud noise, which does naturally scare Albert  Watson has therefore paired the presence of the white rat, with the frightening loud noise  Whenever the rat appears, the noise is made by Watson and Albert becomes scared o After repeated trials by associating the rat with the loud noise, even when the noise does not occur, the very presence of the white rat invokes Little Albert to cry out of fear. Edward Thorndike: Learning by Contingency • Thorndike’s theory focuses on the connection between a person’s behaviour and the outcomes of that behaviour • Thorndike’s Experiment: o He placed cats in a puzzle box; they were rewarded with food (and freedom) when they solved the puzzle o The cat noticed a contingency between steeping on the pedal and opening the box o The cat, while it did take a while, begins to adapt to this key idea o Thorndike noticed that the cats took less time to escape after repeated trials and rewards • Thorndike’s Law of Effect: o If we receive good outcomes, we then try to find the contingency in what behaviour we exhibited to have achieved that positive result, and therefore we try to replicate more good results by association o The opposite is true as well, because if we get poor results then we are likely to find out what behaviour caused the poor results and we will try to avoid that behaviour B.F Skinner: Operant Conditioning • Skinner was left with the task of following up with Thorndike’s proposed notion of the Law of Effect • He eventually developed the basis for operant condition o That is, the use of a reward-punishment system to train something to exhibit desired behaviour. • Behavioural Contingency: o Positive Reinforcement:  The use of a reward in order to try and get the subject to exhibit the desired behaviour  E.g. giving your child candy for doing his/her homework o Extinction:  Having been punished so much for doing an undesirable behaviour that the behaviour is no longer exhibited for fear of being punished  E.g. doing your homework b/c you would get a scolding from your parents if you didn’t o Punishment:  The use of a punishment in order to try and get the subject to exhibit less of the undesirable behaviour  E.g. taking away your child’s computer privileges if he/she did not do their homework o Negative Reinforcement:  Exhibiting a behaviour more frequently if it is found to decrease an unpleasant stimuli  E.g. taking an aspirin as a routine to relieve a headache, provided that it continues to work or doing homework in order to make your parent stop yelling Reinforcement Schedule: • Two kinds of reinforcement schedules, each of which can be fixed or variable: o Ratio (deals with # of responses):  Fixed: • Reinforcement occurs at a set/given number of responses • E.g. When a pigeons pecks a button 20 times, a food pellet comes down • How the subject responds: o Subject exhibits high rate of response then pauses o E.g. The pigeon, when it learns that there is a fixed ratio, will peck the button 20 times in rapid succession to get the food then pause to allow for the reward to come down  Variable: • Reinforcement occurs after a random number of responses • E.g. There is no set number where a food pellet will drop down since it is random, could be after 7 pecks, then 10 pecks, then 50 pecks o Interval-Variable is the basis of slot machines! • How the subject reacts: o Subject exhibits high rate of response without pauses o E.g. Pigeon will peck the button continually in rapid succession without pause since it has realized that it is random and it does not know when the reward will come, except with the assumption that it “will come with the next peck…or the next…or the next” o Interval (deals with time):  Fixed: • Reinforcement occurs on the first response after a set time interval • E.g. a food pellet is dispensed if the pigeon pecks the button every 20 seconds • How the Subject reacts: o Subject will exhibit behaviour in bursts as the fixed time approaches o E.g. Pigeon, knowing that a food pellet will dispense upon th a peck at eveth 20 second, will peck the button rapidly when the 20 second is near  Variable: • Reinforcement occurs at a random time (i.e. the first response after a random time) • E.g. the food will dispense if the button is pecked after 10 seconds, then after 6 seconds, then after 11 seconds…etc. • How the subject reacts: o Subject exhibits constant/stead performance of behaviour, but at a slow rate o E.g. Pigeon will peck the button at a constant rate, but low frequency since it does not know which peck after which second causes the food to dispense Parental Use of Punishment: • Punishment should be “just strong enough” o If it is too severe, then the child begins to believe that the behaviour is still valid if he/she is not detected o A punishment that is fair after a bad behaviour will allow the child to understand that the behaviour is wrong and that there is a justifiable way to know why the behaviour is wrong due to the association with the fair punishment • Punishment should ideally aversive (repellent) to bad behaviour, but not physical • Only ph
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