Lecture 5: Learning
Learning as Contiguity
•How we put things together in our mind.
o(i.e.: Chevy + girl example)
1. Pretty girl arousal
2. Chevy no arousal
3. Pretty girl + Chevy = arousal
4. Chevy arousal
•John Locke; all learning is a consequence of this building associations.
oTabula rasa: children are born as blank slates, and experiences are written
onto them. Through these associations, the child learns about the things in
oi.e.: Mommy + milk association
•Ivan Pavlov; a biologist, not a psychologist, but best known for his psychology
research. Received a Nobel Prize for his works with the digestive system.
oConducted experiments looking into a dog’s digestive system through a
window he surgically installed.
o“Psychic secretions” occurred as Pavlov called them, when the dogs were
starved and then shown food.
oClassical (Pavlovian) Conditioning: “Pavlov’s Dog”
1. food salivation
2. bell no salivation
3. bell + food = salivation
4. bell salivation
Neutral Stimulus (bell)
Neutral Stimulus (bell) +
Behavioural Change Conditioned Stimulus (bell) Conditioned Response
•Classical conditioning does not require conscious effort. It occurs naturally.
•Learning is a relatively permanent acquisition of new behaviour as a result of
experience. Anything that can be learned can be unlearned as well.
oAcquisition: beginning to make the association between objects.
oExtinction: if the neutral and unconditioned stimuli aren’t paired together
for a protracted period of time, the new stimulus response weakens.
oGeneralization: any stimuli that we perceive as being similar to the
conditioned stimulus also acquires the ability to illicit the response.
Through these associations, the child learns about the things in their world: i. e. : mommy + milk association research. 1. food salivation: bell no salivation, bell + food = salivation, bell salivation. Unconditioned response (salivation) (salivation: classical conditioning does not require conscious effort. It occurs naturally: learning is a relatively permanent acquisition of new behaviour as a result of experience. Watson devises a plan to later on make this professor"s life a living hell : he is hired to john hopkins"s university once he gets his phd (along the lines of his plan). The chair of the psychology dept. is dismissed due to a scandal concerning a grad student, and watson is given the position at age 29. He hires his old professor that failed him, but the professor gets sick, and watson"s revenge never occurs: watson was the father of the behavioralist movement; bringing. Little albert studies (1920"s); pavlov"s dog theory revisited using a child.