Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Basic Processes of Learning Learning...

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Chapter 4: Basic Processes of Learning Learning – any process through which experience at one time can alter an individual’s behavior at a future time The Behavioral Perspective on Learning: Acquiring New Responses to and for Stimuli Behavioralism is the attempt to understand behavior in terms of relationships between observable stimuli and observable responses. Believed in objectivity, and proposed dropping all mental words and thoughts and feelings. Person’s behavior is the product of the person’s past experiences; behavioral differences among people stem mainly from their varying experiences and learning Classical conditioning – process by which a stimulus that previously did not elicit a response comes to elicit a response o Reflex – simple, relatively automatic, stimulus-response sequence mediated by the nervous system o Because reflexes are mediated by the nervous system, they can be modified by experience o Habituation – decline in the magnitude of a reflexive response when the stimulus is repeated several times in succession; does not produce new SR sequence but modifies an already existing one o Pavlov’s experiment with dogs and saliva Conditioned reflex – new reflex that depended on the unique conditions present in previous experience (saliva) Conditioned stimulus – bell Conditioned response – saliva Unconditioned response – original, unlearned reflex Unconditioned stimulus – food in mouth Any environmental event that the animal could detect could become a conditioned stimulus for salivation o History of Learning Law of association by contiguity – Aristotle stated if a person experiences two environmental events at the same time or one right after the other, those events will become associated in the person’s mind such that the thought of one will tend to elicit the thought of the other Aristotle worked with thoughts, Pavlov worked with behaviors (observable) o Extinction
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