You are on page 1of 4

“How Animals Learn” (p.

1. Innate Behaviors
A. B. C. D. Natural “reflexive” responses to stimulus No learning required; animal can do this at birth with no help Crying, breathing, withdrawal from pain, saliva More complicated actions are “fixed action patterns”  migrating birds, nest building, spider webs

2. Learned Behavior
A. through observing, imitating, thinking, memory, “conditioning” B. learning changes behavior through experience; changes neuron connections in brain

3. Two Types of Conditioning (Associative Learning)
A. Classical Conditioning: Two different stimuli—one natural and the other learned-- produce the same reflexive response when they are given at the same time. The animal has the same response to the “conditioned” stimulus. Example: Dog salivates when bell and food are given at the same time. Later, it will salivate when bell is rung even without food. Food is unconditioned stimulus (natural), the bell is conditioned stimulus (learned), and saliva is the same, reflexive response. This type always involves an automatic, reflexive response, and usually explains how some past experience is affecting current behavior in unexpected ways. Example: celebrity endorsements connect popularity of the celeb with the product Phobias: people might be afraid of common items due to some childhood trauma B. Operant Conditioning: consequences that occur after a voluntary behavior can determine its frequency 1. Reinforcers are consequences that either increase or decrease behaviors A) Rewards are postive reinforcers—increase the behavior -- food, candy, money, winning the trophy, popularity, good grades B) Punishments are negative reinforcers—decrease the behavior -- jail, pain, isolation, losing the game, lose rewards or benefits

A) Is the example classical or operant conditioning (clue: is the behavior automatic or voluntary?) B) If it is classical, identify the unconditioned stimulus, the conditioned stimulus, and the response. C) If it is operant, indicate if the reinforcement is a reward or punishment. 1. A lion in a circus learns to stand up on a chair and jump through a hoop to receive a food treat.

2. Every time someone flushes a toilet in the house, the shower becomes very hot and causes you to jump out of the hot water. Over time, you begin to jump back automatically whenever you hear the sound, before the water temperature changes.

3. Your new car has an annoying bell that chimes if you start the car without buckling the seat belt. You develop a habit of buckling every time you drive.

4. Every time a dad drives the family car over a bridge, he jokes to his toddler about the bridge collapsing. He swerves the car back and forth to increase the terror. When the child becomes an adult, she avoids all bridges.

5. Willy and Wanda had a very agonizing, painful breakup-- Willy is totally “crushed” by the experience. A few years later he meets a hot girl named Wanda who really likes him, but he won’t go out with her. She doesn’t understand.

6. A soccer coach tells her team that if they score 3 goals or more, she’ll give each of them a can of pop. 7. A teacher tells a student, who is frequently tardy, that they will cancel all their detention time if they come to school on time for 5 days in a row.

8. When J.C. was a kid, he was attacked by a dog that left a scar on his cheek. Whenever he hears a barking dog, he starts to cry.

9. Students who don’t get 70% for a semester grade get a “5”, and must repeat biology again next year.

10. Students who do special projects for a teacher get a “Pioneer Perks” card.

11. When Fido was a puppy, he was regularly beaten by his male owner. Now he runs and hides whenever he hears a male voice.

12. A computer company hires a popular athlete to advertise their new laptops.

13. Albert gets sentenced to 6 months in jail for burglary. This will be

reduced to 3 months for “good behavior”.