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Chapter 6 Conditioning and Learning. Learning: Some Key Terms. Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience. Often due to ________ &___________. Does NOT include temporary changes due to disease, injury, maturation, injury, or drugs, since these do NOT qualify as learning

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Chapter 6Conditioning and Learning


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Learning: Some Key Terms

  • Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience. Often due to ________ &___________.

    • Does NOT include temporary changes due to disease, injury, maturation, injury, or drugs, since these do NOT qualify as learning

  • Reinforcement: Any event that increases the probability that a response will recur


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Classical Conditioning and Ivan Pavlov

  • Russian physiologist who initially was studying digestion

  • Used dogs to study salivation when dogs were presented with meat powder

  • Also known as Pavlovian or Respondent Conditioning

  • Reflex: Automatic, nonlearned innate response e.g., an eyeblink


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Figure 6.1

FIGURE 6.1 In classical conditioning, a stimulus that does not produce a response is paired with a stimulus that does elicit a response. After many such pairings, the stimulus that previously had no effect begins to produce a response. In the example shown, a horn precedes a puff of air to the eye. Eventually, the horn alone will produce an eye-blink. In operant conditioning, a response that is followed by a reinforcing consequence becomes more likely to occur on future occasions. In the example shown, a dog learns to sit up when it hears a whistle.


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Figure 6.3

FIGURE 6.3 The classical conditioning procedure.


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Principles of Classical Conditioning

  • Expectancy: Expectation about how events are interconnected

  • Acquisition: Training period when a response is reinforced

  • Extinction: Weakening of a conditioned response through removal of reinforcement

  • Spontaneous Recovery: Reappearance of a learned response following apparent extinction


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Principles of Classical Conditioning (cont'd)

  • Stimulus Generalization: A tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar, but not identical, to a conditioned stimulus (e.g., responding to a buzzer or a hammer banging when the conditioning stimulus was a bell)

  • Stimulus Discrimination: The learned ability to respond differently to various stimuli (e.g., Paula will respond differently to various bells (alarms, school, timer))


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Classical Conditioning in Humans

  • Conditioned Emotional Response: Learned emotional reaction to a previously neutral stimulus

  • Phobia: Intense, unrealistic, irrational fear of a specific situation or object (e.g., arachnophobia; fear of spiders; see the movie!)

  • Taste Aversions


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Operant Conditioning (Instrumental Learning)

  • Definition: Learning based on the consequences of responding; we associate responses with their consequences

  • Operant Reinforcer: Any event that follows a response and increases its likelihood of recurring


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Timing of Reinforcement

  • Operant reinforcement most effective when given immediately after a correct response

  • Shaping: Molding responses gradually to a desired pattern

  • Successive Approximations: Ever-closer matches

  • Extinction: When learned responses that are NOT reinforced gradually fade away


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More Operant Conditioning Terms

  • Positive Reinforcement: When a response is followed by a reward or other positive event

  • Negative Reinforcement: When a response is followed by the removal of an unpleasant event (e.g., the bells in Fannie’s car stop when she puts the seatbelt on) or by an end to discomfort

  • Primary Reinforcer: Nonlearned and natural; satisfies biological needs (e.g., food, water, sex)

  • Secondary Reinforcer: Learned reinforcer (e.g., money, grades, approval)

  • Punishment: Any event that follows a response and decreases the likelihood of it recurring (e.g., a spanking)

  • Response Cost: Removal of a positive reinforcer after a response is made


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Partial Reinforcement

  • Definition: Reinforcers do NOT follow every response

  • Schedules of Reinforcement: Plans for determining which responses will be reinforced

  • Continuous Reinforcement: A reinforcer follows every correct response

  • PartialReinforcement Effect: Responses acquired with partial reinforcement are very resistant to extinction


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Schedules of Partial Reinforcement

  • Fixed Ratio Schedule (FR): A set number of correct responses must be made to obtain a reinforcer.

  • Variable Ratio Schedule (VR): Varied number of correct responses must be made to get a reinforcer.

  • Fixed Interval Schedule (FI): The first correct response made after a certain amount of time has elapsed is reinforced; produces moderate response rates.

  • Variable Interval Schedule (VI): Reinforcement is given for the first correct response made after a varied amount of time


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Stimulus Control

  • Stimulithat consistently precede a rewarded response tend to influence when and where the response will occur

  • Operant Stimulus Generalization: Tendency to respond to stimuli similar to those that preceded operant reinforcement. How can this lead to superstitions?

  • Operant Stimulus Discrimination: Occurs when one learns to differentiate between the stimuli that signal either an upcoming reward or a nonreward condition


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Punishment

  • Punisher: Any consequence that reduces the frequency of a target behavior

  • Definition of Punishment

  • Most effective when:

  • Undesirable side effects of punishment:


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Cognitive Learning

  • Latent Learning: Occurs without obvious reinforcement and is not demonstrated until reinforcement is provided

  • Rote Learning: Takes place mechanically, through repetition and memorization, or by learning rules

  • Discovery Learning: Based on insight and understanding


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Modeling or Observational Learning (Albert Bandura)

  • Model: Someone who serves as an example in observational learning

  • Occurs by watching and imitating actions of another person or by noting consequences of a person’s actions

    • Occurs before direct practice is allowed


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