Chapter 6: Learning
Red – Definition
Blue - Important Points
Green - Important People & Contributions
Everything in here is Covered in Lecture Nov 12 2012
1. Learning – Any relatively durable Change in Behavior or Knowledge that is due to Experience.
2. Conditioning – LearningAssociations between events that occur in an Organisms Environment.
3. Classical Conditioning
a. Phobias – Irrational Fears of specific Objects or Situations.
b. Classical Conditioning – Type of Learning in which a Stimulus acquires the Capacity to
Evoke a Response that was originally evoked by another Stimulus.
c. Ivan Pavlov
i. Pavlovian Conditioning
ii. Pavlov’s Dogs – Prior to Dogs being Fed Meat, a Clicking Noise Occurred.
1. Dogs started SalivatingAfter awhile when the Click Occurred, prior to
the Meat being given.
2. Dogs salivated whenever Click happened, even if there was no Meat.
3. Salivating became a ConditionedAssociation.
d. Terminology & Procedures
i. Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) – AStimulus that evokes an Unconditional
response without previous Conditioning.
ii. Unconditioned Response (UCR) – An Unlearned Reaction to an Unconditioned
Stimulus that occurs without previous Conditioning.
iii. Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – APreviously Neutral Stimulus that through
Conditioning, can Evoke a Conditioned Response.
iv. Conditioned Response (CR) –ALearned Reaction to a Conditioned Stimulus
that occurs because of Previous Conditioning.
v. Sometimes, The UCR and the CR can be the same thing.
vi. Conditioned Reflex – Conditioned Response is relativelyAutomatic or
1. John B Watson
a. LittleAlbert Experiment.
b. The More Similar new Stimuli are to the Original CS, the
Greater the Generalization.
vii. Stimulus Discrimination – Occurs when an Organism that has learned a
Response to a Specific Stimulus does Not Respond in the same way to a new
Stimuli that are Similar to the Original Stimulus.
1. The Less Similar new Stimuli are to the Original CS, the greater the
Likelihood of Discrimination.
viii. Higher-Order Conditioning – AConditioned Stimulus functions as if it were an
4. Operant Conditioning
a. B. F. Skinner
b. Operant Conditioning – AForm of Learning in which Responses come to be Controlled
by their Consequences.
i. Classical Conditioning = Reflexive, Involuntary Responses.
ii. Operant Conditioning = Voluntary Responses.
c. Edward Thorndike
i. Instrumental Learning ii. Law of Effect – If a Response in the presence of a Stimulus leads to Positive
Effects, theAssociations between the Stimulus and Response is
1. Learning is Gradually “Stamped In” to the Mind.
d. B.F. Skinner
i. Reinforcement – Occurs when an event following a Response increases the
Organisms tendency to make that Response.
1. AResponse is strengthened because it leads to Rewarding Results.
ii. Terminology & Procedure
1. Operant Chamber / Skinner Box – Small Enclosure where anAnimal
can make a specific Response that is recorded, while the consequences
2. Reinforcement Contingencies – Circumstances or Rules that determine
whether Responses lead to the Presentation of Reinforcers.
3. Cumulative Recorder – Creates Record of a Responding and
Reinforcement in a Skinner Box as a function of Time.
e. Basic Processes in Operant Conditioning.
i. Acquisition, Then Shaping.
ii. Shaping – The Reinforcement of closer and closerApproximations of a Desired