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Learning Chapter 5 Part I

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1 Learning Chapter 5 Part I
William G. Huitt Last revised: May 2005

2 The Reality of Humankind
Humanity Animal Vegetable Mineral Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology Zoology Botany Physics, Chemistry 2 2

3 Animals vs Human Share with animals
Learning through respondent (classical) conditioning (Pavlov) Learning through instrumental (operant) conditioning (Watson, Thorndike, Skinner) Similar Sensation and perception Memory and reasoning Affect and emotions (Freud) Develop relationships with others (Erikson) 2 2

4 Animals vs Human Unique to humans
Create symbols for realities; abstract symbolic thought as mature adults (Piaget) Conscious, self-reflection (Bandura) Plan alternate strategies, engage in forethought (Intelligence, Sternberg, Gardner) Regulate own behavior (Dweck, Bandura) Search for meaning (Frankl) Susceptible to subtle spiritual influences (transpersonal, Maslow) 2 2

5 Learning A relatively permanent change in behavior or behavior potential (i.e., knowledge, capability, or attitude) that is acquired through experience or practice and cannot be attributed to illness, injury, or maturation. Behavioral definition would focus exclusively on overt or measurable behavior Behaviorists recognize that learning is an internal event. However, it is not recognized as learning until it is displayed by overt behavior. 2 2

6 Behavioral Learning Theory
The behavioral learning theory is represented as an S-R paradigm. The organism is treated as a “black box.” We only know what is going on inside the box by the organism’s overt behavior. Stimulus (S) Organism (O) Response (R)

7 Classical Conditioning
A learning process through which one stimulus comes to predict the occurrence of another stimulus and elicits a response similar to or related to the response evoked by that stimulus Stimulus Any event or object in the environment to which an organism responds; plural is “stimuli” 2 2

8 Classical Conditioning
Pavlov was studying the digestive system of dogs and became intrigued with his observation that dogs deprived of food began to salivate when one of his assistants walked into the room. He began to investigate this phenomena and established the laws of classical conditioning. Skinner renamed this type of learning "respondent conditioning” since in this type of learning, one is responding to an environmental antecedent.

9 Classical Conditioning
General model: Stimulus (S) elicits >Response (R) Classical conditioning starts with a reflex (R): an innate, involuntary behavior. This involuntary behavior is elicited or caused by an antecedent environmental event. Example: air is blown into your eye, you blink. You have no voluntary or conscious control over whether the blink occurs or not.

10 Classical Conditioning
The specific model for classical conditioning is: A stimulus will naturally (without learning) elicit or bring about a reflexive response Unconditioned Stimulus (US) elicits > Unconditioned Response (UR)

11 Classical Conditioning
Eyeblink response Puff of air in eye Contraction of pupil Light in eye Startle Loud noise Salivation Food Unconditioned Response (UR) Unconditioned Stimulus (US) 2 2

12 Classical Conditioning
The specific model for classical conditioning is: Neutral Stimulus (NS) --- does not elicit the response of interest This stimulus (sometimes called an orienting stimulus as it elicits an orienting response) is a neutral stimulus since it does not elicit the Unconditioned (or reflexive) Response.


14 Classical Conditioning
The specific model for classical conditioning is: The Neutral/Orienting Stimulus (NS) is repeatedly paired with the Unconditioned/Natural Stimulus (US).


16 Classical Conditioning
The Neutral Stimulus (NS) is transformed into a Conditioned Stimulus (CS). That is, when the CS is presented by itself, it elicits or causes the CR (which is the same involuntary response as the UR. The name changes because it is elicited by a different stimulus. This is written CS elicits > CR.


18 Classical Conditioning
John Watson and emotional conditioning Little Albert (a healthy and emotionally stable 11-month-old infant) showed no fear except of the loud noise Watson made by striking a hammer against a steel bar near Albert’s head 2 2

19 Classical Conditioning
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20 Classical Conditioning
In the area of classroom learning, classical conditioning is seen primarily in the conditioning of emotional behavior. Things that make us happy, sad, angry, etc. become associated with neutral stimuli that gain our attention.

21 Classical Conditioning
Example: Child is harassed at school Child feels bad when harassed Child associates being harassed and school Child begins to feel bad when she thinks of school

22 Classical Conditioning
In order to extinguish the associated of feeling bad and thinking of school, the connection between school and being harassed must be broken.

23 Classical Conditioning
John Watson and emotional conditioning Watson also had ideas for removing fears and laid the groundwork for some behavior therapies used today Peter (3-year-old who was afraid of rabbits) was put in a high chair and given candy while a rabbit was in a cage at a safe distance from him The rabbit was moved closer with each session Some of Peter’s friends were brought in to play with the rabbit to show Peter first-hand that the rabbit was safe By the end of the sessions Peter lost his fear of rabbits 2 2

24 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Research has shown that humans are more easily conditioned to fear stimuli, such as snakes, that can have very real negative effects on their well-being Martin Seligman Said that the most common fears “are related to the survival of the human species through the long course of evolution” Suggested that humans and other animals are prepared to associate only certain stimuli with particular consequences 2 2

25 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Taste aversions The dislike and/or avoidance of a particular food that has been associated with nausea or discomfort 2 2

26 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Garcia and Koelling Exposed rats to a three-way conditioned stimulus: a bright light, a clicking noise, and flavored water For one group of rats, the unconditioned stimulus was being exposed to X-rays or lithium chloride, either of which produces nausea and vomiting several hours after exposure; for the other group, the unconditioned stimulus was an electric shock to the feet The rats in one group associated nausea only with the flavored water; those in the other group associated electric shock only with the light and the sound 2 2

27 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Garcia and Koelling Garcia and Koelling’s research established two exceptions to traditional ideas of classical conditioning First, the finding that rats formed an association between nausea and flavored water ingested several hours earlier contradicted the principle that the conditioned stimulus must be presented shortly before the unconditioned stimulus The finding that rats associated electric shock only with noise and light, and nausea only with flavored water, revealed that animals are apparently biologically predisposed to make certain associations and that associations between any two stimuli cannot be readily conditioned 2 2

28 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Gustavson and others Used taste aversion conditioning to stop wild coyotes from attacking sheep in the western United States Set out lamb flesh laced with lithium chloride, a poison that made the coyotes extremely ill but was not fatal After only one or two experiences, the coyotes would get sick even at the sight of a lamb 2 2

29 Classical Conditioning
Biological predispositions Bernstein and others Devised a technique to help cancer patients avoid aversions to desirable foods A group of cancer patients were given a novel-tasting, maple-flavored ice cream before chemotherapy The nausea caused by the treatment resulted in a taste aversion to the ice cream Researchers found that when an unusual or unfamiliar food becomes the “scapegoat,” other foods in the patient's diet may be protected and the patient will continue to eat them regularly 2 2

30 Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning in everyday life Research suggests that the inability to acquire classically conditioned responses may be the first sign of Alzheimer’s disease, a sign that appears prior to any memory loss Emotional behavior very susceptible to classical conditioning Through classical conditioning, environmental cues associated with drug use can become conditioned stimuli and later produce the conditioned responses of drug craving 2 2

31 Classical Conditioning
Neurological basis of classical conditioning An intact amygdala is required for conditioning of fear in both humans and animals, and context fear conditioning further depends on the hippocampus Research clearly indicates that the cerebellum is the essential brain structure for motor conditioning and also the storage site for the memory traces formed during such conditioning 2 2

32 Classical Conditioning
Factors influencing classical conditioning There are four major factors that facilitate the acquisition of a classically conditioned response How reliably the conditioned stimulus predicts the unconditioned stimulus The number of pairings of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus The intensity of the unconditioned stimulus The temporal relationship between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus 2 2

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