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Unit VI: Learning

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Peter Baggetta

on 11 October 2018

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Transcript of Unit VI: Learning

Unit VI: Learning

This is my point of view about this subject
I have another point of view about this subject
I have a third point of view about this subject
Unit Learning Objectives:
Distinguish general differences between principles of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning
Describe basic classical conditioning phenomena, such as acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, discrimination, and higher-order learning
Predict the effects of operant conditioning
Provide examples of how biological constraints create learning predispositions
Describe the essential characteristics of insight learning, latent learning, and social learning
Apply principles of learning to explain emotional learning, taster aversion, superstitious behavior, and learned helplessness
Suggest how behavior modification, biofeedback, coping strategies, and self-control can be sued to address behavioral problems
Identify key contributors in the psychology of learning
Pavlov and Watson
Behavior = formed by environment
Learning = connections between stimuli and responses (S-R)
S-R Principles = true for both humans and animals
All human behavior = matter of conditioning
Learning theorists/Behaviorists
Operant Conditioning
Repeat behaviors that have desirable consequences and reduce behaviors that have undesirable consequences
Behavior operates on the environment to produce rewarding or punishing stimuli
Desired behavior usually learned gradually - shaping by reinforcers
strengthens a response
increases chances that behavior will occur again
Positive = rewards
Negative = something unpleasant removed/avoided
weakens a response
decreases chances that behavior will occur again
Positive = presentation of an unpleasant stimulus
Negative = pleasant removed/taken away
Basic Operant Concepts:
Albert Bandura - Social Cognitive Theory
Formerly called social-learning theory
Emphasizes the motivating, self-regulating role of cognition in human behavior
Learn from one another by observation, imitation and modeling
Pavlov (1905) Conditioned Reflex
US: unlearned stimulus
Does punishment work?
Why or why not?
Appears effective, but usually just suppresses undesirable behavior
May reinforce unwanted behaviors
Triggers strong emotional responses
Can lead to aggressive behavior
Often does not specify correct alternatives, only tells whats wrong
More effective to reinforce desirable behavior and try to ignore undesirable behavior - extinction
In your group come up with an example of situation
or behavior in which operant conditioning principles can be used to either:
Strengthen a behavior OR Weaken a behavior
Observational Learning
Accomplished by observing the behavior of others (models)
Vicarious reinforcement - consequences experienced model reinforced or punished
Bobo the Clown study:

Classical vs Operant
Theory has changed over the years - modeling influences less powerful than successful performances
Learning a cognitive process not just rewards and punishments
- attention, memory, motivation
Children often learn during first few years on their own without models/adult instruction
What is learning?
What events are examples of learning and which are not?
Defend your position by proposing a definition of learning.
Relatively permanent
change in an organism's behavior
due to experience
Learning = adaptability - capacity to learn new behaviors to cope with ever-changing experiences
How do we learn?
Association - connect events that occur in sequence
Observational learning - view other's experiences
Associative learning > conditioning (classical and operant)
CS: learned stimulus
Classical Conditioning: Learn to associate stimuli and anticipate events
NS (Neutral Stimulus) + US
UR: automatic/natural, unlearned response
CR: learned response
Pairing: Presenting the CS and then the US
multiple times
Extinction - repeated presentations of CS with no reward (US) = loss of the CR
Principles of Classical Conditioning:
Acquisition - first stages of learning when a response is acquired. Best when CS presented 1/2 second before US.
Higher-Order Conditioning - CS from one conditioning procedure paired with a new NS = creates a second, often weaker CS
Spontaneous Recovery - only occurs after extinction; reappearance of an extinguished CR
the transfer of a learned response to different but similar stimulus - quite automatic
Stimulus Generalization

learning to respond to only one stimulus and to inhibit the response to all other stimuli - result of overtraining
Stimulus Discrimination

The Pairings Principle:
As the number of pairings increases, the strength of the association between CS and US increases. CS becomes a more reliable signal that the US is going to occur.

For Pavlov, the key variable in associative learning was the number of times the CS was paired with the US.

Contingency Theory of Classical Conditioning:
1960s - alternative theory by Robert Rescorla
Agreed with Pavlov that for learning to take place, the CS had to be a useful predictor of the US
Disagreed on what made the CS a useful predictor. More complicated than the number of CS-US pairings
Maintained that it was the contingency or the predictability between the CS and US
Cognitive Processes/Biological Predispositions?
Cognitive appraisals important for learning - expectations
More predictable the association between CS and US = more stronger the CR
Rescorla & Wagner (1972) - predictability of CS determines whether conditioning occurred
Biologically prepared to learn association to enhance survival - taste aversion
If the aroma of cake baking sets your mouth to watering, what is the US? The CS? The CR?
US = cake and its taste
CS = associated aroma
CR = salivation
learn associations between two stimuli
behavior is respondent
whether one stimulus predicts another to cause a response
learn associations between behavior and resulting events
organism operates on the environment
whether behavior is rewarded or punished
any event that increases the frequency of a preceding response
Positive = presenting a pleasant stimulus
Negative = reducing/removing an unpleasant stimulus
Primary = biological needs - food, water, warmth, sex
Secondary (Conditional) = associate thru learning
- money, attention, praise, applause -
- Tokens
- previously neutral
- vary from person to person/culture to culture
- higher preference = greater power
Immediate and Delayed Reinforcers
Schedules of Reinforcement:
Every instance = continuous reinforcement
learning rapid but so is extinction if no rewards
Only some of the time = intermittent (partial) reinforcement
slower acquisition but more resistant to extinction
Fixed-ratio (FR) - every 10 or 20
Variable-ratio (VR) - slot machines
Fixed Interval (FI) - first response after 60 seconds
Variable-Interval (VI) - random time
Ratio = higher response rate than Interval
Variable = more consistent/greater resistance to extinction
Negative Reinforcement
May develop poor coping behaviors - avoidance behavior
Escape learning = decrease or ends an aversive stimulus
Avoidance learning = prevents aversive stimulation from happening
Difficult habit to break
Learned helplessness
Time Out??

What schedule leads to higher responses?
Consistent responses?
Identifying reinforcement depends on perspective of person being reinforced
Both forms of associative learning
Acquisition, Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery,
Generalization and Discrimination
Negative Reinforcement
Identify the aversive stimulus and the behavior being strengthened
1. Taking aspirin to relieve a headache.
2. Hurrying home in the winter to get out of the cold.
3. Giving in to an argument or to a dog's begging.
4. Smoking in order to relieve anxiety.
5. Pretending to have a stomache in order to avoid going to school.
Edward Thorndike (1898)
Instrumental Conditioning
Law of Effect - rewarded behavior likely to recur
Thorndike's Law of Effect
Skinner Box - operant chamber to measure response rates
B.F. Skinner
Observational Learning
learn without direct experience
more powerful if model similar/successful or admirable
vicarious learning - consequences
mirror neurons - imitation/emotions
Behavior Modification
1. Target behavior to change/eliminate
2. Monitor and Establish baseline
- frequency/duration/situations/consequences
3. Identify positive reinforcers
4. Establish a schedule of reinforcement
5. Enlist social support
6. Monitor and record progress
Behavior Modification Plans:
1. Smoking cessation program for heavy smokers

2. Weight-loss and exercise-adherence program for obese middle-aged adults

3. Procrastination-prevention program for high school students

4. Treatment program for aviatophobics (individuals with fear of flying)

5. Anxiety-reducing program for young children who fear going to the dentist (dentophobia)

6. Treatment program for compulsive shoppers who are mirred in credit-card debt
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