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Introduction to Psychology Suzy Scherf Lecture 6: How Do We Act? Learning and the Role of Experience

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Introduction to Psychology Suzy Scherf Lecture 6: How Do We Act? Learning and the Role of Experience. Psychology without Evolution. Behaviorists -. Nativists -. Psychology without Evolution. Behaviorists and Nativists came up with same conclusion:

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Introduction to Psychology

Suzy Scherf

Lecture 6: How Do We Act?

Learning and the

Role of Experience

slide2

Psychology without Evolution

Behaviorists -

Nativists -

slide3

Psychology without Evolution

Behaviorists and Nativists came up with same conclusion:

Since learning results from an individual’s experience:

slide4

Psychology without Evolution

1. Nature vs. Nurture -

2. Genetic Fallacy -

3. Instincts control animal behavior -

slide6

Genetic Fallacy

The idea that traits with a genetic basis are automatically fixed and inflexible.

slide7

Instincts vs. Learning

What do we mean by “instincts”

slide8

Instincts vs. Learning

Even animal behaviors that appear to be completely “instinctual” require learning:

slide9

Instincts vs. Learning

What do we mean by “learning”

slide10

Instincts vs. Learning

Even animal behaviors that appear to be completely “learned” are influenced by the genotype:

slide13

Why Design an Obligate Adaptation?

  • When a single solution works best across a wide range of environments
  • Obligate traits ‘expect’ a certain range of environments

Experience Still Matters:

slide15

Why Design a Facultative Adaptation?

1. When the environment is variable within the lifetimes of individuals.

2. When the fittest alternative varies from one environment to the next

slide16

Norm of Reaction for a

Facultative Trait:

High

(Phenotype)

Low

Low

(Environment)

High

Levelof Melanin Synthesis

Level of UVb Radiation

slide17

Reaction Range for an

Obligate Trait: Discontinuous

Abnormal

(Range of Normal

Phenotype)

(Range of Normal

Environment)

Abnormal

slide19

What Kind of Learning?

  • Learning involves -
  • Learning mechanisms are -
  • Facultative adaptations are -
slide20

What Kind of Learning?

1. Birds learning “star compass” -

2. Ants navigation home in most efficient way using “dead reckoning”

3. Human infants learning language -

4. Monkeys showing “insight” in food foraging

slide21

What Kind of Learning?

5. Dogs being classically conditioned -

6. Cats being operantly conditioned -

7. Human’s learning to play a game of weather forecasting using -

8. Monkeys learning to do -

slide22

Concepts Relevant to Learning

1. Ecological Context - -

  • EEA (Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness):
slide23

Concepts Relevant to Learning

2. Critical Period Learning -

  • Specialized to happen once -
  • Indigo Buntings -
  • Human’s -
slide24

Concepts Relevant to Learning

2. Critical Period Learning -

  • Requires specialized experiences to develop
  • Time window -
  • Traits vary in their sensitivity to critical periods
slide25

Concepts Relevant to Learning

2. Critical Period Learning -

  • Deprivation and excessive enrichment experiences -
  • Related to plasticity
  • Different brain systems -
slide26

Concepts Relevant to Learning

3. Preparedness -

  • Over-prepared -
slide27

Concepts Relevant to Learning

3. Preparedness -

  • Under-prepared -
slide28

Are there any General-Purpose Learning Mechanisms?

  • Can we think of any general problems that animals face?
  • Problems that would be solved with a single learning mechanism?
slide30

Classical Conditioning

  • Learning that some external thing can elicit a reaction from your body
  • Forming an association (noticing a pairing) between -
slide33

Operant Conditioning:

Learning Associations between Behaviors and Consequences

slide35

Operant Conditioning

Reinforcers and Punishers affect behavior

Reinforcers -

Punishers -

slide36

Operant Conditioning

Still not general-purpose

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