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Introduction to Psychology

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1 Introduction to Psychology
Chapter 8: Learning and Conditioning

2 Behaviorism John Watson B.F. Skinner Observable behavior
Learning by association Reinforcement and punishment

3 Behaviorism “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed, and my own special world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant, and yes- beggar man and thief” --John Watson

4 Learning Learning: a relatively permanent change in behavior that can be attributed to experience

5 The Role of Learning Do some psychological characteristics result from learning?

6 Classical Conditioning
We learn when one event becomes associated with another Stimulus-response chains

7 Stimulus/Response Stimulus: the presentation of something (i.e. food, a noise, music, a puppy) Response: a reaction to the stimulus

8 Classical Conditioning
The behavioral technique of pairing a naturally occurring stimulus and response chain with a different stimulus in order to produce a response which is not naturally occurring Example: naturally occurring stimulus and response: loud noise and flinching We can pair a different stimulus with a loud noise to conditioning an unnatural response

9 Classical Conditioning
Pavlov: Dogs: to study digestion Salivation would occur when meat powder was placed in the dogs’ mouths

10 Classical Conditioning
Salivation started to occur before the meat powder was given The dogs would salivate when Pavlov entered the room

11 Classical Conditioning
The dogs started to associate Pavlov’s entrance with food Can the dogs be conditioned to associate a ringing bell with food?

12 Classical Conditioning: How does it work?
Unconditioned Stimulus: a naturally occurring stimulus; it brings about a natural (as opposed to learned) response Example: food: a stimulus that would produce a naturally occurring response We don’t need to learn to respond to food

13 Classical Conditioning: How does it work?
Unconditioned response: a response that occurs naturally and does not have to be learned i.e. salivating to food: a natural response

14 Classical Conditioning: How does it work?
Conditioned stimulus: the stimulus brings about a response due to learning. Example: a bell (the conditioned stimulus) brings about salivation due to learning; this wouldn’t occur naturally This takes many repeated pairings with the unconditioned stimulus (the meat)

15 Classical Conditioning: How does it work?
Conditioned response: the response that is not naturally occurring, but has been learned or conditioned.

16 Putting it together.... US (meat powder)  UR (salivation to meat) CS (bell)- US (meat powder) ---UR (salivation to meat) We repeat this pattern many times..... Then: CS (bell) ----- CR (salivation to the bell)

17 John Watson: Little Albert study
Conditioned the child to fear a bunny Loud noise Fear (toward the noise) Bunny Fear (toward the bunny)

18 Little Albert study US: loud noise UR: fear (toward noise) CS: bunny
US: fear (toward bunny)

19 Classical Conditioning: Little Albert study
US (loud noise)  UR (fear of noise) CS (bunny) ---- US (loud noise) -- UR (fear of noise) CS (bunny) --- CR (fear of bunny)

20 To Review.... Classical conditioning involves learned through association We can learn to fear, or respond in some way to previously neutral stimuli

21 Higher order conditioning
Extending the conditioning process by a step Example: clap, ring the bell, then salivation occurs we don’t need to present food because the bell has already conditioned the response Clapping would eventually cause salivation

22 Extinction We can weaken the conditioned response (salivation to the bell) by removing the reinforcement If we never introduce food again, the dogs will eventually stop salivating to the bell

23 Spontaneous Recovery Even after extinction, the learned response may come back suddenly There may be food this time

24 Stimulus Generalization
A similar stimulus to the CS (the bunny) might trigger the response We can condition fear of the rabbit, and then we can condition fear of other, similar stimuli

25 Stimulus Discrimination
Learned ability to respond differently to different stimuli If certain stimuli are no longer associated with the noise, the fear reaction will not be elicited i.e. introduce the mouse but no noise, eventually Albert will fear the bunny, but not the mouse

26 Real-life application
Phobias: intense, unrealistic fear reactions to a stimulus or situation Conditioned emotional response: we learn to fear certain stimuli Vicarious classical conditioning: if we see something aversive happen to someone else

27 Treatment: Systematic Desensitization
Slow exposure to the stimulus, paired with relaxation techniques Support for this in the research In contrast: Flooding: introducing us to the stimulus all at once

28 Operant Conditioning We associate responses with their consequences
Acts that are reinforced will be repeated Acts that are not reinforced, or punished, will not be repeated

29 Operant vs. Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning: Active In regard to voluntary responses Classical Conditioning: Passive: it just happens

30 “Language” of operant conditioning
Positive = add Negative = take away Positive/negative are not necessarily good/bad

31 Reinforcement Any event that increases the probability that a particular response will occur

32 Positive Reinforcement
Providing a reward (reinforcer) to increase the probability that the response will occur again We add (positive = add) something good Candy for raising your hand in class Praise for washing the dishes Gold stars for doing your homework

33 Negative Reinforcement
Response is followed by an end to discomfort or a removal of an unpleasant event (negative = removal/taking away something) We will increase the behavior because it results in the decrease of something unpleasant

34 Negative Reinforcement
Taking aspirin to alleviate a headache Leaving early to avoid traffic Rat presses a lever to stop a shock We will continue these behaviors because they result in the end to something unpleasant

35 Punishment When a bad or unpleasant event begins
We will be less likely to repeat behaviors that are punished

36 Punishment Positive: adding something aversive so a behavior will not be repeated Negative: taking way something positive so a behavior will not be repeated **Both are punishments because an unpleasant event is beginning

37 Activity: reinforcement and punishment

38 Superstitions We repeat them because the appear to be reinforced
i.e. lucky socks  winning a game

39 Partial Reinforcement
Pattern where only certain responses are reinforced i.e. slot machine More resistant to extinction Over time, we may be rewarded, so we keep trying

40 Are punishments effective?
Based on: Timing (should be right after the bad behavior) Consistency (punish it every time) Intensity (strength of the punishment) How can we teach kids without using punishments?

41 Bandura: Social Learning Theory
Learning through observation and imitation Bobo doll experiment

42 Television and Violence
Lots of violent t.v. is correlated with aggression Does not prove causation Identification with the aggressor?

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