Psych Chapter 6 - CHAPTER 6 Learning 0CHAPTER OUTLINE0 I0....

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Learning 0CHAPTER OUTLINE0 I0. LEARNING Learning is the adaptive process through which experience modifies pre-existing behavior and understanding. Learning plays a central role in the development of most aspects of human behavior. Humans and other animals learn primarily by experiencing events, observing relationships between those events, and noting consistencies in the world around them.0 A0. Psychological research on learning has been guided by three questions:0 10. Which events and relationships do people learn about? 20. What circumstances determine whether and how people learn? 30. Is learning a slow process requiring lots of practice, or does it involve sudden flashes of insight? II0. LEARNING ABOUT STIMULI0 A0. People appear to be genetically tuned to attend to and orient toward certain kinds of events such as loud sounds, special tastes, or pain. Learning that involves exposure to a single stimulus is referred to as non-associave learning. 0 10. Novel stimuli attract attention. Unchanging stimuli decrease our responsiveness; we adapt to such stimuli. This adaptation is a simple form of learning called habituation . After a response to a stimulus is habituated, dishabituation , reappearance of the original response, occurs if the stimulus changes. 20. Sensitization is an increase in responsiveness to a stimulus. For example, people and animals show exaggerated responses to unexpected, potentially threatening sights or sounds, especially when aroused. 30. According to Solomon’s opponent process theory , new stimulus events, especially those that arouse strong emotions, disrupt the person’s physical equilibrium. This disruption triggers an opposite (opponent) response (process) that eventually restores equilibrium. If the event occurs repeatedly, the opponent process becomes stronger and eventually suppresses the initial reaction to the stimulus, creating habituation. . . a0) The pleasurable reaction to a particular dose of a drug begins to decrease with repeated doses. This habituation occurs because the initial pleasurable reaction to the drug is eventually followed by an unpleasant, opposing reaction that counteracts the drug’s primary effects. The opposing reaction becomes quicker and stronger the longer the drug is taken. So, as drug users become habituated, they have to take higher doses of the drug to achieve the same “high.” Some believe that this explains the development of drug tolerance and addiction. b0) It may also explain some accidental drug overdoses. If the unpleasant reaction that counteracts a drug’s initial effects becomes linked to environmental stimuli that are regularly present when the drug is taken, those stimuli may become capable of triggering the counteracting process by themselves, allowing tolerance of larger doses. If the drug is taken in a new environment, the counteracting process might be diminished, leading to a stronger drug reaction. This involves learned associations between environment stimuli and certain responses. III0. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: LEARNING SIGNALS AND ASSOCIATIONS0
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2011 for the course PSYCH 100 taught by Professor Suarez during the Spring '09 term at University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign.

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Psych Chapter 6 - CHAPTER 6 Learning 0CHAPTER OUTLINE0 I0....

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