Simple Stimulus Learning Paper

Topics: Learning, Psychology, Organism Pages: 7 (2046 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Prepare a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you analyze forms of simple stimulus learning. As a part of your analysis, you must address the following items:

Explain the concept of habituation.
Analyze the factors that affect perceptual learning.
Examine the effects of stimulus exposure.
Discuss the application of simple stimulus learning to at least two real life situations. •Your analysis should include at least three references from scholarly sources.

Simple Stimulus Learning
Courtney Lymber
December 10, 2012
Jack Barker

Simple Stimulus Learning
Learning initiates a multitude of definitions from basic to intricate but regardless of the variations it is simply the acquisition of knowledge. As such learning occurs in connection with the many experiences an individual encounters throughout his or her lifespan. Experiences include exposure and interactions to various stimuli, such as a loud noise or an approaching animal. Thus a stimulus can be an object, an action, or an individual perceived as starting a response. In turn a response to a stimuli triggers the acquisition of knowledge about the world around the individual causing him or her to perceive positive and negative experiences and learn from each stimuli encounter. Therefore, the majority of human as well as animal behavior is learned from such responses to various stimuli and is defined as simple stimulus learning. As such the following evaluation explains simple stimulus learning in the form of habituation as well as identifying the factors affecting perceptual learning, the effects of stimulus exposure, and the application to real life situations. Concept of Habituation

The concept of habituation begins with the understanding of the orienting response or orienting reaction. The orienting response or investigatory reflex is the reaction an organism has to any stimulus for the purpose of identifying the source of it and whether it is dangerous or not. As such this type of reaction evokes behavioral and physiological reactions encompassing three components: the startle response, fight or flight response, and increased arousal. For instance, an initial startle response could include the turning of the head or a full body jerking in reaction to the stimulus; the preparedness of a fight or flight response could occur in the form of a defensive position or a fleeing of a dangerous situations; and an increased arousal could encompass an increased heart rate (Terry, 2009). Therefore, the concept of habituation includes an orienting response that incorporates the initial stimulus. Thus habituation is the decreased reaction or orienting response to a stimulus after repeated exposure (Raygor, 2005). As such habituation is a “waning of responsiveness” to recurring stimulation (Terry, 2009, p. 28).The concept encompasses a new stimulus becoming less relevant and more mundane as it repeatedly occurs causing less of a reaction from the individual subject to the stimulus. As well habituation refers to both the process of the repetitive presentation of a stimulus and to the ultimate effect of a decreased response (Terry, 2009). Likewise habituation is a simple form of learning because an individual or animal can learn an aspect of a stimulus he or she did not previously understand. For instance, a car alarm can signal a response in an individual which includes fear, rapid heartbeat, and anxiety the first few times it is heard, but after repeatedly occurring the initial fear and anxiety subsides. Thus the differing reaction from the initial response or orienting response occurs because the individual has become used to the stimulus and no longer comprehends it as a threat. As known habituation differs from other forms of learning because it concentrates on learning from a stimulus as well as teaching the organism to become less responding over time unless followed by additional consequences (Terry,...

References: Bell, I. R., Hardin, E. E., Baldwin, C. M., & Schwartz, G. E. (1995, August). Increased limbic system symptomatology and sensitizability of young adults with chemical and noise sensitivities. [Research Support]. Environmental Research, 2(70), 84-97.
Institute of Perceptual Learning. (2012). How perceptual learning works. Retrieved from
Raygor, R. (2005). The science of psychology (2 ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt College Publishers.
Terry, W. S. (2009). Learning and memory: Basic principles, processes, and procedures (4 ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
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