Ch8 - a Learning CHAPTER PREVIEW Learning helps us adapt to...

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Unformatted text preview: a Learning CHAPTER PREVIEW Learning helps us adapt to our environment. Pavlov explored classical conditioning, in which we learn to anticipate events, such as being fed or experiencing pain. In his famous studies, Pavlov presented a neutral stimulus just before an unconditioned stimulus, which normally triggered an unconditioned response. After several repetitions, the neutral stimulus alone began triggering a conditioned response resembling the unconditioned response. The behaviorists’ optimism that learning principles would generalize from one response to another and from one species to another has been tempered. We now know that conditioning principles are cognitively and biologically constrained. While in classical conditioning we learn to associate two stimuli, in operant conditioning we leam to associate a response and its consequence. Skinner showed that rats and pigeons could be shaped through reinforcement to display successively closer approximations of a desired behavior. Researchers have also studied the effects of positive and negative reinforcers, primary and condi— tioned reinforcers, and immediate and delayed reinforcers. Critics point to research on latent leam- ing to support their claim that Skinner underestimated the importance of cognitive constraints. Although Skinner’s emphasis on external control also stimulated much debate regarding human freedom and the ethics of managing people, his operant principles are being applied in schools, sports, the workplace, and homes. A third type of learning important among higher animals is what Albert Bandura calls obser- vational learning. Children tend to imitate what a model does and says, whether the behavior is prosocial or antisocial. Research suggests that violence on television leads to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs. CHAPTER GUIDE > Exercises: Fact or Falsehood?; Defining Learning > Video: Discovering Psychology, Updated Edition: Learning 1. Define learning, and identifi' rwoforms of learning. Learning is a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience. Nature’s most important gift to us may be our adaptability—our capacity to learn new behaviors that enable us to cope with ever—changing experiences. 53 54 Chapter 8 Learning How Do We Learn? > Transparencies: 96 Classical Conditioning; 97 Operant Conditioning We learn by association; our mind naturally connects events that occur in sequence. The events linked in associative learning may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and a rewarding or punishing stimulus (as in operant conditioning). In observational learning, we learn by viewing others’ experiences and examples. Classical Conditioning > Exercises: Classical Conditioning; Classical Conditioning with a Watergun; Classical Conditioning: Preparing for an Important Event > Lectures: Human Taste Aversions; Classical Conditioning and Implicit Self-Esteem; Cognitive Processes in Learning; Biological Predispositions; The Association Principle; Watson’s Colorful History; Phobias > Project: Conditioning the Eyeblink > PsychSim 5: Classical Conditioning > Feature Film: Jaws > Videos: Video Clip 6 of Digital Media Archive: Psychology: Pavlov ’s Discovery of Classical Conditioning; Module 10 of Psychology: The Human Experience: Classical Conditioning; Video Clip 7 of Digital Media Archive: Psychology: Watson ’s Little Albert; Moving Images: Program 24 of Exploring Psychology Through Film: Intensive Exposure Therapy: Overcoming Agoraphobia > Transparencies: 98 Pavlov‘s Classic Experiment; 99 Idealized Curve of Acquisition, Extinction, and Spontaneous Recovery . Define classical conditioning and behaviorism, and describe the basic components of classical conditioning. Pavlov explored the phenomenon we call classical conditioning, in which organisms associate stimuli and thus associate events. This laid the foundation for John Watson’s behaviorism, which held that psychology should be an objective science that studied only observable behavior. Pavlov would repeatedly present a neutral stimulus (such as a tone) just before an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as food, which triggered the unconditioned response (UR) of salivation. After several repetitions, the tone alone (now the conditioned stimulus [CSD began triggering a conditioned response (CR), salivation. Unconditioned means “unleamed”; conditioned means “learned.” Thus, a UR is an event that occurs naturally in response to some stimulus. A US is something that naturally and automatically triggers the unleamed response. A CS is an originally neutral stimulus that, through learning, comes to be associated with some unleamed response. A CR is the learned response to the originally neutral but now conditioned stimulus. . Describe the timing requirements for the initial learning of a stimulus-response relationship. Responses are acquired—that is, initially leamed—best when the CS is presented half a second before the US. This finding demonstrates how classical conditioning is biologically adaptive. . Summarize the processes of extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination. Extinction refers to the diminishing of a conditioned response when the conditioned stimulus occurs repeatedly without the unconditioned stimulus. Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response. Generalization is the tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus. Discrimination is the learned ability to dis— tinguish between a CS and other irrelevant stimuli. . Discuss the survival value of generalization and discrimination. Generalization has survival value because it extends a learned response to other stimuli in a given category, for example, fleeing from all dangerous animals. Discrimination has survival value because it limits our learned responses to appropriate stimuli, for example, fleeing from a rampag- ing lion but not from a playful kitten. Chapter 8 Learning 55 6. Discuss the importance of cognitive processes in classical conditioning. Research indicates that, for many animals, cognitive appraisals are important for learning. That is, thoughts and perceptions are important to the conditioning process. For example, animals appear capable of learning when to expect an unconditioned stimulus, and their awareness of the link between stimuli and responses can weaken associations. Describe some of the ways that biological predispositions can afiect learning by classical condi— tioning. The early behaviorists’ view that any natural response could be conditioned to any neutral stimu- lus has given way to the understanding that each species is biologically prepared to learned associ- ations that enhance its survival. Thus, humans more easily Ieam to fear snakes and spiders than to fear flowers. Rats develop aversions to tastes but not to sights or sounds. Conditioning occurs best when the CS and the US have just the sort of relationship that would lead a scientist to conclude that the CS causes the US. Summarize Pavlov's contribution to our understanding of learning. Pavlov taught us that principles of learning apply across species and that classical conditioning is one way that virtually all organisms learn to adapt to their environment. Pavlov also demonstrated that significant psychological phenomena can be studied objectively. Finally, Pavlov taught us that conditioning principles have important applications such as how to treat fear. Describe some uses of classical conditioning to improve human health and well—being. Classical conditioning principles provide important insights into drug abuse and how it may be overcome. Classical conditioning works on the body’s disease—fighting immune system. For exam- ple, when a particular taste accompanies a drug that influences immune responses, the taste by itself may come to produce those immune responses. Watson’s “Little Albert” study demonstrated how classical conditioning may underlie specific fears. Today, psychologists use extinction proce- dures to control our less adaptive emotions and condition new responses to emotion—arousing stimuli. Operant Conditioning 10. > Exercises: A Build-lbYourself Skinner Box; Consideration of Future Consequences Scale; Partial Reinforcement Schedules; Negative Reinforcement Versus Punishment; The Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward Questionnaire; The Work Preference Inventory; A Token Economy; Assessing Self-Reinforcement > Lectures: Dolphins Clear Mines in Persian Gulf; Examples of Negative Reinforcement; Physical Punishment; The Self-lnjurious Behavior Inhibiting System; The Overjustiflcation Effect; Mindful Learning; Skinner‘s Last Days; Beyond Freedom and Dignity; Transforming Couch Potatoes with Operant Conditioning; Remote—Controlled Rats; Superstitious Behavior; Walden Two and the Twin Oaks Community > Projects: Modifying an Existing Behavior; Conditioning the Instructor’s Behavior > Videos: Video Clip 8 of Digital Media Archive: Psychology: Thorndike 's Puzzle Box; Module 1 I of Psychology: The Human Experience: Operant Conditioning; Video Clip 9 of Digital Media Archive: Psychology.“ B. F. Skinner Interview; Program 3 of Moving Images: Exploring Psychology Through Film: Brain and Behavior: A Contemporary Phineas Gage; Module 12 of Psychology: The Human Experience: Cognitive Processes in Learning; Video Clip IO of Digital Media Archive: Psychology: Cognitive Maps > PsychSim 5: Operant Conditioning; Maze Learning > Transparencies: 100 Ways to Increase Behavior; 101 Intermittent Reinforcement Schedules; 102 Comparison of Classical and Operant Conditioning Identify the two major characteristics that distinguish classical conditioning from operant conditioning. The two characteristics that help us distinguish the two forms of conditioning are the following: In classical conditioning, the organism learns associations between events that it does not control, and responses are automatic. In operant conditioning, the organism leams associations between its behavior and resulting events; the organism operates on the environment. 56 ll. 12. l3. 14. 15. Chapter 8 Learning State Thorndike ’s law of eflect, and explain its connection to Skinner’s research on operant conditioning. Edward Thomdike’s law of effect states that rewarded behavior is likely to recur. Using this as his starting point, Skinner explored the principles and conditions of learning through operant condi— tioning, in which behavior operates on the environment to produce rewarding or punishing stimuli. Skinner used an operant chamber (Skinner box) in his pioneering studies with rats and pigeons. Describe the shaping procedure, and explain how it can increase our understanding of what nonverbal animals and babies can discriminate. In his experiments, Skinner used shaping, a procedure in which reinforcers, such as food, guide an animal’s natural behavior toward a desired behavior. By rewarding responses that are ever closer to the final desired behavior (successive approximations), and ignoring all other responses, researchers can gradually shape complex behaviors. Because nonverbal animals and babies can respond only to what they perceive, their reactions demonstrate which events they can discrimi— nate. Compare positive and negative reinforcement, and give one example each of a primary reinforcer; a conditioned reinforcen an immediate reinforce); and a delayed reinforcer A reinforcer is any event that increases the frequency of a preceding response. Reinforcers can be positive (presenting a pleasant stimulus after a response) or negative (reducing or removing an unpleasant stimulus). Primary reinforcers, such as food when we are hungry, are innately satisfy- ing. Conditioned reinforcers, such as cash, are satisfying because we have learned to associate them with more basic rewards. Immediate reinforcers, such as the nicotine addict’s cigarette, offer immediate payback. Delayed reinforcers, such as a weekly paycheck, require the ability to delay gratification. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of continuous and partial (intermittent) reinforcement schedules, and identify four schedules of partial reinforcement. When the desired response is reinforced every time it occurs, continuous reinforcement is involved. Learning is rapid but so is extinction if rewards cease. Partial (intermittent) reinforce- ment produces slower acquisition of the target behavior than does continuous reinforcement, but the learning is more resistant to extinction. Reinforcement schedules may vary according to the number of responses rewarded or the time gap between responses. Fixed-ratio schedules reinforce behavior after a set number of responses; variable-ratio schedules provide reinforcers after an unpredictable number of responses. Fixed-interval schedules reinforce the first response after a fixed time interval and variable-interval schedules reinforce the first response after varying time intervals. Discuss the ways negative punishment, positive punishment, and negative reinforcement dififet; and list some drawbacks of punishment as a behavior—control technique. Punishment attempts to decrease the frequency of a behavior. Positive punishment administers an undesirable consequence, for example, spanking; negative punishment withdraws something desir— able, such as taking away a favorite toy. Negative reinforcement (such as taking an aspiiin) removes something undesirable (a headache) to increase the frequency of a behavior. Punishment is not simply the logical opposite of reinforcement, for it can have several undesirable side effects, including suppressing rather than changing unwanted behaviors, teaching aggression, creating fear, and fostering feelings of helplessness. 16. 17. 18. 20. Chapter 8 Learning 57 Explain how latent learning and the efiect of external rewards demonstrate that cognitive process- ing is an important part of learning. Rats exploring a maze seem to develop a mental representation (a cognitive map) of the maze even in the absence of reward. Their latent learning becomes evident only when there is some incentive to demonstrate it. Research indicates that people may come to see rewards, rather than intrinsic interest, as the moti— vation for performing a task. Again, this finding demonstrates the importance of cognitive process- ing in learning. By undermining intrinsic motivation, the desire to perform a behavior for its own sake, rewards can carry hidden costs. Extrinsic motivation is the desire to perform a behavior because of promised rewards or threats of punishment. A person’s interest often survives when a reward is used neither to bribe nor coerce but to signal a job well done. Explain how biological predispositions place limits on what can be achieved through operant conditioning. As with classical conditioning, an animal’s natural predispositions constrain its capacity for operant conditioning. Biological constraints predispose organisms to learn associations that are naturally adaptive. Training that attempts to override these tendencies will probably not endure, because the animals will revert to their biologically predisposed patterns. Describe the controversy over Skinner's views of human behavior: Skinner has been criticized for repeatedly insisting that external influences, not internal thoughts and feelings, shape behavior and for urging the use of operant principles to control people’s behavior. Critics argue that he dehumanized people by neglecting their personal freedom and by seeking to control their actions. Skinner countered: People’s behavior is already controlled by external reinforcers, so why not administer those consequences for human betterment? Describe some ways to apply operant conditioning principles at school, in sports, at work, and at home. Operant principles have been applied in a variety of settings. For example, in schools, on—line test‘ ing systems and interactive student software embody the operant ideal of individualized shaping and immediate reinforcement. In sports, coaches can build players’ skills and self—confidence by rewarding small improvements. In the workplace, positive reinforcement for jobs well done has boosted employee productivity. At home, people’s use of energy has been decreased by altering the consequences and providing feedback. Parents can reward behaviors that are desirable and not those that are undesirable. To reach our personal goals, we can monitor and reinforce our own desired behaviors and cut back on incentives as the behaviors become habitual. Identify the major similarities and differences between classical and operant conditioning. Both classical and operant conditioning are forms of associative learning. They both involve acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination. Both Classical and operant conditioning are influenced by biological and cognitive predispositions. The two forms of learning differ in an important way. In classical conditioning, organisms associate differ— ent stimuli that they do not control and respond automatically. In operant conditioning, organisms associate their own behaviors with their consequences. ‘ .—\‘ 58 Chapter 8 Learning Learning by Observation 21. 22. 23. 24. > Lectures: Germans Who Helped Jews Escape; Observational Learning; Media Violence and Aggression; Parents and Television Watching > Project: Acquiring a Skill through Observation > Videos: Program 7 of Moving Images: Exploring Psychology Through Film: The “False Belief” Test: Theory of Mind; Video Clip l l of Digital Media Archive: Psychology: Bandura 's Bobo Doll Experiment > PsychSim 5: Monkey See, Monkey Do Describe the process of observational learning, and explain the importance of the discovery of mirror neurons. Among higher animals, especially humans, learning does not occur through direct experience alone. Observational learning also plays a part. The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior is often called modeling. Mirror neurons, located in the brain’s frontal lobes, demon- strate a neural basis for observational learning. Describe Bandura’s findings on what determines whether we will imitate a model. Bandura found that we are likely to imitate actions that go unpunished. We tend to imitate models that we perceive as similar to us, successful, or admirable. Discuss the impact of prosocial modeling. Prosocial models have prosocial effects. People who show nonviolent, helpful behavior prompt similar behavior in others. Models are most effective when their actions and words are consistent. Exposed to a hypocrite, children tend to imitate the hypocrisy by doing what the model did and saying what the model says. Explain why correlations cannot prove that watching violent TV causes violent behavior, and cite some experimental evidence that helps demonstrate a cause-efi‘ect link. Correlational studies that link viewing violence with violent behavior do not indicate the direction of influence. Those who behave violently may enjoy watching violence on TV, or some third fac- tor may cause observers both to behave violently and to prefer watching violent programs. To establish cause and effect, researchers have designed experiments in which some participants view violence and others do not. Later, given an opportunity to express violence, the people who viewed violence tend to be more aggressive and less sympathetic. In addition to imitating what they see, observers may become desensitized to brutality, whether on TV or in real life. I I Operontconditioning is a type of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences. I (lossicoi conditioning is a type of teaming in which a stirri- uius acquires the capacity to evoke a response originaliy evolted by another stimulus. I E. Llhomdlke‘s work on instrumental learning and the law of effect provided the foundation for the study of operant conditioning. Description I classical conditioning was pioneered by hart Pavlov. who conditioned dogs to salivate when a tone was presented I Operant conditioning was pioneered by B. F. Skinner, who showed that rats and pigeons tend to repeat responses that are followed by favorable outcomes. I Classical conditioning mainly regulates involuntary. reflexive responses. I Examples include emotional responses lsutit as learsi and I Operant conditioning mainly regulates voluntary, sponta- neous responses,such as studyinggoing to work, telling jokesand asking someone out. physiological responses isuch as imrnunusuppressioni. Invaooltoaoao- ' ' ' - Responses controlled through operant conditioning are I Responses controlled through classical cmditioning are said to be mined said to be elicited I Classical conditioning begins with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) that elicits an unconditioned response (UCR). I Then a neutral stimulus is paired with the US until it becomes a conditioned stimulus ((5) that elicits a conditioned response (CR). _ Demonstrations of operant conditioning typically occur in Terminology and a Skinner box where an animal’s reinforcement is Procedures controlled The key dependent variable is the animal’s response rate as monitored by a cumulativerecorder, with results por— trayed in graphs (steeper slopes are indicative of faster responding), coconoanueeeo i Basic processes ....¥ Acquisitionistheformation of a conditioned response tendency. ._ Acquisirron occurs when a response graduale increases due to contingent reinforcement. I Acquisition occurs when a (3 and U6 are paired, gradudly resuiting in a CR. I Acquistion depends on stenuius axrriguity, which is a tern» poral association between events. I Mann occurs when a (S is repeatedly presented alone until it no longer elicits a (R. .- Acqurstion may involve shoprng- - the reinforcement oi closer and closer approximations of the desired response e. Extrnrtion occurs when it‘sponciing gradually slows and stops after reinforcement is terminated ms Extitctionisthegraduai - m weakening of a conditioned responsetendency. In Resistance to extinction occurs when an organism continues I Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of an min to make a imprecise alter reinforcement for it has been guished response after a period of nonexposure to the (S. terminated I Genera/12mm OCCUfS When a (R is elkitEd by a new StimU- u . Generalintion occurs when . - - 1 r Generninarion oc't urs when responding increases in the ins that resembles the original (5, as in Watson and an organism responds to new presence of a stimulus that resembles the origin al disciinii Rayner '5 study Of little Albeit- stimuii besides the original native stimulus. stimulus. a. lirsrnrninniron occurs when responding does not increase m- Discriminationoccurswhen m _ _I In the presenceoi a stimulus that resembles the angina! L an organism does not respond to other stimuli that resemble the original stimulus. I Discrimination occurs when a C R is not elicited by a new stirnulusthat resembles the original CS. (incriminatich stimulus. I Higherorder conditioning occurs when a (S functions as ifit were a UCS. tr Primary reinforces are inherently reinforcing. whereas seconctor ,' rein toners develop through learning Intermittent reinforcement schedules I lntermittentreinfarcement occurs when a response is reinforced only some oithetime. I In ratio schedules, the reinforcer is given after a fixed (FR) or variable (VR) number of nonreinforced responses I in interval schedules, the reinforcer is given for the first response that occurs after a fixed (Fl) or variable (VI) time interval has elapsed I - RatioscheduleleRandVR)tendtoyieldhigher response rates,whereas variable schedules (VR and Vl) . aeoqoc.‘ Concurrent reinforcement and the study of choice I (ancumenc schedules afrer'nforcement consist of two or more independent schedules that operate simultaneously for different responses. I The matdringlawsuggests that organisms strive to maximize their overall reinforcement from competing responses. I Optimal foraging dreary asserts that the foodseeldng responses of many animals in their natural habiras maximize nutrition in relation to energy expended Distinctions among operant outcomes I Pasitivereinfarcemencoccurs when a response is followed bythe presentation of a rewarding stimulus. I Negative reinforcement occurs when a response is followed by the removal ofan aversive stimulus. I Negaive reinforcement plays a key role in escqae learning and avariimce learning I Punishmentoccurs when an event following a response weakens the tendency to make that response. I Punishment may result in side eliects such as negative tend to yield more resistance to extinction. emotional responses and increased aggressive behavior. e Recognizing cognitive processes In conditionlng I Robertflescodaslnweddiatrhepredlctiyevahreofafiirfimesdre process of classical comiilioning I When a response is followed by a desirable outcome. the response is more likely to be strengthened it it appears to have c aused the favorable outcome. Recognizing biologialconotrointo on looming I hsrr'nm'wdrriiocnlsnmenan animal‘siarraleresponsetendendes interfere with continuing processes. I John Garcia found that it is almost inpossible to create W whereas corxlilloned taste aversions are readily acquied in spite of lung (Er UCS delays, wirich he attnbuted to evolutionary influences. I Preparedness a species—sedfic predisposition to be condition in certain ways and not others, probably explains why sane phobias are particularly common. I Modern theories hold that conditioning is a matter of detecting the contingencies that govern events. I Difiercnces in the adapliye challenges faced by various species have probably led to some species-specific learning tendencies. s observation! learnrhgoccors when an organism s responrhnq is influenced by the observation of others, caHed models. 1! Observational learning was pioneered by Albert EarrdUra. who showed that conditioning does not have to he a product of direct experience. KEY Themes “4! Heredity and environment interactively govern behavior. o Both classical and operant conditioning can take place Ihronqh observational leaminc} I Observational leamirrq depends on the processes of attention. retention, reproduction, and motivation. 22 Psychology evolves in a sociahlstorical context. a Bandura distinguishes between the acquisition of a teamed response and the penbrmorrc'e of that response, with the latter depending on reinforcement. I {lhservational learning can explain why physical punishment tends to Increase .rnqression in children even when it is intended to do the opposite. 11 ...
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Ch8 - a Learning CHAPTER PREVIEW Learning helps us adapt to...

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