exam1 classnotes - What is learning anyway Alexander...

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What is learning anyway? Alexander, Schallert, Reynolds - 2009 Terms Framework: broad outline or guess as to what’s going on. Not necessarily testable Theory: testable. Tends to explain, describe, and predict. Specific enough to de- scribe particular stages or mechanisms- clearly defined Principles: guiding set of ideas Empirical evidence: a study to test a research question or to test different aspects of a theory. Using studies to gather data. The principles Learning is change Learning is inevitable, essential, and ubiquitous - we can’t help doing it as humans Learning can be resisted - Learning may be disadvantageous Learning can be tacit and incidental as well as conscious and intentional Learning is framed by our humanness - human learning is very different from anim- al learning Learning refers to both a process and a product Learning is different at different points in time Learning is interactional Dimensions of learning Who What Where When Biological bases of behavior (chapter 2) Brain development Synaptic pruning Neurons, synapses, stimulation Strengthen certain connections between neurons by doing the same thing over and over again Brain plasticity Lateralization: left and right hemispheres Sensitive periods: extra stress or lack of certain kinds of stimulation really affect brain development Ex: Romanian orphans - the orphans don’t have much time to play which means they have a lack of stimulation. If adopted early, they catch up well in many areas of development; if adopted later, there seems to be permanent damage in terms of social regressive behaviors or falling behind in school. Nature vs. Nurture Four perspectives of sources of development (textbook notes) The behavioral approach Assumes that the outcome of learning is an observable behavior Thoughts are merely words in our head and words uttered are behaviors.
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Explains learning in terms of environmental events Individuals are shaped entirely (in strict behaviorism) by environmental circum- stances Classical conditioning Pavlov Occurs when neutral objects come to elicit specific responses - may be unique to the individual Occurs via association of the neutral object with a meaningful stimulus The reinforcement or punishment occurs during the behavior Terms Unconditioned stimulus: something in the environment that elicits a specific re- sponse. Ex: loud banging, ice cream Unconditioned response: an involuntary emotional or physiological response. Ex: fear, happiness, anxiety, salivation Neutral stimulus: something in the environment that causes no particular re- sponse of any kind. Ex: white rabbit, ice cram truck, music Conditioned stimulus: a stimulus that was previously neutral and has been as- sociated with an unconditioned stimulus-response. Ex: white rabbit, ice cream truck, music Conditioned response: a response that was previously unconditioned and has become associated with a conditioned stimulus.
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