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Chapter 12-Learning - Learning Note This chapter comes from...

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Learning Note: This chapter comes from Medin, Ross, & Markman  (2005). Cognitive Psychology (4 th  ed.). Wiley
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Introduction Challenge of Learning How does a song bird learn the song of its species rather than songs of nearby species it hears? How do we determine what food specifically made us sick? Learning generally refers to improvements in performance, or an increase in the adaptation to the environment Works well for child learning to avoid hot object, puppy learning to go to the bathroom outside, student learning facts But this definition does not work well for all E.g., for someone who learns to avoid public spaces (agoraphobia) Sometimes we learn something, but do not demonstrate the learning in a behavior So learning may be viewed as the storage of information in memory as a consequence of any experience the individual might have had Within this framework, we can only detect learning when the organism remembers something; and there is no way to produce memory without learning
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Biological Backdrop of Learning Adaptive behavior can be easy to learn, difficult to learn, and some appears without any specific learning Some behavioral adjustments to the environment occur because evolutionary history—patterns of action become incorporated into genetic material so new generations do not have to acquire new learning Fixed Action Patterns and Releasers Critical Periods and Imprinting Constraints on Learning
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