Chapter 5

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Ed Psych & Couns (Psychology)
EDPE 300
Camelia Birlean

5: LEARNING AND BEHAVIOUR PROCESSES Basic Assumptions of Behaviourism  behaviourism: a theoretical perspective in which learning & behaviour are described & explained in terms of stimulus response relationships; adherents to this perspective = behaviourists  students’ behaviours are largely the result of their experiences with environmental stimuli o conditioning: another word for learning o by changing environmental events, may be able to change behaviour  learning can be described in terms of relationships among observable events o behaviourists  thoughts/beliefs/feelings, etc. occur inside person & can’t be observed o instead, they focus on observable stimuli (specific object or event that influences an individual’s learning or behaviour) & responses (specific behaviour an individual exhibits)  learning involves a behaviour change o learning can be observed & documented o should be defined as a change in behaviour (test scores, etc.)  learning is most likely to take place when stimuli and responses occur close together in time o stimulus response relationships must occur at same time for contiguity (occurrence of 2+ events at same time) o ie/ teacher scowls at you as they hand back your exam with a grade of D  you will change your behaviour due to this  many species of animals learn in similar ways Classical Conditioning  classical conditioning: a form of learning whereby a new, involuntary response is acquired as a result of two stimuli being present at the same time o begins with unconditioned stimulus (stimulus that without prior learning elicits particular response) elicits an unconditional response (response that without prior learning is elicited by a particular stimulus) o conditioning begins with neutral stimulus (stimulus that doesn’t elicit any particular response) presented immediately before unconditioned stimulus o conditioning more likely to occur when both stimuli presented together on several occasions & when neutral stimulus occurs only when unconditional stimulus is about to follow o new & previously neutral stimulus elicits response; neutral stimulus has become a conditioned stimulus (stimulus that through classical conditioning begins to elicit a particular response) & response to it a conditioned response (response that through classical conditioning begins to be elicited by a particular stimulus)  first described by Ivan Pavlov  salivation of dogs experiment Classical Conditioning of Emotional Responses  used to explain emotional responses to neutral stimuli  positive stimuli = school is a good place to be vs. negative stimuli = school is not a good place to be  negative feedback = behaviour problems, underachievement, drop out Generalization  generalization: phenomenon whereby individual learns a response to a particular stimulus and then makes the same response in the presence of similar stimuli  primary means of how learners transfer what they have learned to new situations Extinction  some conditioned responses don’t last forever, some do  extinction: eventual disappearance of a conditioned response as a result of the conditioned stimulus being repeatedly presented alone  psychologists say to extinguish negative emotional reaction  introduce stimulus slowly & gradually while student happy/relaxed Operant Conditioning  operant conditioning: a form of learning whereby a response increases in frequency as a result of it being followed by reinforcement  when behaviours followed by desirable consequences, tend to increase in frequency  when behaviours don’t produce results, tend to decrease/disappear  only occurs under 2 conditions o learner must make a response/do something o reinforce should be contingent (situation in which one event happens only after another event has already occurred) on learners response; should occur only when desired response occurs Contrasting Classical and Operant Conditioning  operant conditioning different from classical conditioning: o way in which conditioning comes about  classical: pairing of 2 stimuli  operant: when response followed by reinforcer o nature of the response  classical: response involuntary  operant: response voluntary Reinforcement in the Classroom  reinforcer: a consequence (stimulus) of a response that leads to an increased frequency of that response; only a reinforcer if increases target behaviour  reinforcement: act of following a particular response with a reinforcer & thereby increasing the frequency of that response  primary vs. secondary reinforcers o primary reinforcer: stimulus that satisfies a basic physiological need o secondary reinforcer: stimulus that becomes reinforcing over time through its association with another reinforcer; sometimes called a conditioned reinforcer  positive vs. negative reinforcement o can also reinforce behaviour through removal of stimulus o positive reinforcement: consequence that brings about increase of a behaviour through presentation of a stimulus  concrete reinforcer: reinforcer that can be touched (object)  social reinforcer: gesture or sign that one person gives another to communicate positive regard  activity reinforcer: opportunity to engage in a favourite activity  Premack principle: phenomenon whereby individuals do less-preferred activities in order to engage in more-preferred activities  positive feedback: message that an answer is correct or a task has been well done  extrinsic reinforcer: reinforcer that comes from the outside environment  intrinsic reinforcer: reinforcer provided by oneself or inherent in the task being performed o negative reinforcement: consequence that brings about the increase of a behaviour through the removal of a stimulus  sometimes promotes desirable behaviours & at other times promotes undesirable behaviours  importance of timing o BF Skinner  reinforcement likely to be effective only if it occurs immediately after desired response o delay gratification: ability to forego small, immediate reinforcers in order to obtain larger ones later  role of motivation o students more likely to misbehave if they have very little social contact with others unless they misbehave o different stimuli reinforce for different individuals Using Reinforcement Effectively  specify the desired behaviour at the beginning o terminal behaviour: the form & frequency of a desired response that a teacher or other practitioner is shaping through operant conditioning  identify consequences that are truly reinforcing for each student o more effective if reinforcement tailored to specific student o students may choose own reinforcers o token economy: technique
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