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Presented by Mr OZ Mukwawaya

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1 Presented by Mr OZ Mukwawaya
Learning theories Presented by Mr OZ Mukwawaya

2 Learning about theories
What is learning “a persisting change in human performance or performance potential (brought) about as a result of the learner’s interaction with the environment” “the relatively permanent change in a person’s knowledge or behavior due to experience” “an enduring change in behavior, or in the capacity to behave in a given fashion, which results from practice or other forms of experience

3 Learning is any relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge that is due to experience
Models of psychology explain how individuals learn and how information is comprehended and retained.

4 How do people learn?

5 Main theories in learning
Behaviorism Social Learning Theory

6 Behaviourism All behavior is learned. Consequently it can be unlearned
Learning is defined by the outward expression of new behaviors Focuses solely on observable behaviors A biological basis for learning Learning is context-independent

7 Classical & Operant Conditioning
Reflexes (Pavlov’s Dogs) Feedback/Reinforcement (Skinner’s Pigeon Box) The individual’s behavior is modified through positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement to persuade the correct decision making.

8 Learning conti.. “You often learn when you don’t intend to learn, and you often teach when you don’t intend to teach”

9 Ivan Pavlov

10 Born in Ryazon 1849 Son of a priest Went to school at Theological Seminary Attended Petersburg University Imperial Medical-surgical school( received MD in 1883) His work on physiology of digestion glands let to him winning the nobel price in 1904

11 He was known for his work in physiology when he translated his psychological work
He aimed to work out the principles that govern the working of cerebral cortex “ seat of the brain” He used animals (dogs) as his subjects and conditioned reflex as the main agent to communication with the brain

12 Wanted to study digestion in dogs Interaction between salivation and digestion Dogs salivate when they eat and smell food This is known as a reflex (it is not learned; it is involuntary)

13 What did he discover?? Dogs salivate without proper stimulus
Stimulus is an environmental condition that evokes a response from an organism

14 His ideas where influenced by Sir Charles Sherrington’s famous work on mechanisms of the spinal cord which guided much of Pavlov’s work Sherrington emphasized the importance of excitation and inhibition in the working of spinal cord and Pavlov attempted to show that excitement and inhibition were likewise evident in the workings of the brain

15 Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is a type of leaning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.

16 A stimulus comes to elicit a response that it does not normally elicit
Antecedents shape behavior, not consequences. Unconditioned stimulus Unconditioned Response (food) (salivation) Conditioned stimulus (bell) Paired with unconditioned stimulus----Unconditioned Response (salivation) Conditioned Stimulus (Bell) Conditioned Response Antecedents -A prompt of cue that comes before a behavior that results in the correct behavior being elicited

17 • Unconditioned Stimulus (US)– stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning Giving dog food Doctor hitting our knee

18 Unconditioned Response (UR)– unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning Salivation is the UR Food in front of the dog is the US

19 Conditioned Stimulus (CS)– Previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response Bell tone paired with food to elicit conditioned response Conditioned Response (CR)–Learned reaction to conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning Salivating after only the bell is ringing


21 Classical conditioning

22 So, in the classical conditioning model, behavior is learned from the pairing of stimuli before a response occurs. E.g. Pain (US) leads to fear (UR). We don't need to learn this. A child is not afraid of dogs (NS). But if a dog bites a child leading to pain, just the sight of a dog (CS) will lead to fear (CR). The child has learned to associate dogs with pain. This is how people develop phobias

23 Acquisition: the initial stage of learning something
Acquisition: the initial stage of learning something. Acquisition of a conditioned response depends on stimulus contiguity, or the occurrences of stimuli together in time and space. Extinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency. Extinction occurs in classical conditioning when conditioned stimulus is consistently presented alone, without the unconditional stimulus

24 E.g. After a while, Pavlov kept ringing the bell and didn't bring food out. Eventually the dogs stopped salivating to the bell. It's as if the dogs figured out, "Hey, there's no food coming." And stopped responding. This is known as extinction. After a while of not pairing the neutral stimulus with the unconditioned stimulus, the conditioned response will weaken

25 Spontaneous recovery: the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus. E.g. After Pavlov's dogs no longer responded to the bell, he left them alone. Then a month later, he rang the bell and they salivated

26 John Watson

27 Born January 9 1878 in Greenville, SC
Was the fourth of six children Father left family Arrested twice Was aggressive and violent until after his arrest Introduced to psychology at Furman Went to Johns Hopkins Taught at Chicago and Johns Hopkins Became associate professor at Johns Hopkins

28 John Watson thought that behavior was all your reactions but not what you do or say.
Watson believed in promoting good behavior and discouraging bad. Watson thought making agreements in teaching was important as well as consequences, reinforcements and behavior modifications. Watson believed that the teacher lead the classroom not the students. Watson thought work had to be broken down into smaller pieces. Watson saw psychology as the study of people's actions with the ability to predict and control those actions.

29 Watson’s views of behaviorism were considered radical and was known for its extreme anti-mentalism.
Watson began studying the behavior of children, as well, concluding that humans were simply more complicated than animals but operated on the same principles. Another method was extinction which is removing the reactions to whatever the child did. Children have three basic emotional reactions: fear, rage and love. Ivan Pavlov influenced Watson about his theory.

30 Little Albert Experiment
Watson wanted to establish whether the reflex response of fear produced in infants by loud noises could be conditioned to take place in response to other previously neutral stimuli. Children are only born with two fears: loud noises and falling. That's it. Every other fear is learned. So he took an 11-month-old baby, named Albert, and conducted the famous "Little Albert" experiment (which has been said to be very unethical). Little Albert had no fears other than loud noises and falling. If Watson made a loud noise (US), Little Albert would cry (UR). This is an unconditioned stimulus-response pair. Then they showed Albert animals - rats, rabbits, etc. and he was not afraid. He wanted to play with them. They are neutral stimuli (NS).

31 Then Watson showed Albert a white rat (NS) and made a loud noise (US) and what did Little Albert do? He cried (UR). After a few trials of this, Watson showed Albert the white rat and didn't make the loud noise. And what did Albert do? He cried. So now the white rat is the conditioned stimulus and the crying is the conditioned response. US > UR Loud noise crying CS > CR White rat crying So, Watson conditioned Albert to be afraid of white rats. He created a phobia in Albert.

32 Stimulus generalization: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus Stimulus discrimination:occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus does not respond in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to original stimulus

33 Higher order conditioning: after a classically conditioned response has been acquired, the learner is taught to make a new association between the conditioned stimulus and a new and different neutral stimulus. Example: in Pavlov’s study, after conditioning or learning to salivate in response to the bell, the dogs are taught to make a new association between the bell and a light. bell + light = salivation Eventually, the light alone will be able to cause the dogs to salivate. This is higher order conditioning. light = salivation The salivation response to the light will be weaker than the salivation response to the bell. Why?

34 BF Skinner

35 B. F. Skinner ( ) Predetermined, lawful, and orderly A product of past reinforcements Hamilton College (NY): degree in English, no courses in psychology Read about Pavlov’s and Watson’s experimental work 1931: Ph.D. from Harvard

36 Introduced behaviorism theory.
Learning occurs by experiencing and engaging in repeated trial and error. He described classical conditioning as emotional reaction to a stimulus. Operant conditioning is a response to a stimulus that is reinforced positively, negatively, or by punishment

37 Operant conditioning Form of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences learning to perform a voluntary behavior based upon the consequences Organisms tend to repeat those responses that are followed by favorable consequences Reinforcement: occurs when an event following a response increase an organism’s tendency to make that response.

38 There are two types of reinforcers:
Reinforcement: There are two types of reinforcers: primary reinforcers – events that are inherently reinforcing because they satisfy biological needs (food, water, safety). These work especially well with animals but can also work with humans. Secondary reinforcers – events that acquire reinforcing qualities by being associated with primary reinforcers (less tangible rewards such as praise, money, acceptance, affection) The most effective reinforcements are attention getting and out of the ordinary.

39  Reinforcer- a stimulus that strengthens or weakens the behavior that produced it
 a stimulus (as a reward or the removal of an electric shock) that increases the probability of a desired response in operant conditioning by being applied or effected following the desired response

40 Reinforcement - refer to anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur. Note that reinforcement is defined by the effect that it has on behavior - it increases or strengthens the behavior. For example, reinforcement might involve presenting praise (the reinforcer) immediately after a child puts away her toys (the response). By reinforcing the desired behavior with praise, the girl will be more likely to perform the same actions again.

41 Shaping - method of teaching complex behaviors by reinforcing each step of the behavior until the complex behavior is achieved. For example, when a child is learning to tie their shoelaces, parents don't usually wait until the child ties a perfect bow to praise him. He get praised the first time he tries, the first time he crosses the laces, the first time he makes the loops, etc. Just like school. Imagine if you never received any reinforcements until you got handed your degree. Where would your motivation come from? But you get grades, honors, awards, etc. all along the way.

42 Patterns of reinforcement
Scheduled reinforcement: determines which occurrences of a specific response result in presentation of reinforcer

43 Continuous reinforcement: when every instance of designated response is reinforced
– a schedule of reinforcement in which every occurrence of the instrumental response (desired response) is followed by the reinforcer. Lab example: each time a rat presses a bar it gets a pellet of food. Real world example: each time a dog defecates outside its owner gives it a treat; each time a person puts R1 in a candy machine and presses the buttons he receives a candy bar.

44 Intermittent reinforcement: occurs when designated response is reinforced only some of the time


46 Positive reinforcement involves the addition of something to increase a response, such as giving a bit of candy to a child after she cleans up her room. Example: Whenever a rat presses a button, it gets a treat. If the rat starts pressing the button more often, the treat serves to positively reinforce this behavior. Example: A father gives candy to his daughter when she picks up her toys. If the frequency of picking up the toys increases, the candy is a positive reinforcer (to reinforce the behavior of cleaning up).

47 Negative reinforcement involves removing something in order to increase a response, such as canceling a quiz if students turn in all of their homework for the week. By removing the aversive stimulus (the quiz), the teacher hopes to increase the occurrence of the desired behavior (completing all homework). "nagging" or asking the child repeatedly to do so. Here, the nagging serves to negatively reinforce the behavior of cleaning because the child wants to remove that aversive stimulus of nagging. Example: A person puts ointment on a bug bite to soothe an itch. If the ointment works, the person will likely increase the usage of the ointment because it resulted in removing the itch, which is the negative reinforcer.

48 Punishment Positive punishment occurs when a response produces a stimulus and that responses decreases in probability in the future in similar circumstances. Example: A mother yells at a child when he or she runs into the street. If the child stops running into the street, the yelling acts as positive punishment because the mother presents (adds) an unpleasant stimulus in the form of yelling. Negative punishment occurs when a response produces the removal of a stimulus and that response decreases in probability in the future in similar circumstances. Example: A teenager comes home after curfew and the parents take away a privilege, such as cell phone usage. If the frequency of the child coming home late decreases, the removal of the phone is negative punishment because the parents are taking away a pleasant stimulus (the phone) and motivating the child to return home earlier.

49 Albert Bandura

50 Albert Bandura was born December 4, 1925.
1949 – Graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Psychology. 1952 – Received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa. 1953 – Began teaching at Stanford University. 1974 – Served as President of the APA. 1980 – Received the APA’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, American Psychological Association

51 What is Social Learning Theory?
The social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura has become perhaps the most influential theory of learning and development. While rooted in many of the basic concepts of traditional learning theory, Bandura believed that direct reinforcement could not account for all types of learning. His theory added a social element, arguing that people can learn new information and behaviors by watching other people. Known as observational learning (or modeling), this type of learning can be used to explain a wide variety of behaviors.


53 Observational learning
Occurs when an organism responding is influenced by the observation of others, who are called models. In his famous "Bobo doll" studies, Bandura demonstrated that children learn and imitate behaviors they have observed in other people. The children in Bandura’s studies observed an adult acting violently toward a Bobo doll. When the children were later allowed to play in a room with the Bobo doll, they began to imitate the aggressive actions they had previously observed.

54 Basic processes The Modeling Process
Not all observed behaviors are effectively learned. Factors involving both the model and the learner can play a role in whether social learning is successful. Certain requirements and steps must also be followed. The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modeling process: Attention, retention, reproduction and motivation

55 Attention In order to learn, you need to be paying attention. Anything that detracts your attention is going to have a negative effect on observational learning. If the model is interesting or there is a novel aspect to the situation, you are far more likely to dedicate your full attention to learning.

56 Retention The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process. Retention can be affected by a number of factors, but the ability to pull up information later and act on it is vital to observational learning.

57 Reproduction Once you have paid attention to the model and retained the information, it is time to actually perform the behavior you observed. Further practice of the learned behavior leads to improvement and skill advancement.

58 Motivation Finally, in order for observational learning to be successful, you have to be motivated to imitate the behavior that has been modeled. Reinforcement and punishment play an important role in motivation. While experiencing these motivators can be highly effective, so can observing others experience some type of reinforcement or punishment.  

59 Thank you!!!

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