Psychology: an Introduction Chapter Five Outline

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Chapter Five: Learning
Classical Conditioning
Definition of Learning - the process by which experience or practice results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or potential behavior Pavlov’s Conditioning
Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov accidentally hit upon classical conditioning by studying digestive processes of dogs Trained the dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by presenting the sound just before food was brought into the room Eventually the dogs began to salivate at the sound of the bell alone Conditioning - the acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence of well-defined stimuli Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning - the type of learning in which a response naturally elicited by one stimulus comes to be elicited by a different, formerly neutral stimulus Operant (instrumental) conditioning - the type of learning in which behaviors are emitted (in the presence of specific stimuli) to earn rewards or avoid punishments Elements of Classical Conditioning

Involves pairing a response naturally caused by one stimulus with another, previously neutral stimulus Unconditioned Stimulus (US) - a stimulus that invariably causes an organism to respond in a specific way Ex. food

Unconditioned Response (UR) - a response that takes place in an organism whenever an unconditioned stimulus occurs Ex. salivation
Conditioned Stimulus (CS) - an originally neutral stimulus that is paired with an unconditioned stimulus and eventually produces the desired response in an organism when presented alone Ex. bell

Conditioned Response (CR) - after conditioning, the response an organism produces when only a conditioned stimulus is present Classical Conditioning in Humans
Humans learn to associate certain sights or sounds with other stimuli Jong Watson and Rosalie Rayner conditioned baby Albert
Became afraid of white rats by pairing them with a loud, frightening noise Mary Cover Jones developed a method for unlearning fears
Desensitization Therapy - a conditioning technique designed to gradually reduce anxiety about a particular object or situation Recently, scientists have discovered that the immune system may respond to classical conditioning techniques allows doctors to use fewer drugs in treating certain disorders Classical Conditioning is Selective

Research demonstrates that phobia development demonstrates Seligman’s principles of preparedness and contrapreparedness Conditioned Food (Taste) Aversion - conditioned avoidance of certain foods even if there is only one pairing of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli Exception to the rule; animals can learn to avoid certain foods even if there is a lengthy interval between eating the food and becoming ill Only one pairing of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli is necessary for learning to take place in many cases Operant Conditioning

Operant Behavior - behavior designed to operate on the environment in a way that will gain something desired or avoid something unpleasant Initially emitted rather than elicited
Edward Lee Thorndike was the first researcher to study operant behavior systematically Used a “puzzle box” to determine how cats learn
Elements of Operant Conditioning
Reinforcer - a stimulus that follows a behavior and increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated Ex. food
Punisher - a stimulus that follows a behavior and decreases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated Ex. scolding
Law of Effect - Thorndike’s theory that behavior consistently rewarded will be “stamped in” as learned behavior, and behavior that brings about discomfort will be “stamped out” (also known as the principle of reinforcement) Types of Negative Reinforcement

Positive and Negative Reinforcement
Positive reinforcers - any event whose presence increases the likelihood that ongoing behavior will recur Ex. food
Negative reinforcer - any event whose reduction or termination increases the likelihood that...
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