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Kevin Silber

on 12 October 2016

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Transcript of Conditioning

Organisms have adapted to their environment by utilising a set of different forms of learning

simple forms of learning (non-associative) are achievable by simple nervous systems

more complex forms of learning (associative and beyond) require the more complex organisation of higher brains
What Is Learning?
Habituation, Sensitisation and Simple Associative Learning
Learning is a means by which an organism can bring about a change in behaviour that is either temporary or permanent.

We use the term plasticity to refer to the capacity of the brain to change physically and/or chemically so as to facilitate learning
Non-Associate Learning
Refers to learning that does not involve the association between more than one stimulus
These are the simplest forms of learning
There are two varieties

Instrumental Conditioning
B. F. Skinner (1904-1990)
role of reinforcement
primary reinforcers - food, water, sleep, air, (sex?)
secondary reinforcers - money, praise, attention
Associative Learning
This is a form of learning where two or more stimuli become associated with each other
This represents a more complex form of learning in terms of neuronal involvement
Classic forms are classical and operant conditioning but associative learning can be extremely complex as with the highest forms of learning available to the higher mammals
Instrumental Conditioning - Clinical Applications
Kevin Silber
Understand the various forms of learning

Recognise the limitations of each type

Be able to cite research as evidence for each type of learning
Learning Objectives
What is Learning?
Non-associative learning
Associative Learning
Classical conditioning
Operant conditioning
Other forms of learning
Insight Learning
Implicit Learning
The Claperede Phenomenon
Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936

worked with dogs
unconditioned response
no response
Before Conditioning

conditioned stimulus

unconditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning
unconditioned response
During Conditioning

conditioned stimulus

unconditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning
Classical Conditioning
Key Concepts
Classical Conditioning
Problematic Concepts


Skinner’s ABC
Instrumental Conditioning
Schedules of Reinforcement

continuous moderate rate of response
low resistance to extinction

Fixed interval slow rate of response
low resistance to extinction

Variable interval steady rate of response
high resistance to extinction

Fixed ratio very high rate of response
low resistance to extinction

Variable ratio high rate of response
high resistance to extinction
Instrumental Conditioning
Schedules of Reinforcement
Instrumental Conditioning
Key Features
Fear conditioning
Watson and Raynor (1920)
Little Albert and the rat
Instrumental Conditioning
Clinical Applications
Learned Helplessness

Martin Seligman (1975) - back to the dogs!
The Attribution of Failure

attributing failure to an internal cause (themselves)
or to an external cause (other people, circumstances)

attributing failure to a stable cause (likely to continue in the future)
or to an unstable cause (might easily change in the future)

attributing failure to a global cause (applying to a range of situations)
or to a specific cause (applying to only one situation)
Abramson, Seligman and Teasdale (1978)
attribute failure causes to:

People with Learned Helplessness
originated in 1940s and 1950s in the U.S.A. as an alternative to conditioning

view learning as taking place in a social environment i.e. it is “behaviour learned in interpersonal situations”

possible explanation for novel behaviour which is difficult to account for by conditioning (Albert Bandura)
Social Learnig
Insight learning
Kohler’s chimps

Explicit and Implicit Learning
explicit is when you purposefully attempt to learn something

implicit is when you don’t even know you have learned something

Claperede showed this to be present in amnesics
Other Forms of Learning
The gradual reduction in response to a repetitive stimulus
The classic example is church bells on a Sunday morning
The initial response to a stimulus is often an orienting response
Repeated exposure that continues to signal NO danger will come to be ignored
Repeated exposure causes an increase in the level of responding
Ususally a response to a noxious stimulus
The classic is if you repeatedly rub your arm; touch gives over to warmth which then gives over to pain
The physical stimulation of the free nerve endings has not changed but the response to that stimulation has increased
conditioned response
After Conditioning

conditioned stimulus
Classical Conditioning
a similar stimulus produces the same response
being able to distinguish between two similar stimuli
the removal of the conditioned response
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance of the conditioned response after a short gap following extinction training
role of expectation?
probably the purpose of this form of learning
one trial learning
e.g. taste aversion
biological preparedness
an evolutionary advantage gained by innate responding passed on genetically
forward and backward conditioning
backward conditioning should not work but it does to a small degree
partial reinforcement only
fixed ratio
variable ratio
fixed interval
variable interval
gradually getting the desired learned response
negative reinforcement
witholding reinforcement
punishment training
delivering a negative consequence
avoidance learning
learning to avoid dangerous situations
positive reinforcement
providing reinforcement
You need to email your group names and student numbers to Emma by the end of this week
Full transcript