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Introduction to the Psychology of Learning

Introduction to the Psychology of Learning - Introduction...

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Introduction to the Psychology of Learning Overview of the Next 2-3 Lectures % Locate Psychology of Learning within the History of Psychology and Philosophy of Psychology % - psychology emerged out of philosophy % - learning is ultimately about developing mental associations that are reflected in behavior - textbook definition: a relatively permanent change in behavior and experience % Review Major Concepts and Applications of Mainstream “Learning Psychology” % Classical Conditioning (Ivan Pavlov to Present) % Operant Conditioning (Burrius F. Skinner to Present) % Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura is principal founder; Seligman’s work is also central) % Historical Roots of Modern Learning Theory % Pavlov was a physiologist--he stumbled into research on “associative learning” and developed idea of “classical conditioning” % - associative learning (classical conditioning) % The Legacy of Edward Thorndike: “The Law of Effect” (1911) % consequences of behavior determine its survival % - cats learning to escape from a box % - the effect of the behavior determines what is learned % - operant conditioning % Legacy of B.F. Skinner (1938, The Behavior of Organisms) % Idea of “contingencies of reinforcement” built upon Thorndike’s concepts % - contingencies of reinforcement after the behavior alters what you do Philosophical Changes in Psychology: From Structuralism to Behaviorism and Beyond % The History of Modern Psychology began with Wilhelm Wundt, who founded what came to be seen as a “school” of psychology focused on the “structure” of consciousness, the building blocks of perception. Proponents of this point of view were called “structuralists” and their school “Structuralism” % Structuralists, led by Wundt, studied the elements of perception (“atoms of the mind”) by using the methodology of “introspectionism” % - subjective data, trained themselves to discover the nature of consciousness % Psychology was revolutionized by John Watson in 1920’s, who articulated a radical philosophy of psychology called “Behaviorism.” - go away from focus of consciousness and leave subjectivity behind - psychology was supposed to be an “effective” science
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% Watson and the Behaviorists rejected introspection and the study of consciousness in favor of the objective analysis of behavior alone. They said psychology should be about the study of what can be seen and observed, it should be an S-R Psychology: % Stimuli and Responses are observable and objective, and should be the sole object of study in psychology - external events (stimuli) and actions (responses) - S-R psychology took over in the US and world for a while % Skinner popularized behaviorism further, extending its reach in academic psychology through the 1960’s, continuing to today Philosophical Changes in Contemporary Views of Learning: % Learning is no longer conceived as S-R psychology alone.
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