Psychology 3130A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Organism, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Episode

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Lesson 8
What is Causal Learning
- Learning from the past
- Making sense of surroundings
- Inferring cause and effect
- In what other classes/readings have we discussed causality?
o Induction
o Similarity
o Others
Central questions
- What are the minimum requirements that we need to learn the facts of the world that are not innate
o Ability to make causal inferences
o One of the things to undersrand causality is to understand how world works beyond what ur brain
gives u at birth
- People try to link causes and affects w/ mechanism that connects and explains
This lesson
- Formal description of causal learning
- Blocking
o Comes from behaviourist learning tradition
- Causal reasoning in practice
Models of Causality
- Cue contingency and temporal congruity
o cues predict bc they are associated with outcomes
o close in time (temporal) matters
o way you can understand linking causes and events depending on how good a cue is associated
with an outcome
o not all cues come to be associated with an outcome
o if you learn cause and effect, lots of other causes are happening as well
o how do we figure out correct cue? Not always right
o close in times (temporal congruity)
o closer happens in time more likely we link the events
- correlation causation
o in practice, for most of us it does
o problem: that things that have a causal link do correlate…cause correlates with an effect; problem
many other things may correlate with the effect
so can do this on practical basis
Causal strength: delta rule
- says delta P
- so for whatever effect you are trying to understand
- turning switch and light goes on
- doesn’t always happen, maybe light is burned out, when you flick switch and it doesn’t happen
- so you do cue (Flick) and effect doesn’t happen
- shows all four contingencies in chart
- at bottom you see when cue doesn’t occur, when cue absent box C when light turns on without flicking (not
really going to happen) more so see D
- think about these 4 contingencies; and these probabilities
- A/A+B will be close to 1
- Cause is inferred to be link between cue and effect
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