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Psychology of Learning EXP4404. Chapter 12: The Limits of Learning Dr. Steve. Topics Covered. Physical Characteristics Nonheritability of Learned Behavior Heredity and Learning Ability Neurological Damage and Learning Critical Periods Preparedness and Learning. Limits of Learning.

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Psychology of Learning EXP4404

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Psychology of LearningEXP4404

Chapter 12: The Limits of Learning

Dr. Steve


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Topics Covered

  • Physical Characteristics

  • Nonheritability of Learned Behavior

  • Heredity and Learning Ability

  • Neurological Damage and Learning

  • Critical Periods

  • Preparedness and Learning


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Limits of Learning

  • Is behavior instinctual or learned through experience?

    • Some suggest that “lower” animals act mostly by instinct, but “higher” animals act mostly through learning

    • Some animals have more limitations as to what they can learn than do others due to biological/physical constraints


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Limits of Learning

  • Interchangeable Parts Assumption (IPA) –


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Limits of Learning

  • Physical Characteristics

    • Chimpanzees and Gorillas cannot learn to talk, but can learn to use sign language (see Washoe or Koko)


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Nonheritability of Learned Behaviors

  • Lamarck

  • McDougall


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Heredity and Learning Ability

  • Learned behaviors cannot be passed down to next generation, but ability to learn can

    • (see Idiocracy)

    • Tryon (1940)

    • Wolf vs Dog pups


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Neurological Damage and Learning


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Critical Periods

  • Critical Periods

    • Imprinting


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Critical Periods

  • Imprinting distinct from learning in that:

    • Imprinting has . . .

    • Only certain kinds of stimuli

    • No practice required

    • Extinction & punishment are . . .


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Preparedness and Learning

  • Seligman (1970)

    • Instinctive drift

    • Sets limits on learning

    • Revert back to innate tendencies


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Preparedness and Learning

  • Behaviors may be easy or difficult to learn depending on . . .

Contra-

Prepared

Highly

Prepared

Neutral

Taste

Aversions

Bar

Pressing

Raccoon

Trick

Dog Not

Wagging Tail

SSDRs


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Preparedness and Learning

  • Olton

    • Rats perform well, pigeons do not


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Preparedness and Learning

  • Garcia Effect

    • Garcia tested

    • Principles of taste aversion

Saccharine + lights

+ Noise (CS)

X-radiation or Shock

(US)

Predisposition to associate taste (rather than external cues) with sickness


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Preparedness and Learning

  • Why are some responses more easily associated with some stimuli than others?


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