PSY100Y5 Lecture Notes - Immunosuppressive Drug, Conditioned Taste Aversion, Classical Conditioning

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18 Apr 2012
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Chapter 6 - Learning
October 24, 2011
Learning
- we are continuously conditioned (e.g. advertising)
- behaviourism: its our experiences who shape what we are
- two extremes of the spectrum: instinct and environment (we are in between)
Classical Conditioning
- Reflexes: we are predisposed to fear snakes and spiders more than dogs (these are unconditioned
b/c we're born with it)
- mosquitoes and mice also feared b/c disease carriers
- We change as a result of changes in our environment
- acquisition: neutral stimulus takes on active response (becomes conditioned response)
Acquisition and Extinction
- when you experience an intense emotion, if you don't exp. it again it will stay intense
- when you continuously confront the experience, it gets extinguished over time
ex. specific times for eating, huge amount of cash, etc.
Stimulus Generalization and Discrimination
- Stimulus generalization: organism thats been conditioned to a certain stimulus (ex. bell) will respond
to similar stimulus (bell w/ diff. tone)
Classical Conditioning Issues
- Advertising: most based on classical conditioning
- ex.
kittens and toilet paper
- ex. beer commercial
- Watson took a baby (little Albert) gave him a white rat to play with.
- when rat come close, Watson hits gong, makes baby cry
- now Albert scared of the rat, when he gets away from it he feels a lot better
Study:
- giving mice immunosuppressant drug (testing new drug)
- sweetened it w/saccharin to make taste better
- mice start dying
- saccarin became reason b/c mice conditioned to reduce immune system functioning when paired
w/ saccarin
Phobias:
- when making someone confront their fear need to make sure its beneficial to patient, person knows
what their doing, and safe environment
- phobias only mental disorder that can be cured
Conditioned Taste Aversion
- There are biological constraints (as a result of evolution) to our learning
- novel: something that hasn't been experienced before
- dissentry: can kill (we can't have taste aversion to foods that we eat all the time)
- temporal conditioning: unconditioned and neutral stimulus paired together but really far apart in
time (ex. did not get sick until hours after eating)
- only needs one pairing to take effect
Positive Reinforcement