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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 summary

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 7 The Role of Experience Chapter 7: Learning and Adaptation: The Role of Experience - Through experience we learn to think, act, and feel in ways that contribute richly to our individual identity - Learning is a process by which experience produces a relatively enduring change in an organisms behaviour o Measured by actual changes in behaviour - Habituation and Sensitization o Change in behaviour that results from repeated exposure to a single stimulus - Classical Conditioning o When two stimuli becomes associated with each other - Operant Conditioning o Learn to associate responses with specific consequences - Observational Learning o Learn to watch others behave Adapting to the Environment - Learning is the process of personal adaptation to the ever-changing circumstances of our lives Habituation and Sensitization Habituation - Habituation is the decrease in strength of response to a repeated stimulus - Learning not to respond to uneventful familiar stimuli - Organisms conserve energy and attend to other more important stimuli - Sensory adaptation is the decreased sensory response to a continuously present stimuli Sensitization - Increase in strength of response to a repeated stimulus - Found across a wide range of species Classical Conditioning: Associating One Stimulus with Another - Organism learns to associate two stimuli o One stimulus comes to produce a response that was originally produced by the other one - Involves learning and associating between stimuli Basic Principles Acquisition - Period during which a response is being learned - Neutral Stimulus o In the beginning of the experiment the sound of the bell wont cause dogs to salivate because they wont what it signals 1 Chapter 7 The Role of Experience o As food is placed into dogs mouth every time bell rings the dog will associate the two together and start to salivate on command - Unconditioned Stimulus Food - Unconditioned Response Salivation - Eventually dog starts to salivate even if there is no food o Conditioned stimulus is tone and conditioned response is salivation - Presenting CS and UCS at the same time produces less rapid conditioning - UCS is more intense, sequence involves forward pairing (time between is CS and UCS is short) Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery - Has to be a way of eliminating CR when its no longer needed o But if continuously repeated without presences of UCS then CR disappears - Extinction is the presentation of CS without UCS - Occasional re-pairings of CS and UCS are needed to maintain CR - Spontaneous Recovery is defined as the reappearance of previously extinguished CR after a rest period Generalization and Discrimination - Once CR is acquired organism responds to original CS and stimuli similar to it - Stimulus generalization (stimulus similar to initial CS elicit CR) serves critical adaptive functions - Organisms have to be able to discriminate between differences of stimuli - Discrimination is when CR occurs to one stimulus but not to others High Order Conditioning - Neutral stimulus becomes CS after paired with an already established CS - High order CS produces weaker CR and extinguishes more rapidly than CR - Greatly expands the influence conditioned stimuli and affects what we value Applications of Classical Conditioning Acquiring and Overcoming Fear - Little Albert Experiment o Played in a room and was presented with a mouse, initially showed no fear but every time the mouse was shown to him after that a loud noise was made behind him o Associated mouse with fear of loud noise feared mice - Fears are conditioned o Humans/mammals become afraid of neutral stimuli when its paired with shock o Behavioural treatments partly based on classical conditioning principles are among most effective phobia psychotherapies - Phobias can be unlearned o Exposure therapy - Systematic desensitization is when patient learns relaxation techniques and is then gradually exposed to fear-provoking stimulus 2Chapter 7 The Role of Experience Conditioned Attraction and Aversion - Much of what attracts and pleasurably arouses us is influenced by classical conditioning - Classical conditioning can decrease our arousal and attraction to stimuli - Aversion therapy attempts to condition an aversion to a stimulus that triggers unwanted behaviour by pairing it with a noxious UCS - Plays a role in attitude formation o Neutral stimuli with no reaction acquires favourable/unfavourable meaning by being paired with other stimuli that have positive/negative attitudes - Allergic responses occur when immune system overreacts and releases to many antibodies o When neutral stimulus is paired with natural allergen it can become a CS that triggers an allergic reaction Operant Conditioning: Learning through Consequences Thorndikes Law of Effect - Animals dont attain automatic insight to a solution - Through trial and error they gradually eliminate responses that dont work until they figure out the solution - Law of Effect o
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