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Learning Theories Goal  How do we learn behaviors through classical conditioning?

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Presentation on theme: "Learning Theories Goal  How do we learn behaviors through classical conditioning?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning Theories Goal  How do we learn behaviors through classical conditioning?

2 Learning is… Relatively permanent Change in behavior Due to experience Behaviorism  Psychology should focus on observable behavior

3 Associative Learning Classical Conditioning: associate two stimuli together to anticipate events Operant Conditioning: associate a behavior with a good or bad result

4 Ivan Pavlov’s Experiment Founded classical conditioning Measured salivation of dogs to food – Dogs began to salivate to the sight of the researchers, not just the food…

5 Pavlov’s Experiment


7 Classical Conditioning Extinction Acquisition = pairing of CS and US, learning of the association Extinction = CS no longer paired with UCS, CR stops

8 Classical Conditioning Strength of CR Pause Acquisition (CS+UCS) Extinction (CS alone) Extinction (CS alone) Spontaneous recovery of CR Spontaneous Recovery = sudden reappearance of CR after extinction

9 John B. Watson & “Little Albert”

10 Generalization Discrimination =

11 Taste Aversion UCUR CSCR

12 Factors Influencing Classical Conditioning Conditioning is stronger if… CS consistently predicts UCS CS/UCS are paired frequently (more trials) UCS is intense (causes strong response) CS is presented immediately before UCS

13 We better learn associations when… – It is useful for survival Biological predispositions, adaptive – It does not involve cognitive processing i.e. alcohol & nauseating drug CSUCSLearned Response Loud NoiseShockFear Loud NoiseRadiation (nausea)Nothing Sweet WaterShockNothing Sweet WaterRadiation (nausea)Avoid Water Garcia & Koelling’s study on biological predispositions to classical conditioning

14 Biopsychosocial Influences on Learning Biological Genetic predispositions Unconditioned responses Adaptive responses Psychological Previous experiences Predictability of associations Generalization Discrimination Social-Cultural Culturally learned preferences Motivation, affected by presence of others LEARNING

15 Learning Theories Goal  How do we acquire behaviors through operant conditioning?

16 Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect Cats placed in “puzzle boxes” Use trial-and-error to “escape” Continue behaviors w/good result Discontinue behaviors w/bad result

17 B.F. Skinner

18 “Skinner Boxes”

19 Operant Conditioning Reinforcement – Make a behavior more likely to be performed again Punishment – Make a behavior less likely to be performed again

20 Reinforcement Positive Reinforcement Increases response by presenting positive stimulus Negative Reinforcement Increases response by removing negative stimulus

21 Punishment Positive Punishment Decrease behavior by presenting bad stimulus Negative Punishment Decrease behavior by removing good stimulus (omission training)

22 Punishment is not as effective as Reinforcement because it… Suppresses behavior (not forgotten) Teaches discrimination Teaches fear May increase aggressiveness

23 Reinforcers Immediate v. Delayed Reinforcers Unlearned Conditioned (Secondary) Reinforcer Learned through association Primary Reinforcer Continuous v. Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement

24 Shaping Reinforce each step (successive approximation) toward desired behavior

25 Schedules of Partial Reinforcement Fixed-ratio – reinforcement after a set or fixed number of behaviors occur Variable-ratio – reinforcement after different numbers of behaviors # Behaviors12345678 Fixed-ratio Variable-ratio

26 Schedules of Partial Reinforcement Fixed-interval – reinforcement after a set or fixed amount of time Variable-interval – reinforcement after different amounts of time Time (hrs.)12345678 Fixed- interval Variable- interval


28 Extending Operant Conditioning Cognitive Influences Cognitive map – mental representation of environment Latent Learning – learning not known until there is motivation to demonstrate it

29 Biology & Operant Conditioning Biological constraints predispose organisms to learn associations that are naturally adaptive – Pigeons naturally peck Easy to teach pigeons to peck to receive food – Pigeons naturally flap wings Teach pigeons to flap wings to avoid shock – However, difficult to teach pigeon to flap wings to get food, or peck to avoid shock

30 Applications of Operant Conditioning School – token economy Sports Work – schedules of reinforcement Home Self-improvement - Biofeedback

31 Operant vs Classical Conditioning

32 Observational Learning “social learning” We observe & imitate others’ behavior Modeling: demonstrating behavior to be learned

33 Mirror Neurons Frontal lobe Fire when performing certain actions OR when seeing someone else perform those actions Role in emotions, empathy (theory of mind)

34 Bandura’s “Bobo Doll” Study tions/observer/obsonline/bandura-and-bobo.html tions/observer/obsonline/bandura-and-bobo.html

35 Vicarious Conditioning Part observational learning We learn by observing others’ reactions to stimulus or others’ outcomes – Learn to be afraid of shots at the doctor after watching your sister cry after getting a shot – Seeing a friend get a sticker for an A on his homework (you learn to do your homework)

36 Prosocial Effects Role models Model reading, helpful behaviors, nonviolence Consistency is key – BUT…. “Do as I say, not as I do” = children imitate the hypocrisy!

37 Antisocial Effects Aggression  violence-viewing effect? Desensitization to violence Promiscuity? Drug use?

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