PSYCH 110 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Autonomic Nervous System, Marian Breland Bailey, George Sperling

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Chapter 6: Learning
Learning: any relatively permanent change in behavior or thought that results from experience
A. occurs when an animal benefits from experience so that its behavior is better adapted to
the environment
II. Behaviorist perspective (behaviorism= theory that all human behavior can be explains via
conditioning)
A. psychological theory:
1. Watson introduce behaviorism and skinner made it into a science
2. Watson’s principles of behaviorism
a) he rejected studying anything that couldn't be directly observed
b) founded behaviorism based on the belief that humans and animals are born with
the potential to learn anything (influenced by Locke’s black slate idea)
c) believed that the environment and its association effects on animals determined
learnings
B. historical:
1. a shift towards focusing on the environment again
2. at the time eugenics were becoming more popular in which people thought they were
a product of their genes
C. practical—cognitive behavioral therapy
III. Types of learning
A. Nonassociative learning
1. change in response to environment based on time and experience there
2. Habituation: decrease in behavioral response after repeated exposure to a stimulus
a) can be under voluntary control- paying attention to certain things
b) NOT a sensory adaptation because you cannot control/override it and stimulus is
still perceived but no response is elicited
c) reduction of neurotransmitter release leaders to habituation
d) dishabituation: increase in response because something familiar changed
(1) ex/ birds not chirping alerts other animals about danger
3. Sensitization: increased in responsively/increase awareness of stimuli because you
learned something (increase in behavioral response after exposure to a stimulus
a) happens most frequently with stimuli that are threatening
b) leads to heightened responsiveness to other stimuli
c) increase in neurotransmitters release leads to sensitization
d) ex/ being warned there are ticks somewhere and feeling like you have ticks or
being overly sensitive to things touching your legs
B. Associative Learning: linking 2 stimuli/events together
a) Classical conditioning: associative learning in which a neutral stimulus
comes to elicit a response when its associated with a stimulus that already
naturally elicits a response
b) Components of classical conditioning
(1) Unconditioned stimulus
(2) Unconditioned response
(3) conditioned stimulus
(4) conditioned response
c) Acquisition: gradual formation of an association between conditioned and
unconditioned stimulus
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(1) strongest conditioning occurs with brief delay between conditioned stimulus
and response
d) Discover by Ivan Pavlov
(1) did an experiment with dogs that involved the dogs naturally salivary reflect to
meat
(a) unconditioned stimulus= meat
(b) unconditioned response=salivation
(2) used a bell as a neutral stimulus and rung it before meat was presented.
Overtime the dogs associated the ringing of the bell with food
(a) conditioned stimulus=bell ringing
(b) conditioned response=salivation ONLY WHEN MEAT IS NOT
PRESENTED
e) John Watson’s experiments in classical conditioning
(1) conditioned a small boy named albert to fear furry animals
(a) unconditioned stimulus= loud noise
(b) unconditioned response=fear
(2) Watson showed Albert a white rate then immediately played a loud noise
(a) conditioned stimulus=rat
(b) conditioned response=fear of RAT
(3) he then began to fear all furry animals—> stimulus generalization
f) stimulus discrimination: animals differentiate between similar stimuli if one is
consistently associated with unconditioned stimulus and the other is not
(1) refining stimulus based on experience
g) conditioned emotional response
(1) avoidance learning: situations or stimulus associated with negative emotional
reactions
(2) conditioned phobias: acquired gear that is out of proportion to the real threat
of an object
(a) developed through generalization of fear experienced
(b) ex/ Little Albert
i) was classically conditioned to fear furry animals
(3) biological preparedness: easier to develop phobias of things like snakes
rather than pizza
(4) contrapreparedness: hard to develop phobias of car doors, hard to associate
two things together
(5) extinction: when an animal stops showing conditioned responses to a stimuli
(a) conditioned response is weaker when the conditioned stimulus is
repeated without the unconditioned stimulus
(b) classical associations aren't permanent
(6) spontaneous recovery: previously extinguished conditioned response
emerges with the presentation of conditioned stimulus
(a) after extinction, the conditioned response can still happen
(7) second-order conditioning: form of learning in which stimulus is first made
meaningful for an organism through an initial step of learning and then that
stimulus is used as a basis for learning about new stimuli
(8) higher order conditioning: chains of association that provide a weaker
conditioned response
h) CONTRARY to Pavlov, associations can be made even when they aren't related
and some associations are easier to make then others
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(1) it is easy to develop taste aversions because evolutionarily this makes sense
because taste/smell guide animals eating behaviors
(a) differences in learned adaptive responses may reflect the survival value
of different auditory/ visual cues
i) Rescorla-Wagner Model
(1) Robert Rescorla— highlighted the role of prediction in learning
(2) the strength of conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus association
is determined by the extent with which the unconditioned stimulus is expected
(3) prediction value:
(a) positive—strengthens association because something better than
expected
i) when there is a stronger association between the conditioned stimulus
and unconditioned stimulus
(b) negative—absence of expected good event
i) weaker association between controlled stimulus and uncontrolled
stimulus
(c) ex/ dog is conditioned that bell means food. If dog is given food without
bell- positive prediction error and the dog searches
(4) novel stimuli are more effective as conditioned stimuli than familiar stimuli
(5) blocking effect: a previously conditioned stimulus is presented at the same
time as a new stimulus and both are followed by the inunconditioned stimulus
(a) once a conditioned stimulus is learned, it can prevent the acquisition of a
new conditioned stimulus
(b) hard to associate something that is previously established
j) Classical conditioning applied
(1) the smell of coffee can become a conditioned stimulus that makes someone
feel energetic
(2) Seeing and inserting heroin can be a conditioned stimulus—CR is a feeling of
euphoria
(3) smoking—conditioned environmental stimuli that provoke a nicotine craving
(4) systematic desensitization—
(5) aversion learning—
(6) advertising—
k) drug addiction and classical conditioning
(1) tolerance is greatest when the drug is taken in the same physical location as
previous use because the body has learned to expect the drug and
compensate by altering physiology to metabolize it
(2) More likely to overdose in novel setting because body will not respond
sufficiently
operant conditioning: learning where consequences of an action determine the likelihood
that the event will happen in the future
Organisms learns to do an action NOT A PASSIVE ASSOCIATION
reinforcement: anything that INCREASES the probability of repeating a behavior
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