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Notes from text for test 2

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Psych Notes for Test 2: Chapter 6 Learning -phobias are irrational fears of specific objects or situations and are often a result from another learning process called classical conditioning -learning refers to a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge that is due to experience -one of the most fundamental concepts in psych -learning includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills but also shapes personal habits, personality traits, and personal preferences -conditioning involves learning associations between events that occur in an organisms environment -classical conditioning is a type of learning in which stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus -also called Pavlovian conditioning -conditioning comes from Pavlovs determination to discover the conditions that produce this kind of learning -Pavlovs Demonstration: Psychic Reflexes: -Pavlov was a Russian physiologist -he was studying the role of saliva in the digestive process of dogs when he stumbled onto the psychic reflexes -he would present meat powder and collect the resulting saliva -he noticed that dogs accustomed to the procedure would start salivating before the meat was presented; for example when they heard the clicking sound of the machine that was used to present the meat -he then used a bell noise with the meat and after some time the sound alone would cause the dogs to salivate -the tone started out as a neutral stimulus but managed to change by pairing it with the stimulus (meat) that did produce salivation 1 -he demonstrated how learned associations were formed -unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning -unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an unconditional stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning -example: bond between meat and salivation -conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response -conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning -example: link between the tone and salivation -the conditional and unconditional response often consist of the same behaviour -Pavlovs psychic reflexes came to be called conditional reflexes -classically conditioned responses have been characterized as reflexes and are said to be elicited (drawn forth) because most of them are involuntary -a trial in classical conditioning consists of any presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli -psychologists are interested in how many trials are required to establish a particular conditioned bond -classical conditioning affects not only overt behaviours but physiological processes as well (immune system) -classical conditioning can lead to immunesuppression a decrease in the production of antibodies -studies suggest that classically conditioning can also elicit allergic reactions and to the growth of drug tolerance 2 -it can also influence sexual arousal (example: quails have had a sexual arousal from a neutral stimulus such as red light, when paired with opportunities to mate) -drug tolerance involves a gradual decline in responsiveness to a drug with repeated use, so larger doses are required to get the effect -Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning: -acquisition refers to the initial stage of learning something -Pavlov theorized that acquisition of a conditioned response depends on a stimulus contiguity stimuli are contiguous if they occur together in time and space -stimulus contiguity is important but we now know that contiguity alone doesnt automatically produce conditioning -extinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditional response -the consistent presentation of the conditioned stimulus alone, without the unconditioned stimulus, leads to extinction -example: Pavlov consistently presented the tone with no food and eventually it stopped making them salivate -spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus -renewal effect: suggests that extinction somehow suppresses a conditioned response rather than erasing a learned association; in other words, extinction does not appear to lead to unlearning -stimulus generalization occur when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus -example: woman scared of specific bridge from childhood now has a phobia of all bridges -basic law: the more similar the new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the generalization 3 -stimulus discrimination occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus does not respond in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus (opposite of generalization) -example: your dog gets excited when he hears your call pull into the driveway, that may make him excited for all cars; later he learns the specific noise of your car and only responds to that -development of stimulus discrimination usually requires the original CS (your car) continues to be paired with the UCS (your arrival) while similar stimuli (other cars) not be paired with the UCS -basic law: the less similar new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the likelihood of discrimination -higher order conditioning is when a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned stimulus -higher order conditioning shows that classic conditioning does not depend on the presence of a genuine, natural UCS -example: condition a dog to salivate to a tone by pairing it with food, then you pair the tone with a red light for 15 trials; the light alone will make the dog salivate -classic conditioning best explains reflexive responding that is largely controlled by stimuli that precede the response -operant conditioning: a form of learning in which voluntary responses come to be controlled by their consequences; by Skinner -Thorndike introduced the term instrumental learning which was the same thing as operant conditioning -he wanted to know if animals could think so he performed an experiment by putting a cat in a cage and the food outside, the cat had to either press a lever or pull a string to get out to the food -he saw that there was a gradual decrease in time over trials; this showed that the cats were learning but suggested that the learning did not depend on thinking and understanding 4
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