Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Learning and Adaptation The Role of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Chapter 7: Learning and Adaptation: The Role of Experience ‘Television intoxication’: Ronnie Zamora practically addicted to violent  television programming Emily’s phobia of snakes: when she was little, she saw a snake and ran to  the car, but closed the door so hastily that her hand was slammed in it  which caused severe pain and several visits to the doctor o After this incident, Emily developed a phobia for snakes Learning : process by which experience produces a relatively enduring  change in an organism’s behaviour or capabilities o Capabilities highlights a distinction of ‘knowing how’ or learning vs.  ‘doing’ or performance o We must measure learning by actual changes in performance Adapting to the Environment Learning can be viewed as a process of  personal adaptation  to the ever- changing circumstances of our lives How do we learn? The Search for Mechanisms o Behaviourism and ethology o Behaviourists assume there are laws of learning that apply to  virtually all organisms Why do we learn? The search for Functions o Ethology  focused on animal behaviour within the natural  environment View organisms as anything but a blank tablet Biologically prepared to act in certain ways Adaptive Significance : how does a behaviour influence an  organism’s chances for survival and reproduction in its  natural environment Chicks will peck just as much at long inanimate models or  objects with red dots or stripes Fixed Action Pattern : an unlearned response automatically  triggered by a particular stimulus Some fixed action patterns could be modified by  experience In some cases, what appears to be ‘instinctive’  behaviour actually involved learning
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Environmental changes could modify the bunting’s  navigational Bunting is genetically prewired to navigate by a fixed  star, but it has to learn which specific star is stationary  through observation and experience o Crossroads of Learning: biology, Cognition, and Culture Environment shapes behaviour in tow fundamental ways:  through  personal adaptation  and through  species adaptation Results from our interactions with immediate and past  environments Behaviour influenced by the immediate environment (traffic)  and by capabilities you have acquired through experience  (driving skills) Learning does not modify an organism’s genes Through natural selection, genetically based features that  enhance a species’ ability to adapt to the environment, and  thus are more likely to be passed on to the next generation An organism must learn: o Which events are, or are not, important to its 
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/04/2009 for the course PSYCH 1000 taught by Professor Atkinson during the Spring '09 term at UWO.

Page1 / 18

Chapter 7 - Chapter 7 Learning and Adaptation The Role of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online