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Learning, Memory, Language, and Intelligence. AP Exam Review. Adaptability Vs. Instinct Adaptability- capacity to learn new behaviors Instinct- inborn Association- How we learn Connecting events that occur in sequence Can be two stimuli Can be a response and reward/punishment

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Adaptability Vs. Instinct
  • Adaptability- capacity to learn new behaviors
  • Instinct- inborn
  • Association- How we learn
    • Connecting events that occur in sequence
    • Can be two stimuli
    • Can be a response and reward/punishment
    • Observational- learn by watching other examples
other classical experiments
Other Classical Experiments
  • John Garcia (Taste Aversion)
  • Rats in a radiation study avoided H2O out of plastic bottles.
  • Were they conditioned to associate the plastic taste (CS) with the nausea (UR) triggered by radiation (US)?
  • Garcia decided to test the theory…
  • Taste, sight or sound (CS)
  • Later radiation drug (US)
  • Led to nausea and vomiting (UR)
  • Even if sickened hours later- the ones who had the CS TASTE avoided that now conditioned flavor
stimulus stimulus learning aka second order
Stimulus-Stimulus Learning AKA Second order

Learning to associate one stimulus

with another.

  • AKA anything that is used to change a behavior or to INCREASE a desired behavior.
    • Positive- pleasant or Negative- unpleasant
  • Primary- a NATURAL motivator (food)
  • Conditioned- learned to associate with more basic rewards (cash)
  • Immediate vs delayed- Nicotine in a cigarette or weekly paycheck
reinforcement schedules
Reinforcement Schedules
  • Continuous Reinforcement:Reinforces the desired response each time it occurs.
  • Partial Reinforcement:Reinforces a response only part of the time. Though this results in slower acquisition in the beginning, it shows greater resistance to extinction later on.

(Shaping= rewarding behaviors that are close to the desired behavior)

schedules of reinforcement
Schedules of Reinforcement
  • Fixed-ratio schedule: Reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses. e.g., piecework pay.
  • Variable-ratio schedule: Reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses. This is hard to extinguish because of the unpredictability. (e.g., behaviors like gambling, fishing.)
  • Fixed-interval schedule: Reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed. (e.g., preparing for an exam only when the exam draws close.)
  • Variable-interval schedule: Reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals, which produces slow, steady responses. (e.g., pop quiz.) Most resistant to extinction.
  • Attempts to decrease the frequency of a behavior
  • Positive punishment- administers an UNDESIRABLE consequence (spanking)
  • Negative punishment- removes something DESIRED (take away a toy)
point to remember
Point to Remember

Negative Reinforcement


Weakens Behaviors

Strengthens Behaviors

observational learning
Observational Learning
  • Learn through observing and imitating others.
  • Modeling- observing and imitating a specific behavior
  • Begins early in life for humans (around 14 months a child can imitate an adult in a video taking a toy apart).
  • Mirror neurons in the brain’s frontal lobe demonstrate a neural basis for observational learning- they are active during observation of others.
  • Bandura’s Bobo Doll Experiment!!!

The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information

Flashbulb Memory- especially clear memories of emotionally significant moments or events

the atkinson shiffrin model
The Atkinson-Shiffrin Model
  • We record to-be-remembered info as a fleeting sensory memory- it is placed in a short term memory (AKA working memory)
  • From there we encode it through rehearsal for long term memory and later retrieval
  • Some info will skip directly to long term memory- example: remembering where you put your lucky pencil before Monday!
automatic vs effortful processing
Automatic Vs Effortful Processing

Automatic Processing

  • Requires little to no attention
  • Events are recorded
  • Time, space and frequency

Effortful Processing

  • Requires attention and effort- example learning a new phone number requires work to maintain it
terms to remember
Terms to Remember
  • Next in-line effect- we forget what the person ahead of us said b/c we are focused on our response
  • Spacing effect- repeatedly practicing is better than just one long session
  • Serial Position Effect- The tendency to remember the last and first items in a long list better than those in the middle.
  • Self Reference Effect- by making information relevant to you- we process it more deeply and it remains more easily accessible.
memory enhancement
Memory Enhancement
  • Ebbinghaus- REHERSAL gets info into long term memory
  • Imagery- we remember words that lend themselves to a picture better than just meaning
  • Mnemonics
    • Chunking- organizing information into meaningful clusters or manageable units (Includes Acronyms)
  • Hierarchies- processing info into broad categories that are divided into concepts and facts-
storage retaining information
Storage: Retaining Information

Storage is at the heart of memory. Three stores of memory are shown below:

Iconic – visual memory

Echoic- auditory memory












working memory
Working Memory

Working memory, the new name for short-term memory, has a limited capacity (7±2) and a short duration (20 seconds).

Most people can easily remember somewhere between 5 and 9 items … better for digits than letters and for what we hear than what we see.

synaptic changes
Synaptic Changes

Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)refers to synaptic enhancement after learning (Lynch, 2002).

An increase in serotonin release occurs after learning occurs.

Both Photos: From N. Toni et al., Nature, 402, Nov. 25 1999. Courtesy of Dominique Muller

stress hormones memory
Stress Hormones & Memory

Heightened emotions (stress-related or otherwise) make for stronger memories. Continued stress may disrupt memory.

Scott Barbour/ Getty Images

Implicit Memory

Explicit Memory

AKA Declarative Memory

Can be consciously known and declared

ie: memory of facts and personal experiences

Processed by the hippocampus

  • AKA Procedural Memory
  • Retention without conscious recollection
  • ie: skills (motor and cognitive), preferences, and dispositions: Classical and operant conditioning
  • Processed in part by the cerebellum

After losing his hippocampus in surgery, patient Henry M. (HM) remembered everything before the operation but cannot make new memories. We call this anterograde amnesia. Retrograde amnesia- means loss of old memories!!!

other learning terms
Other Learning Terms
  • Priming- using retrieval clues (hints) to assist in memory recall
  • State-Dependent memory- tendency to recall information best in the same emotional or physiological state as when it was learned
  • Mood Congruent memory- we retrieve memories consistent with the mood we are currently in
retrieval interference
Retrieval Interference

Proactive Interference

Retroactive Interference

Something we have recently learned interferes with something learned in the past

You take French, then Spanish--- oops you have trouble remembering French Terms.

Sleep can prevent retroactive interference

  • Something we have learned in the past interferes with our ability to recall something we have recently learned
  • Example: French learned before Spanish can interfere with recalling the correct Spanish term on a test
false memories how they happen
False Memories- How they happen
  • Asking leading questions
  • Other vivid retellings of an event
  • Repeatedly imagining and rehearsing nonexistent events.
  • Source Amnesia- falsely attributing the memory of an event to something we saw, heard, read about or imagined- one of the main components of false memory
how do you organize information
How do you organize information?
  • Concepts/Categories- meaningful groups of events, objects, people, etc based on their similarities
    • Example: cars- though they vary, their common features define them all as cars.
  • Hierarchies (Groupings)- clustering based on similarities and then subdividing the categories into increasingly smaller groups.
  • Definitions- some concepts are easily formed- TRIANGLE
  • Prototypes (mental image) the best example of a particular category
  • Schema- similar to prototype, but made from our experiences
    • Assimilation- fit info into existing schema- Hippos are doggies
    • Accommodations- change schema- hippos are different from dogs
algorithm vs heuristic
Algorithm vs. Heuristic
  • Algorithm
    • methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem
    • Example- to find a book in the library you could simply check every shelf until you find it!
  • Heuristic
    • rule-of-thumb strategy that often allows us to make judgments and solve problems efficiently
    • usually speedier than algorithms
    • more error-prone than algorithms
    • sometimes we’re unaware of using heuristics
interference with problem solving
Interference with Problem Solving
  • Confirmation bias- eagerness to search for info and solutions that confirm our existing ideas- Have you ever known someone who has the “wrong idea” but won’t budge?
  • Fixation- we can’t see a problem from a new perspective
  • Mental Set- trying to solve a problem using a solution that worked in the past.
  • Functional Fixedness- inability to see an objects use for something new
heuristics are cognitive biases
Heuristics are cognitive biases
  • Representativeness Heuristic
    • Judging a situation based on examples of similar situations that come to mind initially how they match our prototypes
    • may lead one to ignore other relevant information- they override them
    • Example: Pitt Bulls are mean, gym teacher vs. librarian
  • Availability Heuristic
    • estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory (overestimating personal experiences)
    • if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness or our familiarity), we presume such events are common
    • Example: airplane crash, SHS kids are smarter than other schools’ students
bias and perseverance
Bias and Perseverance
  • Belief bias- conclusions that agree with our own beliefs are seen as being more logical. Those that counter our beliefs are seen as illogical.
  • Belief perseverance- cling to your ideas even when there is evidence to contradict it. It takes much more compelling evidence to change our beliefs than it did to form them.
structures of language
Structures of Language
  • Phonemes: elementary units of meaning
    • BAT has three (B-A-T-)
    • CHAT has three (CH-A-T)
    • English has about 40 individual phonemes.
    • Consonants carry more info than vowels.
  • Morphemes: carries meaning
    • Some are words (BAT)
    • Include prefixes and suffixes.
    • Two phonemes are morphemes
    • How many are in the word undesirables?
  • Grammar
    • a system of rules in a language that enables us to communicate with and understand others
  • Semantics
    • the set of rules by which we derive meaning from morphemes, words, and sentences in a given language
    • also, the study of meaning
  • Syntax
    • the rules for combining words into grammatically sensible sentences in a given language
language acquisition
Language Acquisition
  • Babbling stage- 4 months- spontaneously utter various sounds, 10 months the sounds can be identified as the language of the household
  • One-word stage- by 1st birthday
  • Two-word stage- by age 2 similar to a telegraph- contain just nouns and verbs *Interesting fact: they follow the rules of syntax-
what is intelligence
What is intelligence?
  • Varies from culture to culture
  • Abstract (reification is difficult)
  • Most psychologists define it as: the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and adapt to new situations
measuring of intelligence
Measuring of intelligence
  • Intelligence Tests- method for assessing an individuals mental aptitudes and comparing them with others
    • Mental Age- chronological age that most typically corresponds to a given level of performance
  • Mental age of 8 means that the subject performs as well as the AVERAGE 8 year old.
pioneers in the field of intelligence
Pioneers in the field of intelligence
  • Alfred Binet- France: developed to assess mental age and predict children’s potential performance in school:
  • Charles Spearman- proposed that a general intelligence (g-factor) underlies all mental abilities- This is measured by every task on an intelligence test.
  • Lewis Terman (Stanford University)- revised Binet’s test- believed intelligence was inherited and the test could guide people toward appropriate opportunities.
theories of intelligence
Theories of Intelligence
  • Howard Gardner- Theory of MULTIPLE Intelligences
    • Linguistic
    • Logical-mathematical
    • Musical
    • Spatial
    • Bodily kinesthetic
    • Intrapersonal
    • Interpersonal
    • Natural
  • Robert Sternberg- Triarchic Theory
    • Analytical, practical and creative intelligences
emotional intelligence
Emotional Intelligence
  • Ability to perceive emotions
  • Ability to understand emotions
  • Ability to manage emotions
  • Ability to use emotions to enable adaptive or creative thinking
    • Success in careers, marriage and parenting
    • Critics argue that the idea of intelligence is stretched too far
assessing intelligence
Assessing Intelligence
  • Aptitude Test
    • a test designed to predict a person’s future performance
    • aptitude is the capacity to learn
  • Achievement Test
    • a test designed to assess what a person has learned
wais r
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test Revised
  • Most commonly used IQ test today
  • 11 subtests for overall intelligence
  • Verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory, and processing speed scores
  • Alert to learning problems, brain disorders, and cognitive strengths
testing terms to know
Testing Terms to Know:
  • Standardization- defining scores relative to a pretested group that is representative of those taking the test in the future. Terman used 2300 native born, white Americans of varying economic status: Usually result in normal distribution (bell curve)
  • Flynn Effect- increase in average IQ of 27 points
  • Reliability- consistent scores: measuring both halves, alternate forms or retests
  • Criterion- behavior (such as college grades) that a test (such as the SAT) is designed to predict
  • Validity- does it measure what it is supposed to? Content vs Predictive (criterion related validity- compares the two.)
the normal curve
Number of scores

Sixty-eight percent

of people score

within 15 points

above or below 100

Ninety-five percent

of all people fall

within 30 points

of 100

55 70 85 100 115 130 145

Wechsler intelligence score

The Normal Curve
genetic influences
Similarity of























Genetic Influences

The most genetically similar people have the most similar scores