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  2. CHAPTER 6 - LEARNING • 1. WHAT IS CLASSICAL CONDITIONING? HOW IS IT RELATED TO LEARNING? • Learning is any relatively permanent change in behavior or mental processes as a result of experience. • How do individuals learn? • By identifying relationships between events and noting regularity in the environment.

  3. Habituation is the fading of a response to a stimulus and can be used as an indicator of learning. • Classical conditioning occurs when a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus triggering a natural reflex until the neutral stimulus also triggers the reflex response.

  4. Classical conditioning has 3 phases: (1)identifying a reflex and a neutral stimulus you are interested in; • (2) pairing the reflex and the neutral stimulus; • (3)responding with the reflex response to the previously neutral stimulus alone.

  5. 2. HOW CAN INDIVIDUALS LEARN FEAR? • The strength and ease of learning (classical conditioning) depends on the nature of the CS and the UCS and • how they are associated.

  6. 3. HOW DOES STIMULUS INTENSITY AFFECT CONDITIONING OR LEARNING? • Stimulus intensity is a characteristic of the UCS; • conditioning or learning happens more quickly and easily if the UCS is stronger and • if the number of associations is increased.  

  7. Delayed conditioning is most effective and is accomplished by presenting the CS first and • then presenting the UCS, and • terminating both at the same time. • In this method, the CS becomes a reliable predictor of the UCS.

  8. 4. WHAT IS TASTE AVERSION LEARNING? HOW IS IT RELATED TO CLASSICAL CONDITIONING? • Learning to avoid eating or drinking something because of an unpleasant association to the taste. • Taste aversion or avoidance is an example of classical conditioning.

  9. 5. HOW DOES BIOLOGICAL PREPAREDNESS AFFECT CONDITIONING? • Some responses learned more quickly and easily than others when individuals are biologically prepared to learn them. • Example: taste aversion may be learned because it is dangerous to survival to eat a harmful substance. • Examples include: we are more likely to learn to fear dogs, snakes, and spiders than doors and pencils.

  10. 6. HOW DOES PREDICTIVE VALUE AFFECT CONDITIONING? • Predictive value = ability of the CS to reliably predict or signal the UCS. • Examples: rats became ill every time they drank the plastic-tasting water. • Cancer patients felt nauseated only when they ate a particular flavor of ice cream.

  11. 7. WHAT IS LEARNED IN CLASSICAL CONDITIONING? • We learn to produce an adaptive, automatic response when the CS or previously neutral stimulus reliably predicts an important event.

  12. 8. WHAT ARE THREE ASPECTS OF CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OVER TIME? • (a) stimulus generalization: responding to in a similar way to events, objects, or individuals that are similar but  not identical to the original CS • (b) stimulus discrimination: responding differently  to events, objects, or individuals who are similar but not identical to the original CS. • (c) extinction: gradual disappearance of CR by eliminating the association between the CS and the UCS.

  13. 9. WHAT ARE TWO EXAMPLES OF CONDITIONING ? • (a) phobias and anxiety: • phobias are strong fears of objects or situations that are not objectively dangerous or that are less dangerous than a person's response would suggest. • Anxiety is an intense fear response that usually occurs when an individual experiences conflict or threat. --

  14. (b) promoting health and treating illness: systematic desensitization is a procedure that associates a new response such as relaxation with a feared stimulus. • Medical applications have included treating allergies and hay fever by classically conditioning responses of the immune system.

  15. 10. WHAT ARE INSTRUMENTAL AND OPERANT CONDITIONING? • Instrumental conditioning occurs when  responses are learned and repeated that produce some rewarding or desired effect.  • These forms of learning are based on the law of effect

  16. that states that a response made in the presence of a stimulus and followed by a reward is more likely to occur the next time the stimulus is present. • Operant conditioning is the process of learning responses as a result of particular consequences (such as reinforcement or lack of reinforcement).  

  17. 11. WHAT ARE THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF OPERANT CONDITIONING? • Operant: a response that operates or has an effect on the environment. • Reinforcer or reinforcement: event or object that increases the probability or likelihood that a response will occur. • May be positive or negative. • Both positive and negative reinforcement increase the likelihood of a response occurring again. • Positive reinforcers strengthen responses by being present and • negative reinforcers strengthen responses by being taken away or avoided.

  18. Superstitious behavior results from accidental reinforcement where reward follows behavior through luck or coincidence. • Extinction is the process of weakening behavior by not reinforcing it. • Discriminative stimuli are objects, events, or experiences that signal whether reinforcement is likely to occur. • --

  19. Stimulus control is available through discriminative stimuli and • allows an individual to learn which behaviors are appropriate and which are not. • Stimulus generalization occurs when we give a similar response to a similar but not identical stimulus to the original stimulus.

  20. Stimulus discrimination occurs when we give a different response to a similar but not identical stimulus.

  21. 12. HOW DOES SHAPING RELATE TO FORMING AND STRENGTHENING OPERANT BEHAVIORS? • Shaping: • reinforcing successive approximations or responses that are successively more similar to the desired response. • Shaping is useful because often the exact, desired response does not occur spontaneously.

  22. 13. HOW DO DELAY AND SIZE OF REINFORCEMENT AFFECT OPERANT CONDITIONING? • Learning occurs faster if • (a) reinforcement delay is short and • (b) reinforcement size is large.

  23. 14. HOW DO SCHEDULES OF REINFORCEMENT AFFECT OPERANT CONDITIONING? • Continuous reinforcement is delivered every time the response occurs.

  24. Partial reinforcement occurs only part of the time. • Partial reinforcement occurs in 4 basic types: • (a)fixed ratio, • (b)variable ratio, • (c)fixed interval, and • (d)variable interval. --

  25. There are three basic response patterns: • (a) fixed ratio and variable ratio produce high rates of behavior; • (b)fixed interval produces a scalloped effect in which response rates drops immediately after reinforcement and increases gradually as the time approaches for the next reinforcement; --

  26. (c) variable interval produces a slow, steady rate of responding because of unpredictable timing of reinforcement.  

  27. 15. HOW DO SCHEDULES OF REINFORCEMENT AFFECT EXTINCTION OF OPERANT BEHAVIOR? • Behavior learned under partial reinforcement schedules is more difficult to extinguish than behavior learned under continuous reinforcement. • Examples: (a) a slot machine gives partial reinforcement when it operates correctly ; • (b) a vending machine gives continuous reinforcement when the machine operates correctly.

  28. 16. WHAT EVENTS CAN ACT AS REWARDS AND MOTIVATE LEARNING? • Any object, event, or situation or individual can act as a reinforcer • if paired with another object, event, situation, or individual that is already reinforcing. • An important distinction is between primary and secondary reinforcers. • Primary reinforcers are naturally reinforcing and rewarding. • Examples of primary reinforcers are pleasurable touch, food, water, pain, and air.

  29. Secondary reinforcers are learned, including money, grades, and praise. • Secondary reinforcers are neutral at first and later acquire reinforcing characteristics through associations with primary reinforcers. --

  30. The Premack principle is based on the idea of a hierarchy of behavioral preference, • with items ranked from most to least reinforcing or desirable. • Any highly frequent activity, object, event, or situation can come to reinforce or strengthen a less frequent behavior.

  31. 17. WHAT IS NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT LEARNING? • Negative reinforcement is escaping or avoiding a unpleasant event, object, or experience. • Effects have been studied using escape and avoidance conditioning. • Avoidance occurs when we learn to avoid or prevent exposure to an unpleasant situation or aversive reinforcer.  • Escape occurs when we learn to end an unpleasant or aversive reinforcer. --

  32. Escape or avoidance behavior is a difficult habit to  break • because of reduced fear, anxiety, or other unpleasant emotion associated with the escape or avoidant behavior.

  33. 18. WHAT IS PUNISHMENT AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT LEARNING? • Punishment occurs when we experience an unpleasant emotion, event, or situation. • Effect of punishment is to decrease the likelihood of a response occurring immediately prior to experiencing the punishment.

  34. Punishment occurs as the presence of an unpleasant event or experience or the ending of a pleasant event or experience.

  35. 19. HOW CAN WE BE MORE LIKELY TO USE PUNISHMENT WISELY? • Realize and be aware of the drawbacks: • (a)can produce undesirable side effects; • (b)often ineffective unless occurring immediately after the undesirable behavior; • (c) often results in aggressive responses; --

  36. (d) often effective only in specific situations; • (e) may produce misunderstanding.

  37. Realize and use positive guidelines: • (a) specify why punishment is used and distinguish between behavior and being punished and the person to prevent unhealthy fear  and anger; --

  38. (b) should be immediate and severe enough to be effective; • (c) identify and positively reinforce more desirable responses.

  39. 20. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF OPERANT CONDITIONING? • (a) treating problem behavior, using discriminative stimuli such as overeating, smoking, and other substance abuse; • --

  40. (b) learned helplessness, which is the tendency to give up efforts to control or influence the environment after frequent failure experiences; -

  41. believing that nothing you can do will change your life or influence your destiny can have compelling influence • you may stop acting to improve the situation and endure painful situations passively. -

  42. (c) improving education: • successful strategies include operant conditioning, - • includes positively reinforcing desirable behavior, • Giving immediate feedback regarding mistakes. -

  43. Emphasize positive reinforcement, group reinforcement, and family involvement • Example using other animals: •

  44. results in greater success than interventions not using these components.

  45. 21. WHAT DID WE LEARN FROM THE BOBO STUDIES? • In general that observational learning can occur. • Specifically that: • (a) those who observed adults being rewarded for aggression showed the most aggressive behavior more quickly; • (b) those who observed the adults being punished for aggressive behavior showed the least aggressive behavior; --

  46. (c) those who observed adults who were neither rewarded nor punished for aggressive behavior • learned and imitated the aggressive behavior and demonstrated observational learning.

  47. 22. WHAT IS OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING AND WHAT ARE 4 REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS TYPE OF LEARNING? • (a) attention: focus reasonably close awareness of the behavior; • (b) retention - remember what you observe;

  48. (c) physical ability to produce the behavior - physically capable of reproducing the behavior; • (d) motivation -desire or reason to perform the behavior.