Define Learning Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of experience.
Classical Conditioning In classical conditioning, we learn to associate two stimuli and anticipate events.
For example, we learn that a flash of lightening signals an impending crack of thunder, so we start to brace ourselves when lightening flashes nearby.
Operant Conditioning In operant conditioning, we learn to associate a response and its consequence. Typically we repeat acts followed by rewards and avoid acts followed by punishment.
For example, we learn that when we get good grades, we get money, so we continue to get good grades. Or, if we don’t get good grades, we lose privileges. To avoid losing privileges, we get good grades.
Social/Vicarious/Observational Learning In social learning (or observational learning), we learn from other’s experiences and examples.
For example, chimpanzees sometimes learn behaviors merely by observing others perform them. If one animal watches another learn to solve a puzzle that gains a food reward, the observing animal may perform the trick as well.
Classical Conditioning – The Office Classical Conditioning – The Office
Classical Conditioning Ivan Pavlov - Russian; Medical doctor who spent two decades studying the digestive system. Nobel Prize in 1904. Studied learning for the next three decades, by “accident”.
Classical Conditioning After studying salivary secretion in dogs, he knew that when he put food in a dog’s mouth the animal would invariably salivate. He also began to notice that when he worked with the same dog repeatedly, the dog began salivating to stimuli associated with food – the sight of food, the food dish, the mere presence of the person bringing the food, even the sound of oncoming footsteps in anticipation of the food
Classical Conditioning Pavlov’s Experiment: Through experimentation, Pavlov asked: If a neutral stimulus (something the dog could see or hear) regularly signaled the arrival of food, would the dog associate the two stimuli (the food and the neutral stimuli)? If so, would the dog begin to salivate to the neutral stimulus in anticipation of the food?
From Pavlov’s research: Zimbardo and Pavlov’s Experiment Pavlov’s Experiment
Classical Conditioning Unconditioned Stimulus A stimulus that naturally and automatically triggers a response
Classical Conditioning Unconditioned Response The unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning For example: For Pavlov, the UCS was food and the UCR was the dog’s salivation
Classical Conditioning Pavlov’s Experiment (continued): Just before placing food in the dog’s mouth to produce salivation, Pavlov sounded a tone. After several pairings of tone and food, the dog began to salivate to the tone alone, in anticipation of the food.
Classical Conditioning Conditioned Stimulus An originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with and unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
Classical Conditioning Conditioned Response The learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning For example: For Pavlov, the previously neutral stimulus was the tone. During conditioning, the tone was paired with the food (UCS). After conditioning, the tone, when presented alone, produced salivation in the dog. The tone is now considered the CS, and the dog’s salivation to the tone alone is now considered the CR.
1. While George was having a cavity filled by his dentist, the drill hit a nerve that had not been dulled by anesthetic, a couple of times. Each time he cringed in pain. George now gets anxious each time he sees the dentist. What is the: Unconditioned stimulus:____________________ Unconditioned response:____________________ Conditioned stimulus:____________________ Conditioned response:____________________
2. Every time a psychology instructor enters the classroom, she goes straight to the board to write an outline on it. Unfortunately, she has long finger nails and each time she writes the outline, her nails screech on the board, making students cringe. After a few weeks of this, students cringe at the sight of the teacher entering the classroom.
3. Fanny eats fried chicken that has e coli in it and ends up vomiting for hours that night. Luckily she recovers within a day, but now just the thought (or the sight or the smell) of fried chicken makes her nauseous.
4. At a football game, every time the home team scores a touchdown, the person behind you blasts an air horn near your ears causing you to wince. Unfortunately for you, the home team scores frequently. As the end of the game nears, the home team scores a touchdown, and even though the inconsiderate fan behind you has left, you still wince.
5. LaToya’s husband puts on Polo cologne every time they’re going to be sexually intimate. Now when LaToya is walking through the mall and passes a store selling Polo cologne, she becomes sexually aroused.
6. Charlie has been humiliated in the past for doing poorly on tests. When that has happened, he would get so upset he would shake. Now when presented with a test, he begins to shake.
Fred has a fluffy down pillow with some of the down sticking out of the fabric. When he first tries out the pillow, a piece of down tickles his nose and he sneezes. He now sneezes every time he lays down on any kind of pillow.
It is springtime and the pollen from the flowers causes you to sneeze. Soon you are sneezing at the mere sight of a flower…real or fake.
You ride a roller coaster and get sick afterward. Now, whenever you are near a roller coaster you feel queasy.
Your relationship is going badly and your significant other has yelled at you without warning several times. You now feel tense and fearful any time that you are around him or her.
Five Major Conditioning Processes Acquisition Generalization Discrimination Extinction Spontaneous Recovery
Acquisition The initial stage in classical conditioning The phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response
Acquisition Findings: The time between presenting the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus needs to be short. For most species and procedures, about ½ second works best. Conditioning is more likely to occur if the conditioned stimulus is presented before the unconditioned stimulus
Generalization The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses IE. A dog responding to a bell tone may also respond to a similar sounding door bell. A person bit by a dog may fear all dogs. You may buy a lemon Ford, and never buy a Ford again.
Classical Conditioning - Generalization Little Albert Experiment – Fear Conditioning An 11-month infant named Albert feared loud noises, but not white rats. In the experiment, when Albert was presented with a white rat and reached out to touch it, a hammer was struck on a steel beam behind his head. After a number of repetitions of seeing the rat and then hearing the frightening noise, Albert burst into tears at the mere sight of the rat.
Classical Conditioning - Extra Five days after the testing, Albert showed generalization of his conditioned response by reacting with fear to a rabbit, a dog, and a sealskin coat. Little Albert Experiment Little Albert Experiment
Discrimination The learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and other stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned response IE. A child is bitten by a dog, and only fears that dog. Other dogs don’t illicit an automatic fear response.
Extinction The diminishing of a conditioned response when an unconditioned stimulus no longer follows a conditioned stimulus If the food no longer follows the bell tone, eventually the dog will no longer associate the bell tone with food and will stop salivating.
Spontaneous Recovery The reappearance, after a rest period, of an extinguished conditioned response. The conditioned response continues to get weaker after less pairings of the CS and the UCS, and after more and more rest periods
Strength of CR Pause Acquisition (CS+UCS) Extinction (CS alone) Extinction (CS alone) Spontaneous recovery of CR
Type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer, or diminished if followed by a punisher
Operant Conditioning B.F. Skinner’s Experiments: Based on Edward Thorndike’s LAW OF EFFECT – states that rewarded behavior is likely to recur Experiments conducted with animals in an operant chamber (Skinner Box) – a soundproof box, with a bar or key that an animal presses or pecks to release a reward of food or water
Pigeons and the Skinner Box Pigeons and the Skinner Box
Operant Conditioning Shaping – while conditioning an animal to perform certain behaviors, reinforcers are successively given only as the subject gets closer to the ultimate behavior goal
IE. If the purpose of putting a rat in a maze is to teach it to get from Point A to Point B while following a certain path, then every time the rat makes a turn towards the right path, a reward should be given. If it makes a turn towards the wrong path, NO reward is given.
Operant Conditioning Reinforcement – any event that increases the frequency of a preceding response, or strengthens the behavior that it follows
IE. Being able to borrow the car after the dishes are done will increase the likelihood that you will do the dishes again.
Operant Conditioning Positive Reinforcement – strengthens a response by presenting a typically pleasurable stimulus after a response. IE. Food for a hungry animal. Attention, approval, money for people.
Big Bang Theory – Operant Conditioning Big Bang Theory – Operant Conditioning
Operant Conditioning Negative Reinforcement – strengthens a response by reducing or removing an aversive stimulus
IE. Taking aspirin to relieve a headache will increase the behavior of taking aspirin because it reduces or eliminates the pain. Smoking a cigarette to relieve stress will increase the behavior of smoking because it reduces or eliminates anxiety and pressure.
Operant Conditioning Positive ADDS a desirable stimulus, like getting a hug or watching t.v. Negative REMOVES an aversive stimulus, like fastening a seatbelt to stop the annoying beeping
Operant Conditioning Primary Reinforcers –one that primarily satisfies a biological need Conditioned or Secondary Reinforcers – a stimulus that is learned, and/or is associated with a primary reinforcer
IE. Primary reinforcers may be food, or pain relief. Secondary reinforcers may be money, praise, good grades, a pleasant tone of voice.
Operant Conditioning Immediate and Delayed Reinforcers – How quickly does a reinforcement needed to be given after a desired behavior has been exhibited in order for the behavior to be conditioned? How often does the reinforcement need to be given to condition proper behavior?
Operant Conditioning Continuous Reinforcement – Reinforcing the desired response immediately, every time it occurs. Learning occurs quickly, but as soon as reinforcement ends, extinction occurs very quickly also.
You go to the same soda machine every day, put your money into it, and it delivers a soda. On Friday, you put your money into it and it doesn’t work. Same thing Saturday. You stop using the machine, though a week later you may try again.
Operant Conditioning Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement – Reinforcing a response only part of the time. This results in slower acquisition of a response, but much greater resistance to extinction also.
IE. Slot machines. You may win only once in long while, but you’ll keep playing because the reinforcement is worth it, and the habit may last a long time.
Operant Conditioning Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement Schedules: Fixed-Ratio = a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces only after a specified number of responses. IE. Every 10 th sale gets a prize.
Operant Conditioning Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement Schedules: Variable-Ratio Schedule = a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses IE. Slot machines, fishing.
Operant Conditioning Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement Schedules: Fixed-interval schedules = a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed IE. At the end of every 30 minutes a new batch of cookies will be baked.
Operant Conditioning Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement Schedules: Variable-Interval Schedules = a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals IE. “You’ve Got Mail”…you don’t know when you will get an email, but you are always checking for it.
Operant Conditioning Punishment – An event that decreases the behavior that it follows May be done by administering an undesirable consequence, or by withdrawing a desirable consequence
IE. Shock treatment and spanking are added, undesirable consequences, while taking away phone or car privileges withdraws desirable consequences.
Operant Conditioning Issues/Questions regarding punishments Physical punishments are not forgotten, just suppressed Physical punishments may increase aggressiveness by demonstrating that aggression is a way to cope with problems Punishments may create fear
Operant Conditioning If punishment isn’t delivered swiftly, or proportionally with regards to the crime, those punished may be confused, depressed, or helpless Punishments still do not teach the proper behavior – it only suppresses unwanted behaviors
Observational Learning Mirror Neurons in the frontal lobe are partially responsible for allowing humans to imitate simple language and emotions
Observational Learning Albert Bandura’s Experiment – The Bobo Doll Children exposed to an adult taking out their frustrations on a Bobo doll would imitate their punches and kicks when presented with a Bobo doll when they were frustrated.
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