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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 textbook note

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Dan Dolderman
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 6 Learning and Reward - learning an enduring change in behaviour that results from experience - essence of learning is in understanding how events are related - these associations develop through a process known as conditioning, in which environmental stimuli and some sort of behavioural response become connected - classical conditioning when we learn that 2 types of events go together - operant conditioning learn that a behaviour leads to a particular outcome How did the behavioural study of learnith develop? - rise of learning theory in early 20 century was due in part to dissatisfaction among some psychologists with widespread use of verbal reports to assess mental states - Watson argued that Freudian theory was unscientific and ultimately meaningless - Overt behaviour was the only valid indicator of psychological activity - John Locke tabula rasa states that infants are born knowing nothing and that all knowledge is acquired through sensory experiences, behaviourism stated that environment and its associated effects on organisms were the sole determinants of learning Behavioural responses are conditioned - Pavlov was interested in salivary reflect, the automatic and unlearned response that occurs when stimulus of food is presented to hungry animals, including humans - Pavlovs experiments o Neutral stimulus unrelated to the salivary reflect, is presented together with a stimulus that reliably produces the reflex conditioning trail o Critical trials bell sound is presented alone and salivary reflex is measured classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning o Classical conditioning a type of learned response that occurs when a neutral object comes to elicit a reflexive response when it is associated with a stimulus that already produces that response o Unconditioned response (UR) a response that does not have to be learned, such as a reflex o Unconditioned stimulus (US) a stimulus that elicits a response, such as a reflex, without any prior learning o Conditioned stimulus (CS) a stimulus that elicits a response only after learning has taken place o Conditioned response (CR) a response that has been learned o Both the unconditioned and the conditioned response usually is less strong than the unconditioned response o Conditioned response usually is less strong than the unconditioned response - Acquisition, extinction, and spontaneous recovery o Believed that conditioning was the basis for how animals learn to adapt to their environments o acquisition the gradual formation of an association between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli o critical element in acquisition of a learned association is that the stimuli occur together in time, which is referred to as contiguity o subsequent research has shown that the strongest conditioning actually occurs when there is a very brief delay between the CS and the US o extinction a process in which the conditioned response is weakened when the conditioned stimulus is repeated without the unconditioned stimulus o spontaneous recovery a process in which a previously extinguished response reemerges following presentation of the conditioned stimulus o extinction inhibits but does not break the associative bond o it is a new form of learning that overwrites the previous association o what is learned is that the original association no longer holds true - generalization, discrimination, and second order conditioning o in any learning situation, hundreds of possible stimuli can be associated with the unconditioned stimulus to produce the conditioned response o stimulus generalization occurs when stimuli that are similar but not identical to conditioned stimulus produce the conditioned response o slight difference sin variables such as background noise lead to slightly different perceptions of the CS o sometimes it is important for animals to distinguish among similar stimuli o Stimulus discrimination a learned tendency to differentiate between 2 stimuli if one is consistently associate with the unconditioned stimulus and the other is not o Sometimes a conditioned stimulus does not become directly associated with an unconditioned stimulus, but rather with other stimuli that themselves are associated with the US, a phenomenon known as second order conditioning o Second order conditioning helps to account of the complexity of learned associations, especially among people Phobias and addictions have learned components - classical condition helps explain a number of behavioural phenomena, including phobias and addictions - phobias and their treatment o phobia an acquired fear that is out of proportion to the real threat of an object or a situation o develops through the generalization of a fear experience o fear conditioning classically conditioned to fear neutral objects o most important brain structure for fear conditioning is the amygdale o without an amygdale, there is no fear conditioning o techniques from classical conditioning have been valuable for developing behavioural therapies to treat phobias o counter conditioning exposing people to small doses of the feared stimulus while having them engage in a pleasurable task, can help people overcome their fears o Wolpe behavioural therapist formal treatment based on counter conditioning known as systematic desensitization o The CS CR (fear) connection can be broken by developing a new CS CR (relaxation) connection o Proven to be very effective - Drug addiction o Classical conditioning also plays an important role in drug addiction o Conditioned drug effects are common o Tolerance is a process by which addicts need more and more of a drug to experience the same effects o Tolerance effects are greatest when the drug is taken in the same location as previous drug use o Siegel if addicts take their usual large does in a novel setting they are more likely to overdose Classical conditioning involves more than contiguity - Pavlovs original explanation for classical conditioning was that any two events presented at the same time, in contiguity, would produce a learned association - Believed that strength of the association was determined by factors such as the intensity of the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli, with greater intensity associated with increased learning - Evolutionary significance o Any object or phenomenon could not be converted into a conditioned stimulus during conditioning trails o Equipotentiality idea that all stimuli are equally capable of producing conditioning o Not all stimuli are equally potent o Certain pairings of stimuli are more likely to become associated than others o Biological preparedness the idea that animals are biologically programmed to learn to fear specific objects o Helps to explain why animals tend to have phobias of things that have potential danger rather than objects that pose little threat o Adaptive value of a particular response varies according to the animals evolutionary history - The cognitive perspective o Prior to 70s, most animal learning theorist were concerned only with observable stimuli and responses o Classical conditioning is a means by which animals come to predict the occurrence of events o Rise in consideration of mental processes, such as prediction and expectancy, is referred to as the cognitive perspective on learning o For learning to take place, the conditioned stimulus needs to be an accurate predictor of the unconditioned stimulus o A stimulus that occurs before the US is more easily conditioned than one that comes after it o Some delay between the CS and the US is optimal for learning o Length of delay varies depending on nature of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli o Rescorla-Wegner model a cognitive model of classical conditioning that states that the strength of the CS- US association is determined by the extent to which the unconditioned stimulus is unexpected o The greater the surprise of the US, the more effort an organism puts into trying to understand its occurrence so that it can predict it more accurately in the future o End result is greater classical conditioning of the surprising event (CS) that predicted the USo conditioning is a process by which organisms learn to expect the unconditioned stimulus based on the conditioned stimulus o Novel stimuli are more easily associated with the unconditioned stimulus that are familiar stimuli o Once learned, a conditioned stimulus can prevent the acquisition of a new conditioned stimulus, a phenomenon known as the blocking effect How is operant conditioning different from classical conditioning? - classical conditioning is a relatively passive process sin
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