An experience in environment, which causes a….. change in an organism that is relatively permanent
Decreased response to a stimulus judged to be of little or no importance We engage in this type of learning so we can tune out unimportant stimuli and focus on what matters
Increased response to a stimulus when we are anticipating an important stimulus We engage in this type of learning so we are prepared for dangerous situations
Behaviorism states that: learning and experience determine behavior. Babies are tabula rasas Psychology should focus purely on observable behaviors and not unobservable thoughts
Learning that two things go together Conditioning: A simple form of learning in which a specific pattern of behaviors is learned in the presence of well-defined stimuli Classical conditioning aka Pavlonian conditioning An involuntary behavior is determined by what comes before it i.e. Baby Albert and the loud bell i.e. Seeing the dentists office and feeling anxiety Operant conditioning aka instrumental aka Skinnerian Involves rewards and punishment A voluntary behavior is determined by the anticipation of something that follows it i.e. studying on a test for obtaining good grades i.e. fastening your seat belt to avoid the obnoxious beeping
1. A child is attacked by a dog. The child now fears all dogs. 2. You do your homework every night to get good grades and avoid punishment. Classical – involuntary, stimulus precedes behavior Operant – voluntary, stimulus follows behavior
Learning in which a response naturally caused by one stimulus comes to be elicited by a different, formerly neutral stimulus Ivan Pavlov Accidentally discovered classical conditioning His experiments on digestion in dogs turned into research on learning
Unconditioned stimulus (US) A stimulus that automatically causes a specific response in an organism And example of a US would be food Unconditioned response (UR) The response caused by a US The UR is automatic and unlearned An example of a UR is salivation in response to food
Conditioned stimulus (CS) A formerly neutral stimulus (NS) that is paired with a US and eventually causes the desired response all by itself An example of a CS is the bell in Pavlovs studies Conditioned response (CR) The learned response to the CS An example is salivation in response to the bell
Involves a few central concepts: Unconditioned = Unlearned Unconditioned Stimulus Unconditioned Response Conditioned = learned Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) Meat powder Unconditioned Response (UCR) Salivation Conditioned Stimulus (CS) Bell Conditioned Response (CR) Salivation * Hint: replace conditioned with learned to make it more intuitive.
John Watson Little Albert – 11 month old orphan Showed him a white rat. No fear. Made a loud noise. Albert cried. Showed him a white rat and made a loud noise. Albert cried. Repeated several times. Eventually Albert cried at white rat alone. Give me a dozen healthy infants, well- formed, and my own specified world to bring them up and Ill guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might selectdoctor, lawyer, merchant-chief, and yes, ever beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930)
UCS = Loud Noise UCR = Fear of Noise NS = Rat CS = Rat CR = Fear of Rat The Little Albert experiment demonstrated a classically conditioned fear of white fluffy things
Acquisition – initial learning of the stimulus-response relationship (learning that bell means meat powder) Extinction – diminished response to the conditioned stimulus when it is no longer coupled with UCS. (stop giving meat powder with bell and dog will stop salivating to bell) Spontaneous recovery – reappearance of an extinguished CR after a rest. Generalization – the tendency to respond to any stimuli similar to the CS (Dog salivates to other noises) Discrimination – the ability to distinguish between the CS and similar stimuli (Dog only salivates to specific tone)
If Little Albert generalized, what would we expect to happen? He might cry at the sight of similar objects (he did – rabbit, dog, sealskin coat, some rumors – Santas beard) How could we teach Little Albert to discriminate? Continually expose him to stimuli similar to the rat, but only make the loud noise when exposing him to the rat How could Little Alberts conditioning be extinguished? Continually expose him to a white rat without making the loud noise (unfortunately, this was never done because Little Albert was adopted soon after the original experiments (he would be 83 now if he is still alive – probably scared of rats!) If Little Albert is still alive, his fear of white rats is likely to have been extinguished (no loud noise when he sees a rat). However, occasionally, when he sees a rat, he may find that his heart races for a second or two. What is this called? Spontaneous recovery
UCS? Pain from the drill UCR? Fear CS? Sound of the drill CR? Fear
Extinction: if the pain does not result when the drill is used, the CS (fear) will diminish. Spontaneous recovery: the child returns for a visit the next day and the sound of the drill elicits fear again. Generalization: the child becomes fearful of the sound of any motor Discrimination: the child learns that only the high pitched dentist drill is associated with pain and not a low pitch hum of the vacuum cleaner.
UCS?Pretty people UCR? Feeling good CS? Sight of BMW CR? Feeling good
UCS? Pain of the accident UCR? Fear CS? Presence of car CR?Fear
UCS? Getting in trouble from parents UCR? Increased heart rate CS? Flashing lights CR? Increased heart rate
Lick your finger and dip it into your cup of lemonade powder, but DO NOT EAT IT. When you hear the tone, immediately eat the powder on your finger, and then dip your finger back into the cup to prepare for the next trial. You must eat some of the powder immediately after each tone, but not any other time. After several learning trials, you will be instructed to simply listen to the tone without eating the powder. What happens? Label the UCS, UCR, NS, CS and CR in your notes based on the demo.
Once a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus, it may function as an unconditioned stimulus to elicit new learning. For instance, in Pavlovs experiment, once the bell produced the salivation response in the dogs, it could be paired with a new neutral stimulus, such as a red light, until the dogs learned to salivate to the red light.
In order for Classical Conditioning to work the following variables must exist: STRENGTH - Stimuli (UCS, NS) must be noticeable enough to provoke a response. TIMING - UCS and NS must be paired close together so that an association is made between the two. FREQUENCY - UCS and NS must be paired together many times so that an association is made between the two and the NS can come to elicit the same response as the UCS.
Extinction – After a period of time passes when CS is not paired with UCS, CS returns to being an NS e.g. Baby Albert would eventually cease to be afraid of white fluffy things after they were not paired with a horrible and frightening noise. Spontaneous Recovery – Just because extinction occurs, does it mean that the learning is gone completely? No! After extinction, it is not unusual to see the recurrence of the conditioned response This proves the learning never disappeared; it was just obscured by new learning - like interference
Generalization – An organism may learn to respond not only to the CS, but also to other stimuli that are similar to the CS. e.g. Baby Albert was conditioned to fear a white rat, but also feared cotton balls, rabbits, white sweaters, etc. Discrimination – Organisms can also learn to decipher between similar stimuli when only particular stimuli are paired with a UCS.
Some learning mechanisms are so powerful they do not require frequency of pairings. Taste Aversion – Occurs when organism becomes ill following consumption of a particular food. Organism may never be able to eat the food again. WHY? Garcia Effect – Using principles of taste aversion, John Garcia put this phenomenon to good use Sprinkled carcass of sheep with a chemical that caused illness in coyotes Coyotes did not attack the livestock following this experience
It was once believed that conditioning occurred the same in all animals (and therefore you could study human behavior by studying any animal) and that you could associate any neutral stimulus with a response. Not so. Animals have biological predispositions to associating certain stimuli over others Example – You eat a novel food and later get sick. You will be conditioned to associate the taste of the FOOD with getting sick (and thus avoid that food in the future), but NOT the music playing in the restaurant, the plate it was served on, or the perfume your neighbor was wearing. It is much easier to condition someone to have a fear of snake than of flowers. Birds hunt by sight and will more quickly become conditioned to the SIGHT of tainted food
Some conditioned responses come naturally, others do not. Preparedness Conditioned behaviors that work well with organisms instinctive behaviors and are easy to train e.g. phobia of snakes or spiders Contrapreparedness Other conditioned behaviors go against the organisms instinctive behaviors and are difficult or impossible to train. e.g. phobia of chairs or tables?
Many phobias are learned responses and can be unlearned This can be done gradually or all at once Systematic Desensitization Therapist and client generate fear hierarchy of situations that are increasingly threatening Client then learns relaxation techniques Client experiences en vivo therapy to directly experience each item on fear hierarchy to gradually unlearn his/her fear Flooding Client faces worst-case-scenario involving fear If they can survive this, they have no reason so be fearful every day
Stop drug or alcohol addiction by pairing a nausea-producing drug with the drug of addiction. Extinguish a drug addiction by administering a drug that blocks the pleasant feeling normally elicited by the drug. If a child is afraid of rabbits because one bit him when he was young, you can expose the child to rabbits in safe environments repeatedly until the behavior is extinguished
It was once thought that cognitive processes werent involved in classical conditioning. Now we know better. For example, therapists give alcoholics drink containing a nausea- producing drug to condition them to avoid alcohol. Because clients KNOW that the drug is what is actually causing the nausea, it doesnt work so well.
Learning in which an organism engages in a spontaneous behavior which is followed by a consequence - a reward or punishment Organism learns to perform behavior in order to gain a reward or avoid a punishment
If a behavior is reinforced, it is MORE likely to occur If a behavior is punished, it is LESS likely to occur
E.L. Thorndike Researched cats in a puzzle box Cats learned to escape from box to attain a reinforcement of food B.F. Skinner Created a device called a Skinner Box to train organisms using operant conditioning Also did research on superstition (pigeons) and connected it to the principles of operant conditioning
Reinforcer A stimulus or event that follows a behavior and makes that behavior more likely to occur again Punisher A stimulus or event that follows a behavior and makes that behavior less likely to occur again
Positive reinforcer (+) Adds something rewarding following a behavior, making that behavior more likely to occur again Giving a dog a treat for fetching a ball is an example Negative reinforcer (-) Removes something unpleasant from the environment following a behavior, making that behavior more likely to occur again Taking an aspirin to relieve a headache is an example
Primary reinforcer Adds something intrinsically valuable to the organism Giving a dog a food for shaking hands Secondary reinforcer Adds something with assigned value to the organism Giving a person $100 for each A on their report card
Positive Punishment (+) Adds something undesirable to decrease a behavior Spanking a child for swearing Negative Punishment (-) Removes something desirable to decrease a behavior Taking a childs toy away for swearing Also called omission training
Primary Punishment Method of decreasing behavior is directly threatening to organisms survival Beating a prisoner for trying to escape Secondary Punishment Method of decreasing behavior is undesirable, but not life-threatening Taking away a prisoners recreational privileges for trying to escape
Some behaviors are too complex to occur spontaneously For these behaviors, shaping must be used Shaping reinforces successive approximations to the desired behavior Organism eventually learns what the desired behavior is in small steps Similar to playing hot and cold Our class demonstration?
Some changes in behavior are easily trained Preparedness Conditioned behaviors that work well with organisms instinctive behaviors and are easy to train e.g. Brelands Dancing Chicken Contrapreparedness Other conditioned behaviors go against the organisms instinctive behaviors and are difficult or impossible to train. e.g. Brelands raccoon
Punishment not as effective as reinforcement Does not teach proper behavior, only suppresses undesirable behavior Causes upset feelings that can impede learning May give impression that inflicting pain is acceptable
Effective punishment must be SWIFT Should occur as soon as possible after the behavior CERTAIN Should occur every time the behavior does SUFFICIENT Should be strong enough to be a deterrent CONSISTENT Should apply to all individuals the same way
When punishment is given haphazardly, learned helplessness can result. Learned Helplessness occurs when NO MATTER WHAT THE ORGANISM DOES, it cannot change the consequences of behavior. Martin Seligmans experiment with dogs showed that dogs given a series of inescapable shocks stopped trying to escape the shocks even when given the opportunity to escape later. Another example would be finding that whether or not you study for your calculus tests, you fail, so you stop trying altogether.
An alternative to punishment if known as AVOIDANCE TRAINING the organism is given a warning before punishment occurs so it may change its behavior in order to avoid an unpleasant consequence like a punishment. ex/Counting to three before punishment is delivered to provoke a child to stop misbehaving.
Biofeedback is an operant technique that teaches people to gain voluntary control over bodily processes like heart rate and blood pressure When used to control brain activity it is called neurofeedback
Interval schedules Reinforcement depends on the passing of time Fixed-interval schedule Reinforcement follows the first behavior after a fixed amount of time has passed An example would be receiving a paycheck every two weeks Variable-interval schedule Reinforcement follows the first behavior after a variable amount of time has passed An example would be pop quizzes
Ratio schedules Reinforcement depends on the number of responses made Fixed-ratio schedule Reinforcement follows a fixed number of behaviors For example, being paid on a piecework basis Variable-ratio schedule Reinforcement follows a variable number of behaviors An example would be playing slot machines
Which schedule yields the fastest response rate? What happened in our class demonstration?
Sometimes learning involves more than simply reacting to stimuli – it involves THINKING! Cognitive Learning Learning that depends on mental activity that is not directly observable Involves such processes as attention, expectation, thinking, and memory While behaviorists typically focus on learning that is based on reactions, cognitive psychologists explain learning in terms of additional mental processes.
Generative learning Using what you know to figure out something you dont E.g. realizing a new song is by a favorite group of yours Insight After thinking about a problem for a bit, you suddenly figure it out E.g. Kohlers chimps
Latent learning learning that takes place before the subject realizes it and is not immediately reflected in behavior Taking a test on material learned over the course of a few weeks Cognitive mapping latent learning stored as a mental image Slideshow experiment
Learning sets/Learning to Learn refers to increasing effectiveness at problem solving through experience organisms learn how to learn Figuring out how to study best Trial and Error Learning Learn by your mistakes Class demonstration - Blind Maze - what happened?
Social learning theory or Observational Learning theory focuses on what we learn from observing other people Albert Banduras Bobo Doll experiment Children imitated adult role model - adult models behavior and child imitates Vicarious reinforcement or vicarious punishment affects the willingness of people to perform behaviors they learned by watching others
Nonhumans are capable of classical and operant conditioning Nonhumans are also capable of latent learning Research has also demonstrated that animals are capable of observational learning
1. Stand stayed out past his curfew. His parents demanded that he surrender his car keys for two weeks. Stand has not broken curfew since. 2. Jane decided to draw a picture on her bedroom wall with crayons. Her mom beat her with a wooden spoon. She no longer draws on the walls. 3. Alex got all As on his report card, so his mother relieves him of having to go Christmas shopping with her. 4. When the kindergarteners in Ms. Tragers class behave well, she takes them outside to play on the playground. 5. Rachel found out that her boyfriend Bert lied to all their friends about how they met, claiming that she wanted him first. Now Rachel refuses to hold Berts hand. Bert doesnt lie about their relationship anymore.
How to... Motivate Youth By VICTORIA GOLDMAN OW do you get that 16-year-old to hunker down? Ethell Geller, a behavioral psychologist, has worked with adolescents for 30 years in her Manhattan practice. Borrowing from B.F. Skinner and Pavlov, she explains motivation as a connection between expectations and consequences. Q. Where does motivation come from? A. Ideally, one goes from a very primitive type of motivation, satisfying basic drives, to an externalized form, or bribery, to the most sophisticated form, which is inherent -- working for its own sake. Human beings must develop all three types of motivation to be fully functioning, satisfied, motivated adults. Q. Why are some children stuck at Phase 2? A. Volumes have been written on the topic of motivation and social learning theory. But simply put, the extent to which children feel that their efforts lead to meaningful rewards will determine how motivated they feel. If rewards come with little effort, the child becomes spoiled. On the other extreme, if effort meets with continuous failure, the child will experience helplessness and give up. Q. What strategy do you recommend? A. First, find out why a child isn't motivated. Ask, does she really not care? Or is she afraid of something else? Or is she involved in an immediate reward system, like TV or friends, that she considers more meaningful? Or is it a self-esteem issue or another type of disability? Once the source of the problem has been identified, either therapy or behavioral management of the current reward system, or a combination of both, must be put in place. Q. Like, fewer bribes? A. Research shows that one of the best ways to motivate a child is to avoid punishment and exhibit parental approval as a reward. But what I often do when faced with children who have low self-esteem or are unmotivated is ask them to make a list of the people and their qualities that they most admire. After they come up with their lists, show them that if they work toward the salient features on that list, they can come to respect themselves and be more motivated. Reassure them that normal people who work hard can accomplish what their heroes have.