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PS102 Lecture 1, 2, 3 & 4 Chp 7

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Carolyn Ensley

PS102- Lecture 1, 2, 3 & 4 1/8/2013 11:15:00 AM Chapter 7: Learning and Conditioning Basics of Learning:  Learning o A relatively permanent change in behaviour (or behavioural potential) due to experience  Behaviourism o Approach that emphasizes the study of observable behaviour and the role of the environment as a determinant of behaviour o Environment determines your behaviour  Conditioning o Basic kind of leaning that involves associations between environmental stimuli and the organism’s responses. o Reward and punishment Why would a dog salivate when it hears a buzzer? how can classical conditioning explain prejudice? If you were attacked by a terrier why might you also be afraid of Labrador Retrievers? Classical Conditioning:  Process by which previously neutral stimulus acquires the capability to elicit a response through association with a stimulus that already elicits a similar or related response.  Pavlov’s works with salivation in dogs led to discovery of leaning principles.  He was not a psychologist, he was a physiologist.  Reflexes and reflexology. o Dogs would salivate without the food.  You need an unconditioned stimulus and an unconditioned response in order for conditioning to happen. Original Reflexes  Unconditioned stimulus (US) o A stimulus that elicits a reflexive response in the absence of learning. (e.g. food)  Unconditioned response (UR) o Reflexive response elicit by a  Stimulus in the absence of  Learning (e.g. salivation of the dog)  Neutral stimulus o Stimulus that does not yet produce a response o Regularly paired with unconditioned stimulus o Neutral stimulus becomes “;conditioned” to elicit a response.  Conditioned stimulus (CS) o An initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response after being associated with an unconditioned stimulus (e.g. food bowl)  Conditioned Response (CR) o A response that it elicited by a conditioned stimulus; occurs after the CS is associated with the US (e.g. salivation) We’ve learned about the CS  Learned response from pairing neutral stimulus with unconditioned stimulus This results in a Conditioned Response A CR is the same as the unconditioned response to the neutral stimulus  E.g. drooling; drool because of food (UR) or drool because of a bell (CR) Principles of Classical conditioning:  Extinction o A conditioned response doesn’t last forever o Extinction is the term for the weakening and eventual disappearance of a learned response o Occurs when the CS is no longer pairs with the US o May experience spontaneous recovery of response after extinction.  Higher-order conditioning o A procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus through association with an already established conditioned stimulus. o Higher-order conditioning may be a reason why some words evoke strong emotions  Words are neutral stimuli  Birthday can evoke a positive response from a child because its often paired with presents. o May also explain prejudices  Pair words with a negative meaning (dumb, dirty) with a name for a group of people and eventually a negative response to the group of people may be evoked.  Stimulus generalization o Tendency to response to a stimulus that resembles one involved in original conditioning o Occurs when a stimulus that resembles the CS elicits the CR.  Stimulus discrimination o Tendency to respond differently to two or more similar stimuli o Occurs when a stimulus similar to the CS fails to evoke the CR. What is actually learned?  Classical conditioning is more effective when stimulus to be conditioned precede the unconditioned stimulus.  Conditioned stimulus becomes a signal for the unconditioned stimulus  To become a CS, a neutral stimulus must reliably signal or predict the US (Rescorla) Classical conditioning in real life:  Learning to like: o Classical conditioning involved in our positive emotional responses to objects, people, symbols, events and places.  Learning to fear: o May learn to fear any stimulus that is paired with something that elicits pain, surprise or embarrassment o Humans come biologically “prepared” to learn certain fears faster than others (evolutionary basis)  E.g. snakes, spiders, heights o Easier to condition fears to these things then non threatening stimuli. o Phobias: an exaggerated unrealistic fear of a specific situation, activity, or object.  Accounting for Taste: o Classical conditioning can explain how we learn to like and dislike many foods and odours o Researchers have taught animals to dislike foods/odours by pairing them with drugs that cause nausea or other unpleasant symptoms. The Pen Study:  Gorn (1982)  Presented students with Star Wars theme or Indian music and a pen hat was either blue or beige  After they were asked to choose a pen; star wars chose the same colour pen paired with the music, Indian listeners chose a different coloured pen.  Music US evoking positive or negative UR; pens became stimuli linked to the same responses  This is why pairing or pleasurable music or scenes occurs in advertising. The Case of Little Albert:  Classic Watson & Rayner (1920) experiment  Conditioned “Little Albert” to be afraid of white rats by pairing the neutral stimulus (rats) with an unconditioned stimulus (loud noises)  Days later, fear had also generalized to other furry objects. The Case of Peter:  Jones (1924) and Watson demonstrated that fears can also be unlearned (e.g. Peter’s fear of rabbits)  Counterconditioning: process of pairing a conditioned stimulus with a stimulus that elicits a response that is incompatible with an unwanted conditioned response. Biology and Classical Conditioning  Hungry participants respond faster to images associated with pleasant food odors o fMRI suggests increased activity in brain areas involved in motivation and emotion  Conditioned fear involved receptor in the amygdala (ah-mag-da-la). o Glutamate blockers inhibit far response  Startle response may be associated with a gene associated with reactivity in the amygdala. A drug for Extinction:  Glutamate enhanced extinction… Give a drug that increases glutamate and extinction is faster.  It has you associate a neutral, rather than a feared response to the conditioned stimulus. Operant (instrumental) conditioning:  The process by which a response becomes more likely to occur or less so, depending on its consequences  Organism’s response operates or produces effects on the environment with influence whether response will occur again  Principles of Thorndike and B.F. Skinner.  Behaviour becomes more encouraged when it is reinforced. Behaviour is less likely of occur when the person is punished for bad behaviour. Context:  Like everything else, research in psychology I the result of social and cultural context.  In the early 20 century, the new psychologists wanted to gain legitimacy in the scientific community  Lots of social unrests; wars, urbanization, poor workers in bad working conditions. Thorndike:  Put cats in puzzle boxes and watch them escape through trial and error  Thorndike suggested that the knowledge was “stamped in” to the cat when the cat got the food reward.  Learning was the result of the consequences of an action o Increase behaviour when consequences were positive. Skinner:  B.F. Skinner took Thorndike’s ideas one step further Thorndike talked about whether the organism liked/disliked the outcome  Skinner thought that this was not necessary… you determine liked/disliked/ from what the organism does! o If behaviour was repeated you could then infer the organism liked the outcome. o Liked was reinforcement o Disliked was punishment. The cat/stove example  Food is reinforce  Being burned is a punishment  All reinforcers increase behaviour (or they aren’t really reinforcers)  All punishments decrease behaviours (or they aren’t really punishments) Reinforcement and Punishment:  Reinforcement: o The process by which a stimulus or event strengthens or increases the probability of the response that it follows  Punishment o The process by which a stimulus or event weakens or reduces the probability of the behaviour. Primary and Secondary Consequences:  Primary reinforcer: o Stimulus that is inherently reinforcing, typically satisfying a physiological need (e.g. food)  Secondary reinforcer: o Stimulus that has acquired reinforcing propertied through association with other reinforcers (e.g. money, praise)  Primary punisher: o Stimulus that in inherently punishing (e.g. electric shock, withholding food)  Secondary Punisher: o Stimulus that has acquired punishing propertied though association with other punishers (e.g. criticism) Positive an Negative Reinforcement:  All reinforcement increases behaviour  Positive reinforcement: o When a response is followed by the presentation or increase in intensity of a reinforcing stimulus; response becomes more likely to occur. o You giving something to them  Negative reinforcement: o Hen a response is followed by the removal, delay, or decrease in intensity of an unpleasant stimulus; response becomes more likely to occur. o Taking something away that they don’t like o Not a bad thing o “if I do my homework right now, I get out of shoveling the driveway” o they will be more likely to do that behaviour in the future. o Bringing an umbrella when it is raining. Positive and Negative Punishment:  All punishment decreases behaviour  Positive punishment o When a response if followed by the presentation or increase in intensity of an unpleasant stimulus; response becomes less likely to occur o Spanking a child after it does something bad o Being put on academic probation  Negative punishment o When a response is followed by the removal, delay, or decrease in intensity of a pleasant stimulus; response becomes less likely to occur. o Suspending your license o Being grounded o Taking away a privilege o Being let off of academic probation Reinforcement  Positive reinforer: good grade  Result: studying increases  Negative reinforcer: nagging ceases  Behaviour: studying Punishment:  Positive punishment: ridicule by friends  Result:” studying  Negative punishment: loss of time with friends  Behaviour: studying Principles of Operant Conditioning:  Paradigms often used a Skinner Box o A cage equipped with a device that delivers food into a dish when an animal makes a desired response. Schedules of Reinforcement  Continuous schedule of reinforcement: o A schedule where a particular response is always reinforced  The rat would hit the lever and get the water  Intermittent (partial) schedule of reinforcement o A schedule (reward/punishment) in which a particular response in sometimes but not always reinforced. o Can be fixed or variable, and involve the number of responses (ratio) or interval between responses. o Fixed:  Always the same between reinforcer and reinforcer  Every 7 minutes, the rat gets the sugar water (interval)  Every & trails, the rat gets the water (ratio) o Variable:  Random. o They can see this based on the number of responses (ratio schedule) o Or they can see this based on time (interval) Fixed ratio  Lower resistance to extinction  Higher ratios generate higher response rates  Short pause after reinforcement  Rapid responding Fixed Interval:  Lower resistance to extinction  Shorter intervals generate higher rates over all.  Long pause after reinforcement yields “scalloping” effect. Variable Ratio:  Higher resistance to extinction  High steady rate without pauses.  Generalization and Discrimination:  Stimulus generalization o Textbook has good technical definition o Reinforced for responding to red light  responding to any colour light o Punished after hearing tone  avoiding all tones  Stimulus discrimination o We may generalize at first but quickly learn to discriminate if only one specific stimulus is rewarded or punished o May involve a discriminative stimulus Shaping:  When behaviours are not likely to occur spontaneously, may use shaping to teach to others (e.g. animals and children)  Shaping: o An operant conditioning procedure in which successive approximations of a desired response are reinforced o Start by reinforcing when the child’s diaper is dry after a nap, then reinforce throughout potty training stages. Ex
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