Learning is the word that means gaining new knowledge.
If you are learning the information you need to know to succeed on the AP Psychology exam, you are in the process of learning.
In this chapter, we will look at how new behaviors are acquired and how they might be lost.
We will look at how these principles can be used to help people solve behavioral problems.
Most of the things you do on a daily basis aren't things you know how to do, they're products of learning.
Learning is a change in behavior based on experience.
Changes in behavior are not counted.
Shifts in behavior due to being tired, hurt, or sick wouldn't translate into learning.
Classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning are some of the most researched types of learning.
Each operates on its own principles.
Classical conditioning is a method of learning that creates new associations between stimuli.
The new stimuli will eventually cause the reflexive behavior.
Classical conditioning depends on what happens before a particular behavior.
Operant conditioning is a method of learning that increases or decreases the frequency of a behavior by manipulating its consequences.
Operant conditioning is dependent on what happens after a particular behavior.
Learning occurs when learners watch the behavior of others.
Typically, this results in the learner mimicking the observed behavior, but sometimes observational learners will avoid a particular behavior if they see it lead to negative consequences.
Social learning is important for children.
In this section, we will discuss the famous experiments by Ivan Pavlov that gave rise to the theory of classical conditioning.
The basic principles of classical conditioning include acquisition, higher order conditioning, expectancy, generalization and extinction.
Ivan Pavlov's famous experiments on the behavior of dogs at feeding time are part of the theory of classical conditioning.
Humans and dogs learn patterns of behavior the same way, according to Pavlov.
The classic version of Pavlov's experiment shows that a dog salivates when presented with food.
The ringing of the bell would eventually elicit salivation if the food was placed with a neutral sound.
Ordinarily, the sound of a ring would not cause salivation but, according to Pavlov, the animal learned to associate the ring with food.
Special terms are used by psychologists to describe this event.
The salivation is called the unconditioned response because it is the naturally occurring response.
Before the dog associates the bell with the food, the bell is a neutral stimuli that does not produce a response.
The bell becomes conditioned when it is associated with food.
There is a response to a conditioned stimuli because it has been repeatedly matched with an unconditioned stimuli.
The conditioned response is the salivation in response to the bell.
A conditioned response is a learned response.
The only difference between the two is that the CR is triggered by a different stimuli.
The dogs were trained to respond to the bell.
The time period during which a response is learned is referred to as the acquisition period.
When the bell is followed by the unconditioned food, acquisition occurs.
The conditioning process will occur most quickly when the unconditioned stimuli follow the conditioned ones.
You want to go further with the conditioning than you did with the replicating of Pavlov's dog experiment.
When the dogs are trained to salivate at the sound of a bell, you start clapping your hands.
When you practice this with the dogs, they start drooling when you clap your hands.
The dogs associate clapping with getting food.
Higher order conditioning is a process.
Classical conditioning uses conditioned stimuli to produce further learning.
Higher order conditioning extends the learning step by step.
Classical conditioning can change a person or an animal's expectancy.
An expectancy is an anticipation about the future.
The dogs develop an expectancy if the bell is sounded before the food is presented.
One day, if you are replicating Pavlov's experiment at your house, your phone will ring.
The dogs are still hungry, even though it's still hours from feeding time.
This would be an example of a generalization.
Stimulus generalization is the tendency of a learner to respond to another stimuli that is similar to the original conditioned stimuli.
The dogs will learn to discriminate between the bell and the ringtone if you eventually figure out that your ringtone is not followed by food.
This is referred to as discrimination.
The learned behavior (conditioned response) will stop if the unconditioned stimuli stops being used.
The process is referred to as extinction.
It may take several episodes of ringing the bell without food in order to stop the dogs from drooling.
The longer it takes to extinguish the behavior, the more ingrained the learning is.
Spontaneous recovery is when the dogs suddenly start drooling again when they hear the bell after an apparent extinction of the behavior.
Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of a learned response.
The way for John Watson and his theory of behaviorism was paved by the work of Pavlov.
Mental processes, such as thoughts, motives, and feelings, were not related to learning.
Learning was all about how people and animals respond to stimuli.
According to behaviorism, psychology only looks at observable behavior.
Most modern psychologists agree that classical conditioning is a common process that animals use to learn from their environments.
Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an unconditioned stimuli follows a conditioned one.
Operant conditioning is a more active type of learning, in which behavioral consequences influence how learners behave in the future.
Operant learning is based on the fact that actions that are reinforced tend to be repeated and actions that are punished tend not to be repeated.
The law of effect is a fundamental principle of operant conditioning.
The law of effect states that responses that lead to positive effects are repeated, while responses that lead to negative effects are not.
Edward Thorndike conducted research on the consequences of behavior.
Thorndike put a cat in a box.
The cat had to press a pedal to get out of the box.
The cat didn't know to step on the pedal until it stumbled onto it and the door opened.
The cat was able to escape quickly by pressing the pedal after being closed in the box.
Thorndike said that the cat's behavior illustrated learning.
The positive effect of the door opening was caused by the cat pressing down on the pedal.
Skinner said that the cat in Thorndike's experiment learns how to respond to the environment.
The Skinner box was designed to study operant conditioning.
A rat could press a lever to get a food pellet in a Skinner box.
Skinner and his research team were able to do different experiments because of the box.
A lot of the principles of classical conditioning are also principles of operant conditioning.
He found additional principles related to operant conditioning, including concepts known as operants, reinforcers, discriminative stimuli, and shaping.
The bell and the delivery of the food were unaffected by the response of the dogs.
If a dog barks when it's hungry and its owner immediately gives it food, the response is an operant one.
When food is delivered by its owner, the dog's barking "operates" on the environment and influences.
An operant is a response that affects the environment.
If the food was delivered quickly, it would serve as a reinforcer.
A reinforcer increases the likelihood that the behavior will occur again.
When the dog learns that barking leads to food, it will be more likely to bark.
Reinforcers are either positive or negative.
A reward for a desired behavior is a positive reinforcer.
Positive reinforcers include food, money, and praise.
A negative reinforcer counteracts the unpleasant stimuli.
The pain relief caused by aspirin serves as a negative reinforcer that increases the likelihood that someone will take aspirin.
Escape conditioning and avoidance conditioning differ in the timing of unpleasant stimuli.
The properties of the reinforcer influence the effectiveness of reinforcement.
The following table summarizes these.
Positive and negative reinforcers increase the likelihood of a response.
Operant conditioning can take place in many other ways.
The withdrawal of a positive stimuli following undesirable behavior is one of the things that can be punished.
The process of suppressing a particular behavior is called punishment.
If you see your puppy chewing on your shoes, you lock it up in the bathroom for five minutes.
When the puppy learns to associate chewing on shoes with being locked up, the bad behavior may end.
Reinforcement conditioning can bring positive consequences.
If you lock your puppy in the bathroom, it will learn to fear you.
If the punishment doesn't result soon after bad behavior, it could be useless.
If you locked your puppy in the bathroom for ten minutes after the chewing episode, it may not appreciate the consequences.
While punishment reduces the occurrence of a behavior, it may not completely extinguish it.
Studies show that people and animals repeat bad behavior when they think they won't be caught.
Discriminative stimuli is a characteristic of operant conditioning.
A discriminative stimulation is a signal that reinforcement is available.
When a dog is hungry, it barks.
The barking only results in food if the owner is at home.
If the dog doesn't bark when the owner goes to work, the dog has learned that it's discrimination.
Positive and negative reinforcement can affect the ability to discriminate among stimuli.
A lot of time is needed before a person learns how to respond.
Let's say that there's a rat in a Skinner box and it hasn't figured out how to use the lever.
The researcher can get the rat to move in the right direction.
As the rat gets closer to pressing the lever, the researcher may give it a reward.
The process of gradually shaping behavior is called shaping.
Enhancing successive approximations to the desired behavior is how shaping works.
This type of procedure can be used to reinforce complicated behaviors that would not manifest spontaneously, like rewarding the rat for pressing the lever.
After pressing the lever with its left paw, perhaps.
With enough time, shaping could be used to train the rat to perform a dance.
There are different types of reinforcers.
A primary reinforcer is usually pleasant because it fills a basic survival need.
Every time you eat breakfast, your behavior reflects primary reinforcement.
A learned reinforcer is associated with a primary reinforcer.
Praise, approval, money, and good grades are all secondary reinforcers.
Money works as a secondary reinforcer because it can be used to purchase meals and other necessities.
A token reinforcer is a type of secondary reinforcer.
Money or gold stars are examples of a token reinforcer.
Imagine if an elementary school teacher gave a student a gold star every time he or she earned an A on homework.
When a student collects five gold stars, the teacher will give them a piece of candy.
The students will eventually be conditioned to find the gold star token rewarding by themselves, so token reinforcement like this can be especially effective.
These systems where token reinforcers can be traded for other rewards are called token economies.
When your puppy sits, you give it a treat.
After every instance of obeying, you would give your puppy a treat.
Continuous reinforcement is what this is.
After a while, you may decide that giving your puppy treats is too much.
Partial reinforcement is an approach to operant conditioning in which desired responses are reinforced only part of the time.
A schedule of reinforcement, a rule or plan for determining how often behaviors will be reinforced is what you choose to reward your puppy with.
The last four types of reinforcement schedules are summarized in the table below.
Variable ratio schedules have proven to be very effective for learning.
The learner thinks that after so many responses, a desired stimuli will come.
If the puppy knows that it will get a treat after three sittings, it will sit more often.
While both ratio schedules are effective, variable ratio schedules tend to produce the highest rates of response, which may help to explain the appeal of slot machines and other types of gambling.
The following example shows that a fixed interval schedule is less effective than a variable interval schedule.
A psychology teacher gives a quiz on Fridays.
You can earn a reward for studying the material once a week.
If you can't figure this out, you may want to delay your quiz preparation and study during the week.
You can get it on any day of the week.
As you can see in Cognitive Psychology, spacing out your studying throughout the week is a more effective way to remember information, so that pop-quiz-loving teacher might actually be doing you a favor by using a variable interval schedule.
Reinforcements vary in susceptibility to extinction.
Responses that are reinforced under a partial schedule take more time to learn, but once learned are more difficult to extinguish than behavior learned on a continuous schedule.
The partial extinction effect is a reinforcement effect.
If you were to give your puppy a treat every time it sat down, it would develop a strong expectation for the treat, so it would likely stop sitting soon after it stopped receiving rewards.
The puppy would be more likely to sit after you stopped if you used a variable interval schedule.
The puppy still expects a treat, even if it isn't presented.
You should be able to interpret the results of conditioning in graphs if you take the AP Psychology exam.
The effectiveness of different schedules of partial reinforcement is compared in the graph below.
The steepness of the larger line shows how frequently the desired response occurs.
The variable ratio schedule produces the most responses, while the fixed ratio schedule produces more of a staircase pattern.
Variable interval schedules have more sustained responses than variable ratio schedules, but with less frequent responses overall.
Fixed interval schedules tend to produce a curve in which responses only occur in spurts before the fixed interval has elapsed.
Cognitive learning involves thinking, anticipating, and other higher-order mental processes.
Cognitive psychologists argued that even classical and operant conditioning involved cognitive processes, such as the expectancy, which is a type of belief.
The construction of cognitive maps is one of the types of cognitive learning.
Most of the time, you know where your classrooms are, where the cafeteria, library, and gym are, and where the entrances and exits are when you are inside.
This understanding is referred to as a cognitive map because of the way you navigate the school.
A cognitive map is a representation of an area that gives you the ability to navigate it.
Cognitive maps can be used to represent concepts or subject matters.
As you read the book and prepare for your exam, you've been creating a cognitive map of the different topics and concepts in psychology.
Latent learning occurs without any obvious reinforcement and remains unexpressed until it is provided.
American psychologist Edward Tolman demonstratedtent learning in a series of experiments with rats.
There were two groups of rats in the maze.
Rats released in the first maze were motivated to find the exit by hunger because food was placed at the exit.
The second maze had no food, so the rats in this group would wander about for a while before stumbling upon the exit.
Food was placed for the first time in the second maze after 10 trials.
The non-food group had a sudden increase in speed on the tenth trial.
Tolman showed that rats can learn in ways that aren't immediately reflected in their behavior.
Observational learning is when you watch the behaviors of others.
In social learning, the learner observes the behavior of another individual and adjusts his or her own behavior accordingly, often modeling the observed behavior.
Albert Bandura first performed the Bobo doll experiment, which showed the power of modeling.
A group of children were shown a film that showed an adult punching and kicking a large inflatable doll named Bobo.
One group saw an adult labeled a champion, another group saw an adult labeled a bad person, and a third group saw a neutral ending.
Children were allowed to play with the Bobo doll after the film.
The children who saw the "champion" ending were the most aggressive towards the doll.
The ending of the "bad person" showed aggression to a small degree.
Bandura's concept of self-efficacy is the extent to which a person believes he or she can succeed in a particular situation.
Observational learning is more likely to be successful if the learner has high self-efficacy.
Wolfgang Kohler studies insight learning using Chimpanzees.
Insight learning happens when someone learns how to solve a problem.
Kohler placed a piece of fruit above the reach of Chimpanzees and observed how they tried to get food.
The boxes in the room were not high enough to allow the Chimpanzees to reach the banana.
The Chimpanzees spent most of their time wandering around the room rather than working on a solution.
The Chimpanzees would run and jump until they were able to grab some fruit from the boxes on top of each other.
The solution could not be achieved until the Chimpanzees had a clue about how to solve the problem.
The formation and retrieval of memory is one of the cognitive processes that is affected by emotional learning.
You know that your emotional state affects your ability to study.
It is nearly impossible to comprehend what you are studying if you are angry or worried.
Your emotional state at the time of an event can affect your ability to process information and recall a stored memory.
During times of intense emotion, you can vividly recall events.
This is a phenomenon known as a flashbulb memory, and is discussed in greater depth.
Some of the most ground-breaking research on emotional learning was done by a behaviorist.
The Little Albert experiment was one of the most famous experiments.
Albert was a 9-month old boy who was frightened by loud noises at the start of the experiment.
He was not afraid of rats at first.
Albert was fine when he was shown a white rat.
They showed him the white rat again, but this time they made a loud noise that made Albert cry, and they used classical conditioning principles to pair the noise with the white rat.
Albert cried when he saw the white rat even before the noise.
Albert cried at the sight of the white rat, as well as at the sight of similar animals such as a rabbit or a small dog, a clear example of stimulus generalization.
Classical conditioning can help you learn to dislike a particular food.
You would feel sick whenever you tried to eat that fish.
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It helps us to avoid food that makes us sick, even if it sometimes makes us averse to perfectly safe foods.
Some people don't want to walk under a ladder because they think it will bring bad luck.
An example of a superstitious behavior is this one.
Superstitious behaviors are learned through an accidental conditioning process in which a behavior happens to be followed by a good or bad outcome.
When there's a coincidence, a learner infers a connection between cause and effect.
Suppose a baseball player gets a new bat as a gift and he hits a homerun in his first at bat.
He hit a second homerun after almost striking out in his second at-bat.
He calls it hislucky bat after that, and clings to it in the dugout.
There is nothing special about the bat that caused the two homeruns, only the timing of the good outcomes led the player to believe otherwise.
Even if the player strikes out in his next five at-bats, an occasional homerun with the bat now and again would create a variable ratio reinforcement schedule that would likely only further cement the superstition in his mind.
As discussed earlier in this chapter, partial reinforcement schedules make it harder to extinguish behaviors.
We have expectations about what will happen when we act in a certain way.
We may develop learned helplessness if these circumstances continue for a long time.
Learned inability to overcome obstacles or avoid punishment is learned helplessness.
A process in which a person or animal stops trying to control a situation suggests that control is not possible.
Martin Seligman conducted some of the earliest research on learned helplessness.
He and his colleagues strapped dogs in harnesses and subjected them to shocks, with one group of dogs having no chance to escape.
The dogs in that group became passive and depressed.
The dogs were placed in another situation where they could escape punishment by jumping a hurdle, but they did not attempt to jump the hurdle.
Behavioral problems are the result of conditioning and other types of learning, according to behaviorists.
If a behavior can be learned, it can also be unlearned.
A number of techniques have been developed by behavioral psychologists.
Behavior modification is one of the techniques that include self-control.
Techniques used to change a behavior are referred to as behavior modification.
This is the primary method used by parents to teach their children.
The child learns what is appropriate and what is not from the parent's response.
Therapy can be used to treat abnormal behavior.
Positive reinforcement, punishment, and modeling are some of the different methods of behavior modification.
Systematic desensitization is a behavior modification technique used to treat phobias.
Patients would be told to visualize a series of stimuli while in a safe environment.
Many patients were able to extinguish their phobic behaviors because the process gradually weakens the association between the fear and the object.
Aversion therapy works by changing an undesirable behavior with aversive stimuli.
Classical conditioning is the basis of this method.
Sometimes patients will agree to be given an electric shock if they smoke cigarettes.
The shocks cause the smoker to stop smoking.
The patient is more likely to change their behavior if the shock is immediate.
alcoholism, smoking addiction, nailbiting, bed-wetting, gambling, and many other addictions and bad habits have been cured with aversion therapy.
The purpose of biofeedback is to bring the functions of the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress responses under voluntary control.
A patient suffering from high blood pressure can use biofeedback.
The patient would be connected to a medical device that would measure his blood pressure and display it on a screen.
The patient would be encouraged to think peacefully while receiving feedback about his blood pressure.
As he discovers which patterns of thinking are most effective at lowering his blood pressure, he can then repeat and refine these patterns until he has proven personal methods for lowering his blood pressure.
The patient can use his own methods after being removed from the machines.
Behavioral and cognitive efforts to manage stress are referred to as cope.
Problem-focused and emotion-focused are the two main types of strategies psychologists have developed.
Problem-focused strategies involve dealing with stressors.
If you are stressed out about not understanding a topic in math class and decide to get help from your teacher or a tutor, then you have used a problem-focused strategy.
The strategies try to deal with stress by avoiding the stressor or by attending to the emotional needs related to the stress.
If you feel better after talking to a friend, then you're using an emotion-focused strategy.
The principles of operant conditioning can be used for self-control.
Learning principles can be used to break bad habits.
Pick a behavior that you would like to change.
The number of desired or unwanted responses should be monitored.
You will give yourself something you enjoy if you meet your goal.
As you meet bigger and bigger goals, increase the magnitude of the reward.
As you learn more about your behavior, adjust your plan.
The Rapid Review section contains a list of important contributors to the study of learning.
If you want to practice for an exam on this topic, go to Rapid Review and Practice.
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