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Prologue to Chapter 6: Basic Principles of Learning

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1 Prologue to Chapter 6: Basic Principles of Learning
How do we learn anything? How do we come to be productive members of society and some do not? What influence does our environment have on our behavior? What are the basic principles of learning? What tools exist in the psychologist’s tool box? Psych 101 Chapter 6

2 Definition of Learning
Learning is “any relatively permanent change in behavior brought about through experience.” Learning involves experience that will change your behavior This chapter is the “psychologist’s tool box” Psychology has gone to great lengths to develop the tools which we’ll now examine Psych 101 Chapter 6

3 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Classical condition is learning by association it is sometimes called “reflexive learning” it is sometimes called respondent conditioning The Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, and his dogs circa 1905 discovered classical conditioning by serendipity received the Nobel Prize in science for discovery Psych 101 Chapter 6

4 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Association: the KEY element in classical conditioning Pavlov considered classical conditioning to be a form of learning through association, in time, of a neutral stimulus and a stimulus that incites a response. Any stimulus can be paired with another to make an association if it is done in the correct way (following the classical conditioning paradigm) Psych 101 Chapter 6

5 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Terminology of Classical Conditioning Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): any stimulus that will always and naturally ELICIT a response Unconditioned Response (UCR): any response that always and naturally occurs at the presentation of the UCS Neutral Stimulus (NS): any stimulus that does not naturally elicit a response associated with the UCR Psych 101 Chapter 6

6 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Terminology of Classical Conditioning (continued) Conditioned Stimulus (CS): any stimulus that will, after association with an UCS, cause a conditioned response (CR) when present to a subject by itself Conditioned Response (CR): any response that occurs upon the presentation of the CS Psych 101 Chapter 6

7 Tools: Classical Conditioning
The Classical Conditioning “paradigm” “paradigm” is a scientific word similar to using the word “recipe” in a kitchen, I.e., this is how you do it UCS >UCR NS >UCS >UCR CS >CR That’s all there is to it. I’ll show you a fleshed-out example on the next slide Psych 101 Chapter 6

8 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Here’s a fleshed out example: UCS >UCR (food powder) > (salvating) NS >UCS >UCR (bell)--->(food powder) > (salvating) CS >CR (bell) > (salvating) Psych 101 Chapter 6

9 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Here’s another example: UCS >UCR (onion juice) > (crying) NS > UCS >UCR (whistle)-->(onion juice) > (crying) CS >CR (whistle) > (crying) Psych 101 Chapter 6

10 Importance of Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is involved in many of our behaviors wherever stimuli are paired together over time we come to react to one of them as if the other were present a particular song is played and you immediately think of a particular romantic partner a particular cologne is smelled and you immediately think of a romantic partner Psych 101 Chapter 6

11 Classical Conditioning in Abnormal Behavior
Phobias and classical conditioning phobias are an unnaturally intense fear of an object not really warranting such fear there are over 750 identified phobias phobias can be intensely debilitating and result in a person’s total incapacitation all phobias are originally begun by means of classical conditioning (typically by accident) Psych 101 Chapter 6

12 Abnormal behavior and CC
The mechanism of establishing a phobia is as follows: UCS > UCR (intense pain) > (fear) NS > UCS > UCR (dog) > (bite) > (fear) CS > CR (dog) > (fear) Psych 101 Chapter 6

13 Abnormal behavior and CC
Using classical conditioning, it is possible to make a person have a phobia of just about anything Phobias, unreasonable fears of objects that should not be feared, are treatable by psychological intervention Objects of fear may include: Psych 101 Chapter 6

14 Cats Felinaphobia Psych 101 Chapter 6

15 Spiders Arachnaphobia Psych 101 Chapter 6

16 Abnormal behavior and CC
Phobias can all be treated using “systematic desensitization” involves pairing relaxation with the object that produces the fear done first in the imagination successfully and then followed by experiencing the stimulus progressively in the real world there is no reason why anyone should have a debilitating fear; treatment is possible Psych 101 Chapter 6

17 Abnormal behavior and CC
Philias and classical conditioning philias (or manias) are extreme pleasures derived from stimuli usually not likely to produce this intense pleasure philias can be relatively harmless, e.g., frottage or podophilia philias can be extremely dangerous, e.g., pedophilia and necrophilia others include kleptomania, pyromania, etc. Psych 101 Chapter 6

18 Abnormal behavior and CC
All philias are established in the same way: UCS > UCR (sexual stimulation) -----> (pleasure) NS > UCS > UCR (toes) ----> (sexual stimulation) ----> (pleasure) CS > CR (toes) > (pleasure) Psych 101 Chapter 6

19 Pyromania Psych 101 Chapter 6

20 Abnormal behavior and CC
Philias can all be treated with some success using a technique called “aversive counter-conditioning” a painful stimulus is paired with the object that formerly brought pleasure this must be done carefully to avoid making the individual become masochistic the movie “Clockwork Orange” demonstrates aversive counter-conditioning quite well Psych 101 Chapter 6

21 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Research has shown that the body’s immune system can be trained to become either more or less effective by classical conditioning rat experiments conducted where rats were irradiated (weakening immune system) and this irradiation was presaged by exposure to given stimuli; later rats shown stimuli and immune system functions decreased Psych 101 Chapter 6

22 Tools: Classical Conditioning
Some pointers on effective conditioning NS and UCS pairings must not be more than about 1/2 second apart for best results Repeated NS/UCS pairings are called “training trials” Presentations of CS without UCS pairings are called “extinction trials” Intensity of UCS effects how many training trials are necessary for conditioning to occur Psych 101 Chapter 6

23 The Other Side of the Tool Box
Operant Conditioning Psych 101 Chapter 6

24 Tools: Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning is simply learning from the consequences of your behavior the “other side” of the psychologist’s tool box, operant conditioning is a form of learning in which the consequences of behavior lead to changes in the probability of a behavior’s occurrence. Psych 101 Chapter 6

25 Tools: Operant Conditioning
The Operant Conditioning paradigm: SD > Response > Consequence where “SD” is the “discriminative stimulus” where “Response” is the subject’s behavior where “Consequence” is what happens to the subject after EMITTING the response What consequences can follow a subject’s response? Psych 101 Chapter 6

26 Tools: Operant Conditioning
Consequences to behavior can be: nothing happens: extinction something happens the “something” can be pleasant the “something” can be aversive Consequences include positive and negative reinforcement, time out, and punishment. We’ll examine each of these now. Psych 101 Chapter 6

27 Positive Reinforcement
What is a reinforcer? Definition: a reinforcer is any stimulus which, when delivered to a subject, increases the probability that a subject will emit a response. Primary reinforcers, e.g., food Secondary reinforcers, e.g., praise One can only know if a stimulus is a reinforcer based on the increased probability of occurrence of a subject’s behavior Psych 101 Chapter 6

28 Money: a secondary reinforcer
Psych 101 Chapter 6

29 Positive Reinforcement
What is positive reinforcement? a procedure where a pleasant stimulus is delivered to a subject contingent upon the subject’s emitting a desired behavior Schedules of reinforcement reinforcement schedules may be used to decrease the probability that a response pattern in a subject will extinguish Psych 101 Chapter 6

30 Positive Reinforcement
Schedules of reinforcement there are 4 types of reinforcement schedules fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement fixed interval schedule of reinforcement variable ratio schedule of reinforcement variable interval schedule of reinforcement each of these schedules will produce different response patterns in subjects; the variable ratio schedule best for most resistant to extinction Psych 101 Chapter 6

31 Positive Reinforcement
Shaping behaviors the use of positive reinforcement in the differential reinforcement of successive approximations is called “shaping” shaping can be used to create a new response pattern in a subject shaping must be done carefully and one must rely on the differential reinforcement of successive approximations to the target behavior Psych 101 Chapter 6

32 Negative Reinforcement
a procedure where an aversive stimulus is removed from a subject contingent upon the subject’s emitting a desired behavior the reinforcing consequence is the removal or avoidance of an aversive stimulus Escape conditioning: the behavior is reinforced because it stops an aversive stimlus Avoidance conditioning: behavior reinforced because aversive stimulus is prevented Psych 101 Chapter 6

33 Negative Reinforcement
Examples of negative reinforcement in the real world include: taking out the trash to avoid your mother yelling at you taking an aspirin to get rid of a headache using a condom to avoid contracting a fatal disease paying your car insurance on time to prevent cancellation of your policy Psych 101 Chapter 6

34 Time Out Time Out (from positive reinforcement)
a procedure where a pleasant stimulus is removed from a subject contingent upon the subject’s emitting an UNDERSIRED response both positive and negative reinforcement build behaviors while time out and punishment are used to destroy behaviors Grounding, toys being taken away, sitting on a stool for 5 minutes are examples of time out Psych 101 Chapter 6

35 Punishment Psych 101 Chapter 6

36 Punishment Punishment defined
a procedure where an aversive stimulus is presented to a subject contingent upon the subject emitting an undesired behavior. punishment should be used as a last resort in behavior engineering; positive reinforcement should be used first examples include spanking, verbal abuse, electrical shock, etc. Psych 101 Chapter 6

37 Punishment Dangers in use of punishment
punishment is often reinforcing to a punisher (resulting in the making of an abuser) punishment often has a generalized inhibiting effect on the punished individual (they stop doing ANY behavior at all) we learn to dislike the punisher (a result of classical conditioning) Psych 101 Chapter 6

38 Punishment Dangers in use of punishment
what the punisher thinks is punishment may, in fact, be a reinforcer to the “punished” individual punishment does not teach more appropriate behavior; it merely stops a behavior from occurring punishment can cause emotional damage in the punished individual (antisocial behavior) Psych 101 Chapter 6

39 Punishment Dangers in use of punishment
punishment only stops the behavior from occurring in the presence of the punisher; when the punisher is not present then the behavior will often reappear and with a vengeance the best tool for engineering behavior is positive reinforcement Psych 101 Chapter 6

40 Punishment Guidelines for the effective use of punishment
use the least painful stimulus possible; if you spank your child, do it on the child’s bottom with an open hand never more than twice and NEVER so hard as to leave any marks on your child. That would be classified as child abuse. reinforce the appropriate behavior to take the place of the inappropriate behavior Psych 101 Chapter 6

41 Punishment Guidelines
make it clear to the individual which behavior you are punishing and remove all threat of punishment immediately as soon as the undesired behavior stops. do not give punishment mixed with rewards for a given behavior; be consistent! once you have begun to administer punishment do not back out but use punishment wisely Psych 101 Chapter 6

42 Special issues in learning...
Psych 101 Chapter 6

43 Contrasting Classical and Operant Conditioning
Classical conditioning usually involves reflexive behavior (eliciting a response) whereas operant condition involves instrumental behavior (emitting a response) Classical conditioning elicits a response whereas operant conditioning manipulates the probability that a given response will be emitted by the subject. Psych 101 Chapter 6

44 Stimulus Discrimination
Stimulus discrimination refers to the fact that most responses are more likely to occur in the presence of some stimuli than in the presence of other stimuli What is this letter? A Why did you say “A” here? The “A” is a discriminative stimulus for saying (responding) with the saying of the letter A Psych 101 Chapter 6

45 Stimulus Discrimination
Learning anything is an accrual of discriminative stimuli Sd’s, Sp’s, and S-deltas Sd’s: stimuli which indicate that if you emit the appropriate response now you will be rewarded Sp’s: stimuli which indicate that if you emit the inappropriate response now you will be punished S-deltas: stimuli indicating no consequences Psych 101 Chapter 6

46 Stimulus generalization
Stimulus generalization refers to the fact that the more similar two stimuli are, the more likely the individual is to respond to them as if they were the same stimulus Stimulus generalization has implications for both classical and operant conditioning classical: e.g., agoraphobia operant: e.g., “B” vs “P” Psych 101 Chapter 6

47 Extinction: the process of unlearning
Extinction is the process of unlearning a learned response because of a change on the part of the environment (reinforcement or punishment or stimulus pairing contingencies) Removing the source of learning in CC, not pairing the NS with the UCS will result in extinction in OC, not providing consequences causes ext. Psych 101 Chapter 6

48 Spontaneous recovery and external disinhibition
Spontaneous recovery: a temporary increase in the strength of a response; this increase is likely to occur during extinction after the passage of time and if there has been a single repeat in association made either actually or in the subject’s own perception External disinhibition: temporary increase of extinguished response because of intense, but unrelated, external stimulus event Psych 101 Chapter 6

49 What is learning? Psych 101 Chapter 6

50 Theoretical Interpretations of Learning
Cognition or connection? Is learning the result of a change in the neural connections in an individual’s nervous system or is it a change in how the individual thinks? Is learning a physical change in the system? Is learning a cognitive change in how an individual processes information? What is learning? Psych 101 Chapter 6

51 Tolman’s Place vs Response Learning
Tolman’s “Place vs Response” learning experiments rats sought food in mazes did rats learn to find food by a series of right-left turns or did they know that the food was “over there?” Tolman concluded that rats had a “cognitive map” of where the food was and that it was “over there” (not just a series of right-left responses) Psych 101 Chapter 6

52 Tolman’s latent learning
rats who were not reinforced for making correct choices would, when necessary, go through the maze correctly when food was available at the end Tolman interpreted that rats learned mazes but did not display their learning until it was prudent to do so, I.e., latent learning Learning is a very complex phenomenon Psych 101 Chapter 6

53 Kohler’s insight experiments
Kohler’s observations of sudden insight in his chimp experiment provides evidence that learning has a “cognitive” part to it and is not just a series of correctly sequenced and reinforced behavior Kohler’s work supports Tolman’s views of the cognitive aspects involved in learning We are “response learners” and also “thinkers” in learning Psych 101 Chapter 6

54 Modeling: Learning while watching others
Albert Bandura’s modeling research using the Bobo dolls with children to study how aggression is learned Implications for modern media and violence in our society? The average teen has observed 17,000 murders on television programming Heavy metal and rap music: violence preached? Psych 101 Chapter 6

55 Teaching Violence? Psych 101 Chapter 6

56 Biological factors in learning
Ability to learn is influenced by biological factors, e.g., research shows that some people are more biologically prepared to learn some fears more readily than others diets for improving learning? Brain food? can you “supercharge” your learning potential? learning in the future, a possibility? Psych 101 Chapter 6

57 Application of psychology
Psych 101 Chapter 6

58 Application of psychology: Learning the wrong things
What is superstitious behavior? non-contingent reinforcement examples of superstitions Learned helplessness the cessation of all behavior as a result of intense punishment dog’s behavior in electrified cage wife’s behavior in an abusive marriage Psych 101 Chapter 6

59 Questions? Any questions over chapter 6? Psych 101 Chapter 6

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