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Ap Psyche Chapter 6

Terms in this set (14)

Animals are able to learn the predictability of an event. If a rat hears a tone and is then shocked the rat will show fear at hearing the tone. If a flash of a light follows the shock, the rat will show no reaction to the light. The light follows the shock and therefore adds no new information for the rat. The rat learns expectancy.

If a dog is placed in a restraint and shocked (with no way to avoid the shocks), it will learn a sense of helplessness. If the dog is then placed in a situation when it can jump to escape the shock, it will still cower as if it is helpless. This is called learned helplessness (people suffer from it as well). By contrast, a dog that is given the ability to escape the first shock learns to escape the shocks in a new situation (it learned personal control).

These two examples show why classical conditioning experiments that ignore cognition are not as successful.
Biologically animals are predisposed to learn behaviors that will aid in their survival. Animals (and humans) often develop aversions to foods that have caused nausea and vomiting.

John Garcia wanted to prove that not all associations can be learned equally well. He exposed the rats to particular tastes, sights, or sounds (CS) and then gave them drugs/ radiation (US) that lead to nausea and vomiting. The rats developed an aversion to taste, but not to sights or sounds.

Reproduction is another area where learning is important to survival. Researchers exposed male Japanese quail with a red light before presenting them with a suitable mate. The Japanese quail were conditioned to get excited when they saw a red light. Humans also make an association with the color red and a woman's sexuality (increased blood flow, blushing, sexual excitement).
A reinforce (in operant conditioning) is any event that strengthens the behavior it follows. Reinforces can be positive:
*Money, candy (tangible items)
*Love, attention, praise (or even negative attention for an attention starved individual)
*Activities (trip to a park)

~ A negative reinforce strengthen behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, like a shock. Negative reinforces are not punishment, they are stimuli that when removed after a response, strengthen the response

Negative reinforcers could be:
*Taking Advil to stop a headache
*Hitting the snooze bar to stop the alarm clock from ringing
*Taking drugs to stop withdrawal symptoms

Sometimes stimuli can be positive and negative at the same time. A student that fooled off an failed a test that subsequently studies and aces the next test.

~Primary reinforcers are unlearned, innate reinforcing stimuli that satisfy a biological need (eating to curb hunger)

~Conditioned reinforcers (secondary reinforcers) are stimuli that gain their reinforcing power through association with primary reinforcers. Ex. Rats in Skinner boxes know that a red light means food, and will work to turn on a light to receive food. The light is the conditioned reinforce associated with food.

A research team in Britain tested the theory that money is a conditioned reinforcer for food. They proposed that if people are hungry (for food), they would become money-hungry. The experiment proved that people were less likely to share money with people in a room with hunger-arousing smells and people that were food deprived were less likely to give money.

~Immediate reinforcers offer immediate payback. Skinner learned that rats respond to immediate reinforces (humans do aw well).

~Delay reinforces require the ability to be able to delay gratification. Rats are not so good at learning by delayed reinforcers (unlike humans). Ex. Humans and vacations
B.F. Skinner underestimates how cognitive and biological constraints affected conditioning. Research had shown cognitive mapping, latent learning, and insight play a role in learning.

*Cognitive mapping occurs when an organism is able to create a mental representation of the layout of one's environment. Ex- rats that have been allowed to run a maze without a food reward will often run the maze faster when given food reward then rats that have been given the food reward all along. The rats running the maze with no food reward are like people sightseeing in a new town.

*Latent learning occurs but isn't apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate to. Ex- the rats from the examples able. children demonstrating behaviors they have witnessed, at a later time when it is necessary. Learning is not just associating a response with a consequence, cognition is also involved.

*Intrinsic motivation occurs when an individual had a desire to perform a behavior effectively just for its own sake. Rewards can undermines intrinsic motivation; if you have to be rewarded for doing something it must not be worth doing it on its own. Ex. giving money for grades. Does it work in the long run?

*Extrinsic motivation is a wanting to perform a behavior because you will receive a reward or not be punished.

*Biologically speaking, training that tries to override an organism's biological tendencies will most over not last (even with rewards/punishments) because the organism will revert back to their natural tendencies.
Observational learning occurs by observing (watching) others. It is also known as social learning.

We learn many behaviors by observing others and then modeling their behaviors. Modeling is just observing and mimicking he observed behavior.

Albert Bandura is known as the pioneering researcher in observational learning. He did an experiment with an inflate Bobo doll (clown punching bag doll). He placed a child in a room (working on a drawing) with an adult (playing with Tinker toys). The adult then gets up and punches, kicks, and throws the doll for 10 minutes as the child watched. The researcher then takes the child into another room with lots of great toys and leaves. The researcher returns and tells the child the great toys are being saved for another child, and returns the child to the room with Bobo the clown. The children then model the behavior of the adult towards the Bobo doll.

Mirror neurons are located in the frontal lobe of the brain and fire when performing particular actions or observing someone performing those actions. The mirror neuron system in the brain (discovered using PET scans) allows for empathy and imitation.

Mirror neurons were discovered by researchers working with monkeys. The monkeys had electrodes implanted near their frontal lobes and the researchers noticed that whenever the monkey brought a peanut to their mouths or watched anyone else eating the electrodes would fire. These researchers stumbled upon mirror neurons.

We have learned that our brains allow us to learn by imitation (monkey see, monkey do) and the mirror neurons play a role. Our ability to feel empathy with others (smile, frown, happy, sad) also relies on mirror neurons. If you see someone smile at you, do you smile or frown in response.