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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Learning and Adaptation Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Terry Biggs
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter 7Learning and AdaptationLearningProcess by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in an organisms behaviour or capabilitiesAdapting to the Environment Behaviorists focus on how organisms learn examining the processes by which the experience influences behaviourEthology focuses on the functions of behaviour o Adaptive significancehow behaviour influences an organisms chances for survival o Fixed action patternunlearned response automatically triggered by a particular stimulusEnvironment shapes behaviour in two fundamental ways o Personal adaptation behavioristsbehaviour is influenced by immediate environment and by capabilities that have been acquired through experience o Species adaptation ethologygenetically based features that enhance a species ability to adapt to the environment are more likely to be passed on to future generationsHabituationdecrease in strength of response to repeated stimulus o For example learning to less recognize your clotheso Occurs across nearly all specieso Allows organisms to conserve energy by not responding to every stimulus in environmento Occurs within central nervous system not within sensory neurons like sensory adaptationSensitizationis an increase in the strength of response to a repeated stimuluso For example each shock you get from a door indicates a stronger responseo Occurs across nearly all specieso Purpose is to increase responses to a potentially dangerous stimulusClassical ConditioningIn which an organism learns to associate two stimuli For example a song and a pleasant eventOccurs in all species basic form of learning Pavlovs Pioneering Research o Presented various types of food to dogs and measured their natural salivary response o Noticed that dogs began to salivate before the food was presented when they could hear footsteps o Known as Pavlovian Conditioning Basic PrinciplesAcquisition Table on page 240 helpso Refers to the period during which a response is being learned o Considering the Pavlovian conditioning the food represents the unconditioned stimulus UCS and the salivation is an unconditional response UCR During the learning trial the response to food that has not appeared is the conditioned stimulus CS and the salivation has become a conditioned response CRo In sum the UCR is a natural unlearned reflex while then the dog salivates to a signal this CR represents a learned response
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