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Psychology (3,263)
PSYC 2410 (149)
Dan Meegan (42)
Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Principles of Behaviour Notes

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2410
Dan Meegan

Chapter 7 Psychology NotesLearningAdaptation The Role of ExperienceADAPTING TO THE ENVIRONMENT From the moment were born we encounter changing environmentslearning makes it possible to adapt to itHow Do We Learn The Search for Mechanisms Behaviorists focused on how organisms learn examining how experience effects behaviour Assumed there are laws of learning that apply to virtually all organisms Behaviorists treated organisms as a blank tablet upon which experiences were inscribedexplained learning solely in terms of directly observable eventsWhy Do We Learn The Search for Functions Ethology focused on animal behaviour within the natural environment Ethologists view organism as anything but a blank tablet arguing that evolution caused every species to act a certain way biologically Focus on functions of behaviourAdaptive Significance How does behaviour influence an organisms chances for survival and reproduction in its natural environmentFixed action pattern An unlearned response automatically triggered by a particular stimulant Some fixed action patterns can be modified by experienceCrossroads of Learning Biology CognitionCulture Ethologybehaviorism can combined more recently Through personal adaptationspecies adaptation Personal adaptation occurs through the laws of learning that the behaviorists examined and it results from our interactions w immediate and past environments Eg when you drive your behaviour is influenced by environment traffic Environmental conditions faced by species shaped its biology Each species evolutionary history and ecological niche place constraints on learning that can occur Cognitive psychologists challenge the behaviorists assumption that learning doesnt involve mental processesHabituation is the decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus Simplest form of learning By learning not to respond to uneventful familiar stimuli organisms conserve energy and can attend to other stimuli that are importantCLASSICAL CONDITIONING ASSOCIATING ONE STIMULUS WITH ANOTHERClassical conditioning organism learns to associate 2 stimuli Eg songpleasant event such that 1 stimulant comes to produce a response that was originally only produced by the other stimulusPavlovs Pioneering Research Discovered classical or Pavlovian conditioning Classical conditioning alerts organisms to stimuli that signal the impending arrival of an important eventBasic PrinciplesAcquisition Refers to the period during which a response is being learned Unconditioned stimulus triggers conditioned response Classical conditioning strongest when there are repeated CSUCS pairings and the UCS is intenseExtinctionSpontaneous RecoveryExtinction If CS is presented repeatedly in the absence of UCS the CS weakens and eventually disappearsSpontaneous recovery the reappearance of a previously extinguished CR after a rest period and without new learning trialsGeneralizationDiscrimination As a CR is acquired the organism often responds to not only the original CS but also similar stimuliStimulus Generalization Stimulus similar to the initial CS elicits a CRDiscriminationorganisms must eb able to discriminate differences between stimuli
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