LEARNING - Learning fundamentally shapes who we are and how...

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Learning fundamentally shapes who we are and how we behave - Learning is a continuous process from in-the-womb onward; takes place in many ways o Rudimentary learning: built in to the organism o Learning through association – classical conditioning o Learning through consequences – operant conditioning o Learning through imitation – observational learning Learning – relatively durable change in behavior or knowledge that is due to experience. - All organisms learn; learning is necessary for survival. - Rudimentary learning (inborn) o Habituation – decreased response due to a repeated neutral stimulus (less likely to happen if stimulus is threatening) Ex. constantly poking habituated response o Sensitization – increased sensitivity due to a threatening stimulus Ex. punching sensitized response o Imprinting – attachment of younger to older animals/birds – not limited to within species (first 18 hours is the critical period in birds) Classical Conditioning (Pavlovian) - Associations - Conditioning – learning through forming associations between experiences; extremely simple form of learning (can even take place in the womb!) o Ex. mom saying Pocahontas and relaxing baby in womb relaxes - Pavlov – studied saliva production in dogs. Noticed dogs would begin to salivate even before the meat powder was presented. Designed an experiment to verify this observation. o Meat Saliva o Bell Meat o Bell Saliva - (UCS) = unconditioned stimulus – a stimulus that provokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning (e.g., meat) - (UCR) = unconditioned response – an unlearned reaction that occurs without conditioning; a reflex (e.g., salivating) - (CS) = conditioned stimulus – a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired meaning through conditioning and the capacity to evoke a response (e.g., bell) - (CR) = conditioned response – a learned reaction that occurs because of previous conditioning (e.g., salivating to a bell) - Classical conditioning takes place in much of daily life. o Romantic associations (e.g., “our song”, cologne/perfume evokes lovely emotions) o Anxious associations – the development of certain fears (e.g., horror movie sounds-jaws) - Many stimuli are paired, but not all become associated o Contiguity – onset/start of CS (bell) a bit before UCS (meat), ends with UCS (meat) (e.g., jaws music starting to play before the horror scene is scarier than music starting to play during the horror scene strongest conditioning when there is a brief delay between CS and US) o Novelty – newer stimuli lead to faster learning, because they have no other associations o Biological preparedness – prepared stimuli are those that we are evolutionarily prepared to associate
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This note was uploaded on 01/19/2012 for the course PSYCH 110 taught by Professor Finkel during the Spring '08 term at Northwestern.

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LEARNING - Learning fundamentally shapes who we are and how...

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