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Learning. Chapter 6. What is learning?. Process in which experience produces a lasting change in behavior or mental processes. Can you measure mental or cognitive learning? Thus behavioral learning vs. cognitive learning. Learning vs. Instincts.

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Learning

Learning

Chapter 6


What is learning
What is learning?

  • Process in which experience produces a lasting change in behavior or mental processes.

  • Can you measure mental or cognitive learning?

  • Thus behavioral learning vs. cognitive learning.


Learning vs instincts
Learning vs. Instincts

  • Learning is important because we learn many things that make us human: language, no memory etc.

  • Instincts: behaviors that are innate; motivational

  • Human behavior is more influenced by learning rather than instincts.


Simple forms of learning
Simple forms of learning

  • Habituation: Learning not to respond to the repeated presentation of a stimulus.

  • Mere Exposure effect: preference for stimulus to which we have been previously exposed to like ads or commercials.


Behavioral learning
Behavioral Learning

  • Forms of learning that can be described in terms of stimuli and responses.

  • Two examples are classical and operant conditioning.

  • Conditioned means learned and unconditioned means unlearned.


Classical conditioning
Classical conditioning

  • Form of learning in which 2 stimuli become associated.

  • Most famous experiment was Pavlov’s dogs.

  • His work focused on simple automatic responses known as reflexes.

  • His discovery was that these reflexes could be associated with a new stimuli.

  • Thus the connection between the reflex and new stimuli was learned.



More on timing
More on timing? conditioning.

  • Extinction: the weakening of the CR (salivation)to the absence of an UCS. (food)

  • Does it go away forever? No!

  • You can have spontaneous recovery!


Spontaneous recovery
Spontaneous recovery conditioning.

  • CR will reappear after a delayed time but with less strength.

  • Important in behavior modification because it is not a complete elimination in behavior. You are merely suppressing a CR.

  • At this point you are learning to not respond to the CS. (the bell)


Stimulus generalization
Stimulus Generalization conditioning.

  • The process that involves giving a conditioned response to similar stimuli.

  • Pavlov tested this idea by ringing similar bells and getting the same response with the dogs: salivation

  • Common among people who have had traumatic event.

  • Are you scared of only 1 spider or all sizes and kinds of spiders?


Discrimination learning
Discrimination Learning conditioning.

  • Opposite of stimulus generalization.

  • Occurs when an organism learns to respond to one stimulus but not to another similar stimuli.

  • Pavlov tested this idea with the dogs but using two tones with different frequencies. Over a series of trials, the dogs learned to not respond to one stimulus.


Experimental neurosis
Experimental Neurosis conditioning.

  • A pattern in erratic behavior resulting from confusing and demanding discrimination learning.

  • This is common in both people and animals in stress.


Applications
Applications conditioning.

  • The case of Little Albert: John Watson and Rosalie Rayner conditioned an infant to react fearfully to a white rat.

  • Little Albert

  • altoid theory


Taste food aversion
Taste Food Aversion conditioning.

  • A biological tendency in an organism to learn to avoid food with a certain taste if a followed by an illness.

  • May have survival value. We learn to from an association with food and illness but not with other stimuli.

  • Innate, not a learned behavior.

  • Response can be over along extended time.


Coyotes
Coyotes conditioning.

  • Toxic lamb burgers were placed in sheepskins.

  • Coyotes found meat and ate the meat.

  • Became sick and developed a distaste for lamb meat.

  • 30-50% reduction in sheep attacks but ranchers have not applied the research!


Key question
Key question? conditioning.

  • What sort of learning does classical conditioning explain?

    • Conditioned responses involve both nature(biology) and nurture(learning).

    • Its just not a learned relationship but can be a way an organism is genetically programmed to certain stimuli in the environment.

    • Can be very powerful in changing behaviors!


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