2007-11-29 - Learning as Human Adaptation Classical and...

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2007-11-29 Learning as Human Adaptation Classical and Operant / Instrumental Conditioning Stimulus-Stimulus associations and Response-Consequence contingencies Behaviourism Stress an observable behaviour and events and exclusion of cognitive factors Little emphasis on any limits to or distinctions between what can be learned Biological Constraints and Cognitive Enhancements of Learning Biological Preparedness: Natural Selection Fine-Tunes Learning Biologically prewired to learn behaviours related to survival Behaviour contrary to natural tendencies slowly learned, it at all o Ex. Learned taste aversions  (learning tastes of food gone  bad) Classical Conditioning Rats easily learn taste aversion Lights and sounds cannot be  associated with illness o But can be with pain And vice versa Biological Preparedness Are Humans Also Biologically Prepared to  Fear certain things? The objects of most phobias have  evolutionary significance o Snakes, spiders, dangerous  places Few phobias for harmful but  evolutionarily irrelevant objects o Guns, knives, etc. Classical conditioning experiments  confirm distinction Beyond Behaviourism
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The S-O-R (Cognitive) Model of Learning o ‘O’   organism’s cognitive representation of world o Expansion of more limited ‘S’ (stimulus) and R (response) model o Acquiring knowledge rather than simply changing behaviour by  strengthening / weakening responses Tolman – Knowledge vs. Simple Behaviour Change
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