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Chapter 6

Textbook Chapter 6.docx

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Don Morgenson

Chapter 6: Learning Learning: refers to a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge that is due to experience. - can include: acquisition of skills, personal habits, personality traits, emotional responses, and personal preferences - most organisms are capable of learning, and much research that is done on animals can apply well to humans Conditioning: involves learning associations between events that occur in an organisms environment Phobias: are irrational fears of specific objects or situations - often the result of classical conditioning and are common - can be treated, or end on their own randomly 1) Classical Conditioning [Pavlovian] – “Reflexes” “A type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another response” History --- role of saliva in dogs  meat powder administered, noticed dogs salivating before meat powder was shown/given, “psychic reflexes” --- various stimuli stood out in the laboratory experiment, the sounds of the machines that gave the meat powder --- added a tone into the mix – right before the meat powder was given, there would be a tone (the neutral stimulus)  lead to salivating because it was paired with the stimulus of meat powder --- classical conditioning is evolutionary and contributes to reproductive fitness Terminology Unconditioned Association --- Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): is a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned (natural) response without previous conditioning. --- Unconditioned Response (UCR): is an unlearned reaction to a stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning. Conditioned Association --- Conditioned Stimulus (CS): is a previously netural stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response. --- Conditioned Response (CR): is a learned reaction to conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning. - unconditioned response and conditioned response often consist of the same behaviour (there can be subtle differences) - Elicited (drawn forth): classically conditioned responses that are characterized as reflexes because they are often unconscious or involuntary - Trial: consists of any presentation of a stimulus of pair of stimili - Classical conditioning often includes very basic and simple responses such as eyelid closure, knee jerks, fear responses, muscle flexing, but can shape emotional responses such as fear - *** BRIDGE EXAMPLE*** - Classical conditioning can be shed in a positive light as well, eg. hearing a particular song that makes you feel happy because of a specific activity you were engaged with when hearing it, can be used as a marketing tactic (eg. attractive celebrities, puppies, babies…) Physiological Responses --- immunosuppression study – decrease of antibodies chemically, and when put in same CONTEXT, the body will automatically decrease the immune system even without the presence of the chemicals --- allergic reactions and withdrawal symptoms can occur --- sexual arousal – a stimulus paired with the opportunity to copulate  sexual arousal when in the presence of just the conditioned stimulus (CS) Processes ---Acquisition: refers to the initial stage of learning something. - dependant on “stimulus contiguity” – must occur together, over time and space - contiguity  conditioning, because we are bombarded with many stimulus each day and we could essentially pair many of these things - evidence suggests that stimuli that is novel, unusual, ot intense have more potential to become a CS than more routine stimuli --- Extinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned tendency. - consistent presentation of the CS without the unconditioned stimulus can help it dissipate - strength of the conditioned bond when extinction begins can play a factor in how long it takes --- Spontaneous Recovery: is the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus. - rejuvenated response can be weaker - if the event was extinguished in a different environment than it was acquired, it can reappear when going back to that original environment [Renewal Effect] - extinction surpresses the event, it does not erase it --- Stimulus Generalization: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to a new stimuli that is similar to the original stimuli. - the more similar the new stimuli is to the CS, the greater the generalization --- Stimulus Discrimination: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus does not respond in the same way to a new stimuli that is similar to the original st
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