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Chp. 7 textbook notes

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Steve Joordens

PSY – Chap 7 Notes: Learning and Behaviour Habituation/Classical Conditoning • Learning: the adaptive process in which the tendency to perform a particular behaviour is changed by experience. • Performance: behavioural changes that are evidence learning has occurred. • Orienting response: any response that directs the organism’s appropriate sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose) toward the source of the stimulus • Habituation: learning not to respond to an unimportant reoccurring event. • Short-term habituation: simplest form of habituation, temporary. And the reaction to the stimulus will be evident the next day • Long-term habituation: carries from day to day and even year to year st • Sudden sights and sounds that appear for the 1 time cause an automatic Unlearned Reaction • Once this reaction has been experience a few times, it becomes Classically Conditioned. Like becoming frightened when scary music comes on in a horror flick • Unlike habituation, Classical conditioning involves learning about the conditions that predict that a significant event will occur. Said differently, it is the normal response elicited by the unconditional stimulus (dog food) comes to be controlled by the conditional stimulus (ringing bell) as well. • Prior to conditioning, the UCS elicits an UCR. During conditioning, the CS is presented along with the UCS. After conditioning, the CS alone elicits the CR. • Classical conditioning accomplishes 2 functions: o The ability to recognize the CS allows a faster and more efficient response o Stimuli that were previously unimportant acquire characteristics of the important stimuli and become able to modify behaviour. • Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning: o Acquisition: the time during which a CR first appears and increases in frequency. o Extinction: the elimination of the CR. Must still display the CS, but without the UCS being followed o Spontaneous Recovery: after a “time out” period without any experimentation, there is a reappearance of the CR that had been extinguished. o Stimulus Generalization: a response produced by a particular CS will also occur when a similar CS is presented. (similar CS would be a bell and a buzzer) o Discrimination: learning the difference between 2 or more stimuli: CS+ and CS-. The subject learns when to respond to one stimulus (CS+) and when not to respond to another stimulus (CS-) • Phobia: learned thru classical conditioning. An imaginary episode (UCS) can provide imaginary stimuli (CS) that lead to real conditional emotional responses (CR) • A stimulus becomes a CS only when: o The CS regularly occurs prior to the presentation of the UCS o The CS does not regularly occur when the UCS is absent • Blocking: a previously conditioned CS can satisfy the conditioning of a neutral CS if they are presented together. • Inhibitory conditional response: a response tendency that predicts the absence of the UCS • Excitatory conditional response: a response tendency that signals that the UCS is about to occur. Also known as the CR Operant Conditioning • Operant conditioning: form of learning where behaviour is affected by its consequences: good consequences strengthen behaviour, bad consequences weaken behaviour • Law of Effect: Thorndike’s idea. The consequences of a behaviour determine whether it will be repeated or not o The law of effect is similar to Natural Selection. Natural selection determines which members of a species will survive and reproduce, Law of Effect determines which responses will survive and become part of the regular behaviour • Cumulative Recorder: mechanical device connected to an operant chamber to record the operant responses as they occur in time. • Three-term contingency: the relationship among the preceding event, the response, and the following event o The discriminative stimulus: sets the occasion for responding because- in the past- a behaviour produced certain consequences in the presence of this stimulus. Ex. the word “speak” makes a dog bark because when you were training him you gave him a treat. o The response: the dog barking o The following event: the treat given the dog, or the owners happiness • Positive reinforcement: an increase in the frequency of a response followed by an appetitive stimulus. o An appetitive stimulus is any stimulus that an organism seeks out. If an appetitive stimulus follows a response and increases the freq
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