Lecture 1-Outline

Lecture 1-Outline - CHAPTER 1 1/26/09 Experimental...

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CHAPTER 1 1/26/09 Experimental Psychology- Learning Lecture 1 Outline General Definition of Learning - Learning is a biological process that facilitates adaptations to one’s environment. Basic physiological functions - for example breathing, digesting is accomplished without much environmental interaction. Adaptive functions - for example predator evasion, finding food, mating require behavior adjustments over time. -Learning can be the acquisition of new behaviors or a change in the frequency of previous behaviors you already have. If you have never ridden a bike you are adding a new behavior if you are trying to ride a spree then you are changing your repertoire of two wheel History of Learning Theories of learning are rooted in the tradition of philosophy A. Rene Descartes (1596- 1650) Free Will- Pre- Descartes all human behavior considered Free Will and conscious intent Voluntary vs. Involuntary- Descartes observed many behaviors seemed involuntary Cartesian Dualism- Unable to abandon Free Will, he maintained some behaviors were voluntary and others were involuntary- thus DUALISM- two aspect of behavior: voluntary and involuntary- involuntary behavior consists of automatic reactions to external stimuli and is mediated by a special mechanism called a reflex Reflexes- Descartes reflex arc- most behaviors consist of automatic mental reactions that “reflect” sensory input-involuntary behavior called reflexive -Involuntary human and all animal behaviors are all driven by reflexes and this reflex arc -Voluntary human behaviors are driven by the mind and Free Will (nativism) -Sensory input goes through sense organs (nerves- believed in only one set of nerves) and goes to brain and then the pineal gland (connects mind to body) and then goes to the mind (free will, uniquely human) and then everything happens through the muscles after that- believed nonhumans incapable of voluntary, conscious action. Two pathways: Voluntary- initiated by the mind- messages sent to brain then the muscles Involuntary- sense organs-brain-muscles B. (British) Empiricism (17 th century)- in general nothing is voluntary John Locke (1632- 1704) Took umbrage with nativism (born with innate ideas about certain things) Believes all ideas were acquired through experience (tabula rasa- clean slate) Thomas Hobbes (1588- 1679) Accepted voluntary vs. involuntary but believed that the mind operated predictably and lawfully as a reflex, believed voluntary behavior was governed by hedonism.
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Hedonism- we as organisms will always act in the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain- this is something we can test- moving in the right direction -Empiricists believed all ideas originate from sense experience -Complex ideas form as simple sensations combine by associations (ex. BANANA ) -Associations- building blocks of mental activity -“Rules of Associations” were proposed by Aristotle (384-322 B.C) 2000 years prior (they stole it and by they I mean empiricists) C. Rules of Association
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Lecture 1-Outline - CHAPTER 1 1/26/09 Experimental...

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