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PSY260H1 Learning Notes

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Jan Paulsson

Learning Learning (conditioning) - is a relatively permanent change in behavior or knowledge that comes from experience or training. Learning Theories Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Social Learning Theory Behaviorist Approach Our personality is the product of our conduct. ~Aristotle Classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov – Russian Physiologist Classical Conditioning Learning to transfer a natural response from one stimulus to another previously neural stimulus. Basic Elements of Classical Conditioning Unconditioned Stimulus (US): A stimulus that will provoke a response without training e.g. food Unconditioned Response (UR): The response to an unconditioned stimulus e.g. salivation Conditioned Stimulus (CS): A stimulus that is paired with a US, and comes to provoke the same response as the US (in the absence of the US) e.g. bell Conditioned Response (CR): The same response as the UR, but now to a CS, rather than to a US e.g. salivation Extinction What would happen if Pavlov kept ringing the bell but didn’t give the dogs any more food? The conditioned response (CR) would eventually disappear or be extinguished. Extinction takes place, when you repeatedly present the conditioned stimulus (CS) without the (US). Spontaneous Recovery The tendency for an extinguished conditioned response to recur after a rest period. Stimulus Generalization The tendency for the conditioned response to occur in response to stimuli similar to the original conditioned stimulus. Stimulus Discrimination The opposite of generalization The learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and other similar stimuli. Interstimulus Interval The timing of the presentation of the CS and US. The interstimulus interval is best when the CS is presented just before the US. The bell is rung, and then a few moments later the food is presented. Conditioned Food Aversion We naturally avoid foods which have made us sick in the past. This especially occurs with “Novel” foods that we have little prior experience with. Aversion Therapy for Drinking Conditioned Fear John Watson “Little Albert” Conditioned Fear Later, Little Albert’s fear generalized. He was afraid of not only white rats, but also white bunnies and the white fur collar on his mother’s coat. Thorndike’s Law of Effect – Responses which are accompanied or closely followed by satisfaction to the animal, w
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