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Psychology - Learning.docx

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York University
PSYC 2510
Richard N Lalonde

November 7, 2012 Psychology- Lecture 8 Learning Learning: a relatively durable change in immediate or potential behaviour or knowledge that is due to experience. Models of Learning 1. Classical conditioning  Ivan Pavlov  John B. Watson 2. Operant or Instrumental Conditioning  B.F. Skinner 3. Social learning theory  Albert Bandura Classical conditioning  Pavlov o Physiologist (salivation) o 1904 Nobel prize: study digestion o Reflex: unlearned automatic response to a stimulant (eg. salivation at sight of food) UCS = Unconditional stimulus o Stim. Eliciting auto (reflexive) responses UCR = Unconditioned Response o Automatic response to UCS CS = conditioned stimulus o Neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a CR after being paired with a UCS CR = Conditioned response o Response elicited by CS Learning occurs when a neutral stimulus is regularly paired with a UCS and the neutral stim. Becomes a CS, that elicits a CR similar to original response. Before Conditioning UCS (food) UCR (salivation) CS (bell) (orienting reflex) During conditioning (learning/acquisition) UCS (food) UCR (salivation) + CS (bell) After Conditioning CS (bell) CR (salivation) Conditioning of “A love song” UCS (Genevieve) UCR (feeling gaga) + CS (A love song) CR (feeling gaga) Conditioning of a phobia  Watson & Rayner (1920) & little Albert UCS (loud noise), UCR (fear) + CS (white rat), CR (fear)  Phobia: intense irrational fear that leads a person to avoid the feared object, activity, or situation (learned through conditioning) Unlearning Fear  Counterconditioning o Pairing a conditional stimulus with a stimulus that elicits an incompatible response o A child’s fear of rabbits was removed by pairing the stimulus which elicited fear with a stimulus that elicited happiness – milk and cookies. Learning in classical conditioning  Preparedness: species-specific predisposition to be conditioned in certain ways but not others o Phobias: snakes vs. cellphones o Predisposed to make taste-nausea and smell-nausea associations  To be most effective, the stimulus to be conditioned should just precede the unconditioned stimulus  We learn that the first event (stimulus) predicts the second Unlearning anxiety  Pairing what elicits anxiety with an incompatible Some principles of classical conditioning  Extinction: disappearance of CR when CS occurs repeatedly without the UCS  Reconditioning: relearning of CR after extinction; need fewer trials (pairing of UCS with CS) than before  Spontaneous recovery: sudden reappearance of CR after extinction  Stimulus generalization: a stim that is similar to a CS may produce a similar (usually weaker) response (eg. white rabbit for Albert)  Higher-order conditioning: a CS functions as if it were a UCS Operant conditioning  Thorndike (turn of 20 century) o Response instrumental in getting reward o Trial and error learning (puzzle box – cat has to figure out way out of box and to catch fish) o Law of effect: rewarded responses tend to be repeated  B.F. Skinner o Rat operates on environment to get a reward o Radical behaviourism – behaviour explained by looking outside the individual (determinism), not inside (removes inside thinking) o Behaviour becomes more or less likely depending on its consequences (good consequences = o Reinforcers – increase probability of behaviour  Positive reinforcement: something positive is presented (money for work)  Negative reinforcement: something negative is removed (fanning in
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