Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Ethology, Cognitive Map, Scientific Method

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
Western University
Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Psychology 1
Chapter 7: Learning and Adaptation: The Role of Experience
Learninga process by which experience produces a relatively enduring
change in an organism’s behaviour or capabilities
Capabilities—“knowing how” or learning, versus “doing” or performance
ADAPTING TO THE ENVIRONMENT
Learning involves adapting to the environment
Historically, behaviorists focused on the processes by which organisms
learn, and ethologists focused on the adaptive significance of learning.
Today, these 2 perspectives have crossed paths, and more attention is
paid also to how mental processes and cultural environments influence
learning
Habituationa decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus.
May be the simplest form of learning and serves a key adaptive function.
Occurs within the central nervous systemyou learn to get used to things
Sensitizationan increase in he strength of response to a repeated stimulus.
Tends to occur to strong or noxious stimuli and its purpose is to increase
responses to a potentially dangerous stimulusyou learn to fear things
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: ASSOCIATING ONE STIMULIS WITH ANOTHER
Classical conditioningan organism learns to associate 2 stimuli, such that one
stimulus comes to produce a response that originally was produced only by the
other stimulus. A basic form of learning that involves learning an associating
between stimuli
Pavlov and classical conditioning
Was studying digestion in dogs when he noticed they would salivate
before food was presented, simply by the footsteps of the feeder
When pairing a tone with food, the dog would learn to salivate to the
sound of the tone in anticipation
Classical conditioningPavlovian conditioning
Classical conditioning alerts organisms to stimuli that signal the impending
arrival of an important event
Basic principles of classical conditioning
Acquisition:
The period during which a response is being learned
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Psychology 2
Neutral stimulus—a stimulus that doesn’t evoke a certain response
Unconditioned stimulusa stimulus that elicits a particular reflexive or innate
response without prior learning
Unconditioned responsea response (usually reflexive or innate) that is elicited
by a specific stimulus without prior learning
Learning trialpairing of a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned stimulusa neutral stimulus that comes to evoke a conditioned
response after being paired with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned responsea response to a conditioned stimulus; the CR is
established by pairing a conditioned stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus
that evokes a similar response
A CS typically must be paired multiple times with a UCS to establish a strong CR
Forward short-delay pairingthe CS appears first and is still present when the
USC appears
Forward trace pairingthe CS appears and ends before the USC appears
Stimulus pairingpresenting the CS and UCS at the same time
Backward pairingCS is presented after the UCS
Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery:
Extinctionif the CS us presented repeatedly in the absence of the UCS, the CR
weakens and eventually disappears
Extinction trialeach presentation of the CS without the UCS
Spontaneous recoverythe reappearance of a previously extinguished CR after a
rest period and without new learning trials. Usually weaker than the initial CR
and extinguishes more rapidly in the absence of the UCS
Generalization and Discrimination:
Stimulus generalizationstimuli similar to the initial CS elicit a CR
Discriminationthe ability to respond differentially to stimulus that signal
particular consequences
Higher-order conditioninga neutral stimulus becomes a CS after being paired with an
already established CS
Acquiring and overcoming fear
Fear can be conditioned
Exposure therapybasic goal is to expose the phobic patient to the feared
stimulus without any UCS, allowing extinction to occur
Systematic desensitizationpatient learns muscular relaxation techniques and
then is gradually exposed to the fear-provoking stimulus
Floodingimmediately exposed the person to the phobic stimulus
Conditioned attraction and aversion
Sexual arousal to a scent or object can be conditioned by pairing it with an
arousing stimulus
Aversion therapyattempts to condition aversion to a stimulus that triggers
unwanted behaviour by pairing it with a noxious UCS
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Psychology 3
Advertisers pair things specifically in ad campaigns to put positive reactions to
certain products
OPERANT CONDITIONING: LEARNING THROUGH CONSEQUENCES
Thorndike
Instrumental learningwith trial and error, subjects gradually eliminate
responses that fail to work and become more likely to perform actions that work.
An organism’s behaviour is instrumental in bringing about certain outcomes
Law of effectin a given situation, a response followed by a satisfying
consequence will become more likely to occur, and a response followed by an
unsatisfying outcome will become less likely to occur
Skinner
Operant behaviouran organisms operates on its environment in some way; it
emits responses that produce certain consequences
Operant conditioninga type of learning in which behaviour is influenced by its
consequences. Responses that produce favorable consequences tend to be
repeated, whereas responses that produce unfavorable consequences become
less likely to occur
View operant conditioning as a form of natural selection
Viewed 2 types of consequences
1. Reinforcementa response is strengthened by an outcome that follows it
2. Punishmentoccurs when a response is weakened by outcomes that follow it
ABC’s of operant conditioning:
o A- antecedents: stimuli that are present before a behaviour occurs
o B- behaviours: that the organism emits
o C- consequences: that follow behaviours
o IF antecedent stimuli (A) are present AND behaviour (B) is emitted, THEN
consequence (C) will occur
Differences between classical and operant conditioning:
In classical conditioning, the organism learns an association between 2 stimuli
that occurs before the behaviour. In operant conditioning, the organism learns an
association between behaviour and its consequences. Behaviour changes
because of events that occur after it
Classical conditioning focuses on elicited behaviours. The conditioned response
is triggered involuntarily, almost like a reflex, by a stimulus that precedes it.
Operant conditioning focuses on emitted behaviours: in a given situation, the
organism generates responses that are under its physical control
One stimulus can have classical as well as operant functions, which appear to be
processed through different neural pathways in the brain
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Document Summary

Chapter 7: learning and adaptation: the role of experience. Learning a process by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in an organism"s behaviour or capabilities. Capabilities knowing how or learning, versus doing or performance. Historically, behaviorists focused on the processes by which organisms learn, and ethologists focused on the adaptive significance of learning. Today, these 2 perspectives have crossed paths, and more attention is paid also to how mental processes and cultural environments influence learning. Habituation a decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus. May be the simplest form of learning and serves a key adaptive function. Occurs within the central nervous system you learn to get used to things. Sensitization an increase in he strength of response to a repeated stimulus. Tends to occur to strong or noxious stimuli and its purpose is to increase responses to a potentially dangerous stimulus you learn to fear things.

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