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  1. Myers’ PSYCHOLOGY (5th Ed) Chapter 8 Learning James A. McCubbin, PhD Clemson University Worth Publishers

  2. Learning • Learning • relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience • experience (nurture) is the key to learning

  3. Association • We learn by association • Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence • Aristotle 2000 years ago • John Locke and David Hume 200 yrs ago • Associative Learning • learning that two events occur together • two stimuli • a response and its consequences

  4. Two related events: Stimulus 1 Lightning Stimulus 2 Thunder Result after repetition Stimulus We see lightning Response We wince anticipating thunder Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • We learn to associate two stimuli

  5. Operant Conditioning • We learn to associate a response and its consequence

  6. Behaviorism • John B. Watson • viewed psychology as objective science • generally agreed-upon consensus today • recommended study of behavior without reference to unobservable mental processes • not universally accepted by all schools of thought today

  7. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Ivan Pavlov • 1849-1936 • Russian physician/ neurophysiologist • Nobel Prize in 1904 • studied digestive secretions

  8. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Pavlov’s device for recording salivation

  9. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Classical Conditioning • organism comes to associate two stimuli • lightning and thunder • tone and food • begins with a reflex • a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that evokes the reflex • neutral stimulus eventually comes to evoke the reflex

  10. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) • effective stimulus that unconditionally-automatically and naturally- triggers a response • Unconditioned Response(UCR) • unlearned, naturally occurring automatic response to the unconditioned stimulus • salivation when food is in the mouth

  11. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Conditioned Stimulus (CS) • previously neutral stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response • Conditioned Response (CR) • learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus

  12. Conditioning • Acquisition • the initial stage of learning, during which a response is established and gradually strengthened • in classical conditioning, the phase in which a stimulus comes to evoke a conditioned response • in operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response

  13. Conditioning • Extinction • diminishing of a CR • in classical conditioning, when a UCS does not follow a CS • in operant conditioning, when a response is no longer reinforced

  14. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning Acquisition (CS+UCS) Strength of CR Spontaneous recovery of CR Extinction (CS alone) Extinction (CS alone) Pause

  15. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Spontaneous recovery • reappearance, after a rest period, of an extinguished CR • Generalization • tendency for a stimuli similar to CS to evoke similar responses

  16. Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning • Discrimination • in classical conditioning, the ability to distinguish between a CS and other stimuli that do not signal and UCS • in operant conditioning, responding differently to stimuli that signal a behavior will be reinforced or will not be reinforced

  17. 60 Drops of saliva in 30 seconds 50 40 30 20 10 Hind paw Pelvis Shoulder Front paw 0 Thigh Trunk Foreleg Part of body stimulated Generalization

  18. UCS (passionate kiss) UCR (sexual arousal) CS (onion breath) UCS (passionate Kiss) UCR (sexual arousal) CS (onion breath) CR (sexual arousal) Classical or Pavlovian Conditioning

  19. UCS (drug) UCR (nausea) CS (waiting room) UCS (drug) UCR (nausea) CS (waiting room) CR (nausea) Nausea Conditioning in Cancer Patients

  20. Operant Conditioning • Operant Conditioning • type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement or diminished if followed by punishment • Law of Effect • Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely and behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely

  21. Operant Conditioning • Operant Behavior • complex or voluntary behaviors • push button, perform complex task • operates (acts) on environment • produces consequences • Respondent Behavior • occurs as an automatic response to stimulus • behavior learned through classical conditioning

  22. Operant Conditioning • B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) • elaborated Thorndike’s Law of Effect • developed behavioral technology

  23. Operant Conditioning • Skinner Box • soundproof chamber with a bar or key that an animal presses or pecks to release a food or water reward • contains a device to record responses

  24. Operant Conditioning • Reinforcer • any event that strengthens the behavior it follows • Shaping • conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer approximations of a desired goal • Successive Approximations • reward behaviors that increasingly resemble desired behavior

  25. Principles of Reinforcement • Primary Reinforcer • innately reinforcing stimulus • satisfies a biological need • Secondary Reinforcer • conditioned reinforcer • learned through association with primary reinforcer

  26. Schedules of Reinforcement • Continuous Reinforcement • reinforcing the desired response each time it occurs • learning occurs rapidly • extinction occurs rapidly • Partial Reinforcement • reinforcing a response only part of the time • results in slower acquisition • greater resistance to extinction

  27. Schedules of Reinforcement • Fixed Ratio (FR) • reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses • faster you respond the more rewards you get • different ratios • very high rate of responding • like piecework pay

  28. Schedules of Reinforcement • Variable Ratio (VR) • reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses • average ratios • like gambling, fishing • very hard to extinguish because of unpredictability

  29. Schedules of Reinforcement • Fixed Interval (FI) • reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed • response occurs more frequently as the anticipated time for reward draws near

  30. Schedules of Reinforcement • Variable Interval (VI) • reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals • produces slow steady responding • like pop quiz

  31. Punishment • Punishment • aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows • powerful controller of unwanted behavior

  32. Problems with Punishment • Punished behavior is not forgotten, it's suppressed- behavior returns when punishment is no longer eminent • Causes increased aggression- shows that aggression is a way to cope with problems- Explains why aggressive delinquents and abusive parents come from abusive homes

  33. Problems with Punishment • Creates fear that can generalize to desirable behaviors, e.g. fear of school, learned helplessness, depression • Does not necessarily guide toward desired behavior- reinforcement tells you what to do--punishment tells you what not to do- Combination of punishment and reward can be more effective than punishment alone • Punishment teaches how to avoid it

  34. Cognition and Operant Conditioning • Cognitive Map • mental representation of the layout of one’s environment • example- after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it • Latent Learning • learning that occurs, but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it

  35. Latent Learning Average errors 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Days

  36. Observational Learning • Observational Learning • learning by observing and imitating others • Modeling • process of observing and imitating behavior • Prosocial Behavior • positive, constructive, helpful behavior • opposite of antisocial behavior