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Chapter 7

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 1000
Professor
Dr.Mike
Semester
Fall

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Psychology 1 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 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 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 CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: ASSOCIATING ONE STIMULIS WITH ANOTHER Classical conditioning—an 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 conditioningPavlovian 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 Psychology 2  Neutral stimulus—a stimulus that doesn’t evoke a certain response  Unconditioned stimulus—a stimulus that elicits a particular reflexive or innate response without prior learning  Unconditioned response—a response (usually reflexive or innate) that is elicited by a specific stimulus without prior learning  Learning trial—pairing of a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus  Conditioned stimulus—a neutral stimulus that comes to evoke a conditioned response after being paired with an unconditioned stimulus  Conditioned response—a 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 pairing—the CS appears first and is still present when the USC appears  Forward trace pairing—the CS appears and ends before the USC appears  Stimulus pairing—presenting the CS and UCS at the same time  Backward pairing—CS is presented after the UCS Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery:  Extinction—if the CS us presented repeatedly in the absence of the UCS, the CR weakens and eventually disappears  Extinction trial—each presentation of the CS without the UCS  Spontaneous recovery—the 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 generalization—stimuli similar to the initial CS elicit a CR  Discrimination—the ability to respond differentially to stimulus that signal particular consequences Higher-order conditioning—a neutral stimulus becomes a CS after being paired with an already established CS Acquiring and overcoming fear  Fear can be conditioned  Exposure therapy—basic goal is to expose the phobic patient to the feared stimulus without any UCS, allowing extinction to occur  Systematic desensitization—patient learns muscular relaxation techniques and then is gradually exposed to the fear-provoking stimulus  Flooding—immediately 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 therapy—attempts to condition aversion to a stimulus that triggers unwanted behaviour by pairing it with a noxious UCS Psychology 3  Advertisers pair things specifically in ad campaigns to put positive reactions to certain products OPERANT CONDITIONING: LEARNING THROUGH CONSEQUENCES Thorndike  Instrumental learning—with 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 effect—in 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 behaviour—an organisms operates on its environment in some way; it emits responses that produce certain consequences  Operant conditioning—a 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. Reinforcement—a response is strengthened by an outcome that follows it 2. Punishment—occurs 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 Psychology 4 Discriminate stimulus—a signal that a particular response will now produce certain consequences – set the occasion for operant responses Types of reinforcement 1. Positive—a response is strengthened by the subsequent presentation of a (positive) stimulus 2. Negative—a response is strengthened by the subsequent removal of a (noxious) stimulus Operant extinction—the weakening and eventual disappearance of a response because it is no longer reinforced Types of pu
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