Thinking and Language

Cognition defines the process of acquiring, maintaining and using information. Problem solving represents one aspect of cognition. All of us are faced with a variety of problems that need to be solved each day. 1. Most problems are mundane and simple: what to wear, to make for supper, etc. 2. Others are more far-reaching, such as what college to attend, how to sustain or improve a relationship, what career to choose. 3. We experience other problems in our school or work. We must think through these problems using problem solving techniques. Steps of problem solving: 1. Define the problem - the problem should be clearly and precisely defined. Many people will skip this step, resulting in faulty problem solving. For example a person is always late to class. Showing up late appears to be the problem, but in reality showing up late may be the result. The problem may be that the person gets out of work late, sleeps in late, is disorganized, etc. Be specific and precise when defining the problem. 2. Develop strategies and solutions - find a method that will help solve the problem (talk to the boss to get out a few minutes early, schedule later classes, talk to the professor about making up missed material, etc.). Some general strategies for problem solving are listed below. 3. Try a solution and evaluate the effectiveness - After you have listed a few strategies that may work, pick the one that sounds the most effective and implement it. Once it has been tried, determine whether or not the strategy solved the problem. If the problem is solved, you have completed the steps. If the problem still exists, go to step 4. 4. Reevaluate the problem and solutions- If the initial strategy did not work, you need to determine if the problem was defined accurately or if another solution

would be more effective. Repeat step three. Problem solving strategies can be formal or informal (or a combination of both). Formal problem solving strategies incorporate a series of defined steps or structure needed to accurately solve the problem (ie., algorithm, hypothesis testing). Informal strategies (trial and error and use of heuristics) do not use structure or steps but may be used to save mental engergy and time. STRATEGIES 1. Trial and error This approach to problem solving involves trying one solution after another in no particular order until a workable solution is found. Even lower animals use this approach. Trial and error can be very time consuming and even dangerous (would you feel comfortable with a surgeon who operated on you using the trial and error approach?) Of course most of our problems are not life or death situations, and if all else fails in our efforts to solve a problem, we may be reduced to trial and error. Less mental energy is required to use this strategy. However, other techniques are far more effective and less time consuming. Trial and error does not guarantee a solution to the problem. 2. Use of prior knowledge Rather than beginning with a haphazard, trial-and-error approach, it is best to reflect on a problem and see if you already have any knowledge that might help in finding a solution. Some problems can be solved with only a little stored knowledge. a. Hypothesis testing - making tentative assumptions and then test these predictions/assumptions - experimenter forms a hypothesis and then tests this hypothesis with experimentation, observation, etc. If my soup tastes bland, I could hypothesize that salt will improve the taste. I then add salt and taste the soup to determine if the soup’s taste improved. This strategy is not full-proof; again we may not solve the problem. b. algorithms – This strategy is a systematic, step-by-step procedure that guarantees a solution to a problem of a certain type as long as the algorithm is appropriate and executed properly. ie., formulas used in math and other sciences Computers are often programmed in this fashion 3. Heuristic: fast but not infallible This problem solving technique does not guarantee success but offers a promising way to attack a problem and arrive at a solution. These simple, rule-

of-thumb strategies come from previous experience, knowledge, etc. Chess players must use heuristics because there is not enough time to consider all of the moves and countermoves that would be possible in a single game of chess. Heuristics are used to eliminate useless steps and to take the shortest probable path toward a solution. We may also use heuristics when we are lost. We have become accustomed to using a particular strategy (ie., use of maps, asking for directions, use of GPS) when trying to find our location. Again, this strategy does not guarantee a solution. 4. Subgoaling - break the problem into many littler steps or goals; focus on the littler steps until you finally reach your goal 5. Inductive reasoning -taking information from a small sample and applying it to the larger problem or issue - applying known information to other situations (I know that if I eat a whole bag of Oreos, I will gain weight. Will I also gain weight if I eat a whole carton of ice cream?) OBSTACLES IN PROBLEM SOLVING Some times things get in our way or cloud our judgment so that it is difficult to create an accurate solution. Below are a few examples of problems that may block successful reasoning: 1. misusing heuristics A. representative heuristic - to judge the likelihood of something, we intuitively compare it to our mental prototype (best example) of the category. Linda is 31, single, outspoken and very bright. She majored in philosophy in college. As a student she was deeply concerned with discrimination and other social issues, and she participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Which statement is correct? a. Linda is a bank teller. b. Linda is a bank teller and active in the feminist movement. Most people will say b because the feminist-like activity she displayed. However, when looking at probabilites, Linda is more likely to be a bank teller than a bank teller AND feminist. Statistically more people exhibit one but not both traits. We may erroneously select b because we activated a stereotype/representative heuristic.

B. availability heuristic - we base judgments on the availability of the information in our memories Some people are afraid to fly, yet a person is more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane wreck. People fear the plane wreck because we have more visual memories of plane wrecks from the media. Plane crashes are likely to be televised, on the front page of a newspaper, and splattered across local and evening news stations. However, if I am in a car accident, you are not likely to find out about the accident from reporting on the television. The newspaper is likely to place the story on page 2, 3, or even later in the paper. Think about the following: # deaths per 100 million Americans: all accidents (55,000) vs strokes (102,000) all cancers (160,000) vs heart disease (360,000) motor vehicle accidents (27,000) vs digestive system cancer (46,400) What do people fear the most? Fewer people, for example, fear dying from digestive system cancer because they do not hear about these reports as often as they hear about motor vehicle accidents. 2. functional fixedness - the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions - tend to perceive the function of an object as fixed and unchanging. For example, the function of a wrench is to grasp on to the item so you can turn it, pull it out, etc.; however, when a nail needs to be pounded into a wall, a wrench can also be used as a hammer. If we do not use the wrench because we don’t see the use of the wrench in this fashion, we are experiencing functional fixedness. Functional fixedness is also an inability to take a new perspective on a problem. 3. mental set means that we get into a mental rut in our approach to solving problems, continuing to use the same old method even though another approach might be better. We are much more susceptible to a mental set when we fail to consider the special requirements of a problem. People who have problems with mental sets are also likely to have problems with functional fixedness. Do you remember in first grade when our teachers asked us to answer a question in class. If we were working on a math assignment and believed the answer to be 7, we would raise our hands and say "7." If the teacher tells us that we were wrong, we may use trial and error and keep guessing the answer until we are correct. However, a better strategy to use would be an algorithm. 4. confirmation bias - we seek out only that information which will confirm our hypotheses, even though the information that disconfirms our hypothesis or

belief is just as informative. For example, OJ Simpson reported that the detectives investigating his wife's death ignored evidence that suggested that someone besides himself murdered his wife. He believed that the detectives engaged in confirmation bias because they only pursued evidence to support his guilt and ignored all other evidence. 5. Hindsight bias - claiming, after the fact, that one knew what was going to happen before it happened (on the Monday after the Supper Bowl, I tell you that I knew team A was going to win all along; I do not make this claim until after the fact).

6. Belief perseverance - continuing to hold a belief even though you have been presented with information that disconfirms the belief (doctor says that smoking has contributed to the development of your lung cancer; you still believe that smoking is harmless so you continue smoking; a wife believes that her husband will no longer beat her even though this is her third visit to the emergency room) DECISION MAKING When forming judgments, we usually do not reason systematically --> we are more likely to use heuristics than algorithmic thinking

CRITICAL THINKING When thinking critically, you are thinking like a scientist. You should keep the following guidelines in mind. Be objective- remove all opinion and emotion; look at the facts or the information Be open-minded- consider all possibilities; do not limit yourself to your biases or beliefs - look at all angles of the situation Consider multiple causes or possibilities- Do not limit your thinking by believing the simplistic - some problems or situations have multiple explanations. Be critical- evaluate the evidence and do not simply accept all information as fact - look for the support for the information, belief, or theory Language development

Humans use language in order to communicate. Language begins to develop in infancy; communication with an infant begins at birth. Crying, grunting, etc. are used to express wants and needs. These primitive noises are soon replaced with other structured sounds to produce more constructive interaction. Definitions: phonemes morpheme semantics etc.) grammar interactions smallest unit of sound (English language has 45 phonemes) smallest unit of meaning (the, ball, ship) word meanings (a ball is an object that we can roll, throw, rules for combining words to create meaningful, coherent

Major Language Milestones experienced in infancy At 2 months, babies coo, using a string of vowels sounds to communicate. This communication usually indicates pleasure or contentment. At 4 to 18 months babbling (vowel-consonant combinations) occurs. Examples of babbling are dada, baba, mama. During first 6 months, all infants, regardless of culture, sound alike At this age infants will also use gestures and nonverbal communication. For example, they may point at the cupboard with cups to indicate that they want something to drink. 10 -13 mos. - first words used to communicate; one word may be used to represent many different meanings Toddlers can understand more words that what they can say. For example, if you say “truck,” they can pick out the truck from other toys but they may not be able to say the word “truck.” During 12-24 months infants/toddlers are in the language holophrasic period (single words that represent phrases). For example, “Drink” could mean “I want a drink” or “I am done with my drink.” At 18 - 36 months infants use telegraphic speech. Necessary words are included in a sentence, while unnecessary words (a, an, the, with) are omitted. “Go home.” “Doggy play.” Language errors As infants, toddlers and children are learning to use language, they will inevitably make errors. Some of these errors include: OVEREXTENSION - Using a word to refer to a wider variety of objects or events (use dogs to refer to all animals)

UNDEREXTENSION - use a general word to refer to a smaller range of objects (ie., cookie refers only to sugar cookie) WORD COINING - making up words (decreases as vocabulary increases) OVERREGULARIZATION - applying a newly acquired rule to all verbs or nouns (over applying "ed" or "s") Theories of Language Development Nativist Theories - suggest that we learn language because we possess an inborn language acquisition device (LAD) (Chomsky) - This LAD causes language to develop naturally and biologically. Environmental stimulation is not needed in order to learn how to talk. Behavioral Theories - suggest that we learn language through interactions in our environment - others talk to us (model), praise us for correct language skills (reinforcement), shape our skills by teaching small steps (cooing/ vowels -> babbling/vowels and consonants -> first words, etc.). The use of motherese (infant directed communication, which is high pitched and exaggerated speech containing much fluctuation) promotes language development. We also imitate what we hear. Most of us can remember an example of a young child repeating something that was said by an older child or adult. Interactionist Theories - Biology and environment are both necessary to produce language. To date, the research is inconclusive. Evidence exists to support both the nativist (nature) and behavioral (nurture) theories. The interactionist theory might better account for the wealth of the language research. Chapter 6 MEMORY INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL (Atkinson and Shiffron) In the 1950's, information theorists Newell and Simon began to compare the human mind to the "electric brain (computer)". Both mind and computer have a finite capacity for storing, retrieving, and analyzing information. Each system also consists of HARDWARE & SOFTWARE. Computer's hardware includes keyboard, monitor, mother board, etc. The computer's software includes programs (whether on cd or hard drive) that tell the machine how to organize, retrieve, and operate on the information it receives. The mind's physical machinery or hardware consists of brain, CNS, and sensory receptors. For software, the mind relies on rules, plans, motives, and intentions that affect the ways information is registered, interpreted, stored, retrieved, and analyzed. Information theorists suggest that as the brain and nervous system mature (hardware) and children adopt new strategies for attending to stimuli, interpret the new stimuli and remember what they have experienced (software), they should become much more proficient at acting on information to solve important problems. Model

According to Atkinson and Shiffron, information can pass through three stores or types of memory. 1. Information from the environment is detected and first passes through the sensory store. This memory represents the system log on unit; it simply holds raw sensory input for a very brief period of time (perhaps less than 1 - 3 seconds) as a kind of after image of what has been sensed. Inoformation entered into the sensory store will soon disappear if we do nothing with it. 2. If we attend to the information, it will pass into short term memory (STM). STM is a processing unit that can store a limited amount of information (5 - 9 units or 7+/-2 units) for several seconds (up to 30 seconds). The short term memory capacity is sufficient to let you remember a phone number long enough to dial it. If you do nothing with this information, again it will be lost shortly. STM is sometimes called working memory because all conscious intellectual activity is thought to take place here. STM has two functions: a. store information temporarily b. work with or manipulate the information 3.Finally new information that is operated on while in STM can pass into long term memory (LTM): a vast and relatively permanent storehouse of information that includes our knowledge of the world. Examplesof LTMs include the first President of the US and the capitol of Ohio (semantic memory), our impressions of past experiences and personal events, such as a first kiss, getting our driver's license, our wedding day (episodic memories ), skills, such as riding a bike or brushing one's teeth (procedural memories), and the strategies that we use to process information and solve problems. Information does not simply "flow" on its own through the various stores, or processing units, of the system; instead we actively channel this input and make it flow. This channeling of information is influenced by executive control processes (processes involved in planning and monitoring what we attend to and what we do with our knowledge). The executive processes by which we gather, store, retrieve, and operate on information are thought to be largely under voluntary control and are what most clearly distinguish the brain from the computer. Humans must initialize, organize, and monitor their own cognitive processes. We decide what to attend to, we select our own strategies for retaining and retrieving information, we chose the problems to solve. One important implication of this information-processing model is that many factors other than a lack of the necessary logic (cognitive structures) might account for a person’s failure to solve a problem. 1. The person may not be attending to the information, 2. The person may lack the strategies to transfer information from store to store, 3. The person may not have retained the critical rules for solving the problem, 4. The person may lack the executive control processes that would enable successful conclusions. MEMORY PROCESSES: Once we have attended to information of some kind, we must find a way to remember it if we are to learn from our experiences or use this input to solve a problem. MEMORY is a term used to describe the processes by which people retain information and then retrieve it for use at at later time. Investigators who study memory distinguish between RECALL & RECOGNITION. RECOGNITION MEMORY occurs when we encounter some information and realize that we have seen or experienced it before.

RECALL MEMORY requires us to retrieve a piece of information that is not currently being presented. RECOGNITION is much easier than RECALL; RECOGNITION is present at birth and steadily improves during the first year of life. Two types of memory strategies exist: ENCODING AND RETRIEVAL Encoding strategies involve identifying the most important features of the environment and then forming an internal representation of them. These encoding strategies would be the strategies that we use to store information in memory. Retrieval strategies help pull information out of LTM for the task at hand. ENCODING STRATEGIES: 1. REHEARSAL is a basic strategy that is used commonly by children and adults. Rehearsal involves repeating the information over and over again. 2. SEMANTIC ORGANIZATION: strategy for remembering that involves grouping or classifying stimuli into meaningful clusters that are easier to retain for future recall: List 1: boat, match, hammer, coat, grass, sentence, pencil, dog, cup, picture List 2: knife, shirt, car, fork, boat, pants, sock, truck, spoon, plate Both lists would be difficult to store but LIST 2 would be EASIER because it can be grouped into three semantic categories (eating utensils, clothes, vehicles) that can serve as cues for storage and retrieval. 3. ELABORATION involves adding something to or creating meaningful links between two bits of information that one is trying to remember. This strategy is rarely seen before adolescence. This time period corresponds to a time when students are trying to learn a foreign language. For example, when trying to remember the Spanish word for duck (PATO <pot-o>) you can create an elaborative image of a duck in a pot for dinner. Why does this strategy develop later in adolescence: 1. When we are younger, we have limited STM capacity, so we can't bring all of the appropriate information for the elaboration from LTM to STM; 2. Adolescents may know more about the world, so they are able to imagine how two stimuli can be connected. The above strategies have been described in terms of storage processes (encoding), but at the same time they can be used for retrieval. To use the strategies for retrieval, one must use CUES in order to retrieve the information from LTM. Other retrieval cues: 1. priming - You can think of a memory held in storage by a web of associations. To retrieve a specific memory, you first need to identify one of the strands that leads to it, a process called priming. Often our brains prime (activate) associations without our awareness. For example, hearing or seeing the word rabbit can unconsciously prime people to spell the spoken word hair as h-a-r-e. The word rabbit primes associations with hare even though we may not recall having heard rabbit. 2. context effects - Encoding specificity principle, which outlines that retrieval of information is best if we encode/store the information in the same environment in which we retrieve it, can help us with retrieval. Test scores would be slightly higher if one studied in the classroom in which the test was going to be taken; a person's memory of an accident would be better if that person was taken back to the scene of the accident.

3. moods - Mood-congruent memories help understand retrieval effects. We are likely to recall memories that are similar to our current mood (ie., if I am happy and you ask me about my childhood, I will recall more pleasant memories; if I am depressed and in therapy and my therapist asks me about my childhood, I am likely to recall sad or unpleasant memories).

Depth (level) of processing
Depth of processingcan also add to our knowledge of memory. According to this theory, we are more likely to remember information that was processed at a deeper level. If we make the information meaningful or connect it to our own lives, we are more likely to recall the information at a later date. This strategy promotes effective retrieval of terms and theories in psychology. If you make the information that you are studying more meaningful or tie to your real life events (deep processing), you are more likely to remember these terms than if you are just memorizing definitions of terms (shallow processing). FORGETTING ... AS A RETRIEVAL FAILURE 1. Interference a. proactive interference - the disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information. For example, in January many of us dated material with last year's date/year rather than the current date/year (old information impaired memory for new information). We have difficulty retrieving the new information if experiencing this type of interference. b. retroactive interference - disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information. For example, you have moved and you no longer remember your old address because your new address interferes with that information (new information impairs memory for the old information). We have difficulty retrieving the old information if experiencing this type of interference. 2. Amnesia a. motivated forgetting -repression (Freud's terminology) - burying information in our unconscious minds; we have been traumatized in some way and cannot currently cope with the situation or memory, so the memories become buried in our unconscious minds b. Retrograde amnesia - loss of old information (ie., a person was in a car accident and no longer remember where he/she lived; forgetting the first 13 years of one's life) c. Anterograde amnesia - no longer able to store new information (ie., one was in a car accident, and while in the hospital the same nurse entered the person's room every hour. Each hour the person thought that it was the first time that he/she had seen the nurse) d. Infantile amnesia - not being able to remember anything prior to age 4 years. Most people do not have vivid memories of times when they were real young (ie., taking a first step, saying "Mom" for the first time). Different theories hypothesize this early memory loss: the storage strategies are not sophisticated enough to store the memories in a way tha they can effectively be retrieved (cognitive approach), the neural networks that contained such memories were not strongly connected, the neural networks representing these memories were pruned. Chapter 5 Learning

Behaviorism/Learning founded by Watson influenced by the works of Skinner, Pavlov and Bandura focuses on observable behavior focuses on how and what we learn learning is defined as a change in behavior (do not confuse this with acquiring new information - REMEMBER, behaviorists are only interested in behaviors that can be seen) • behavior is influenced by the environment (situations or people around us) and past experiences • • • • • Learning is explained by the use of three theories: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning Classical conditioning- Pavlov's work with animals According to Pavlov and Watson, humans and animals learn or change behavior through the use of the same principles. According to this theory, we learn through creating associations. Basic terms: stimulus - something that produces a reaction or change response - a reaction conditioned- learned unconditioned- no learning needed, natural Pavlov then combined the four terms: conditioned stimulus(CS) - something that produces a reaction or change that we learn to respond to (before conditioning this is called the neutral stimulus) conditioned response(CR) - learned reaction unconditioned stimulus(UCS) - something that produces a reaction or change that we naturally respond to (no learning is necessary) unconditioned response(UCR) - a natural response For example, if someone came up behind you and dropped a stack of books, making a loud noise, you would naturally jump. If the person first started to whistle, then dropped the stack of books, you would still jump. If the person continues to whistle and then drop books, eventually you will jump when you hear someone whistle. An association has been created between whistling and loud noise. You know respond to the whistling like you would respond to the loud noise. In this example, the loud noise is the UCS (something that you naturally respond to). The whistling is the CS (something that you learned to respond to). Jumping

when you hear the loud noise is the UCR (natural reaction - startle response) and jumping when you hear whistling is the CR (learned reaction - you did not jump when you heard whistling until the whistling was associated with the loud noise). Remember that the responses are always emotional reactions or behaviors. Stimuli are likely to be objects, situations, events, or other "things" in the environment. These definitions provide a very basic understanding of classical conditioning. Classical conditioning can be much more difficult, and associations can be made with other learned associations. We will not discuss this higher order conditioning in this course. When using classical conditioning during the training phase, the soon to be CS must be presented before the UCS. This principle is called contingency, which means that the CS will predict the UCS. The person or animal will respond to this once neutral stimulus because it now predicts the UCS. In the example above, you jump when you hear someone whistle because it predicted the dropping of the books or the loud noise. If the person had whistled after dropping the books (the UCS came first and the CS was presented), no conditioning would take place. Another important principle in classical conditioning is contiguity. Contiguity indicates the degree of the association. To ensure contiguity, the UCS is presented immediately after the CS. If someone whistles and then five minutes later drops books, you will not associate the whistle with the loud noise. At least one exception to this principle exists: taste aversion. Lets say that we ate at Taco Bell tonight. Five hours later, you get sick because of some bacteria in your system. Regardless of the source of the bacteria, you are likely to become nauseated in the future when you eat Taco Bell food or even pass the restaurant. When we become ill, we are biologically prepared (preparedness), to associate the illness with something that has been ingested. Contiguity, in this case, becomes irrelevant. In the Taco Bell example, the food is the CS and becoming nauseated when eating the food or passing the restaurant is the CR. The UCS is the bacteria and the UCR is becoming ill in response to the bacteria. Do the practice exercises listed on the web site to test your understanding of these terms. Additional terms: generalization - responding to stimuli that are similar to the CS (jumping when you hear a high-pitched voice, becoming nauseated when you smell tacos made by your mother) discrimination - learning to respond to only the CS (As a young child, a little girl had a bee put into her pants by a mean babysitter. The child learned to fear bees,

as well as all flying insects (generalization). Eventually the little girl learns through experience that gnats and flies do not bite her. She no longer fears these flying insects. She learns to fear only bees (discrimination)). Extinction - no longer responding to the CS - Eventually the human or animal will learn that the CS no longer predicts the UCS. Once this lakc of prediction is understood, the individual stops responding to the CS. (A person hears a librarian whistling, but she does not make any other noise; A nurse walks into the room whistling and does not make any other noise. Soon the individual will stop jumping when hearing people whistle). To produce extinction, present the CS without the UCS. Spontaneous recovery - relearning the association and CR at a faster rate than the original learning (ie., To condition Tom to jump when he heard a whistle, I had to whistle and drop books 10 different times. After Tom is conditioned, we extinguish the behavior. How? We present the CS (whistle) without the UCS (dropping the books). A little bit later I whistle and then drop the books. I do it two more times. After three trials, Tom is reconditioned. The original learning took 10 trials. The relearning took 3 trials. Operant conditioning B.F. Skinner believed that learning occurred through consequences. We perform a behavior, receive consequences, and reproduce or do not reproduce the behavior based on the consequences. Skinner and his followers also discuss shaping, which involves reinforcing small steps or goals to gradually reach the desired behavior. In other words, if you want to reach a desired goal, you should take small, gradual steps. Basic terms: reinforcement - increase or continue a behavior punishment- decrease or discontinue a behavior positive - to give or add negative- to take away or subtract Combine the terms: positive reinforcement - continue a behavior by giving something pleasant (child cleans room, is given $10 [consequence], child cleans his room again; giving a sticker [consequence] for good effort on homework, child continues to give good effort on homework; you wear a new perfume or cologne, a co-worker compliments your choice of perfume/cologne [consequence], you continue to wear that cologne)

negative reinforcement - continue a behavior by removing or taking away something unpleasant (I have a headache, I take an aspirin, headache goes away [consequence], I continue to take aspirin to remove a headache; my child nags me to buy M&M's at the store, I buy the M&M's to stop the nagging [consequence], every time my child nags I buy M&M's {by the way, the child's behavior has been positively reinforced - nag, receive M&M's [consequence], continue to nag -- not good :) }; my feet hurt, I take off my shoes, my feet no longer hurt [consequence], I continue to take off my shoes when my feet hurt) positive punishment - discontinue a behavior by giving something unpleasant (I speed, receive a ticket [consequence] , I no longer speed; I wear a new shirt to work, everyone laughs at me [consequence], I do not wear the shirt again) negative punishment - discontinue a behavior by removing something unpleasant (my son comes home late, I take away his car keys [consequence], he no longer comes home late; my daughter receives a "D" on her grade card, I take away her Wii [consequence], she no longer brings home "D's") You can administer reinforcement using different schedules: continuous reinforcement - reinforce after every desired behavior (every time the dog goes to the bathroom outside, he receives a dog biscuit) partial reinforcement - responses are sometimes reinforced - four partial schedules of reinforcement are listed below: fixed ratio - reinforce the behavior after a set number of responses (every fifth time Joey cleans his room, I take him to McDonald's - cleaning the room is the behavior, a trip to McDonald's is the consequence) variable ratio - reinforce after an unpredictable number of responses (pulling the level on a slot machine (behavior) and receiving a pay off (consequence) - you do not know how many times you must pull the lever before you actually win) fixed interval - reinforce the behavior after a set time (receiving a paycheck every 7 days (consequence) for working (behavior)) variable interval - reinforce the behavior after an unpredictable amount of time (pop quizzes - you study before every class (behavior) because you are unsure when the next quiz (consequence) will be given) Reinforcers can be considered primary (meeting a biological need)

or secondary (learned appreciation for the consequence). An example of a primary reinforcer would be giving water when a person is thirsty or removing something painful. An example of a secondary reinforcer is money or praise. Whenever possible, it is best to use reinforcement rather than punishment. You should emphasize the desired behavior rather than continuously pointing out the undesired behavior. If you must use punishment a few guidelines should be followed: be swift (contiguity), consistent (continuous schedule), and explain the reasoning behind the consequence Problems with punishment can include: - inappropriate behavior may be replaced by another inappropriate behavior - may increase aggression - does not provide guidance for desirable behaviors, rather it just tells us what not to do - association of the consequence with the punisher instead of the inappropriate behavior (upset with mom for taking away the car keys) Observational learning/social learning According to Bandura, learning includes cognitive components (attention, memory, and motivation). Watson and other behaviorists would strongly disagree with Bandura. Bandura believes that we learn through modeling. Modeling is observing behavior + thinking about whether the behavior would work for you -> changed behavior. For example if 5 children are growing up in an alcoholic family, two children may observe the parents' drinking, think that the behavior suits them (the children), and therefore imitates the drinking behavior. The other three children, seeing the same behavior from the parents may decide that the behavior is not appropriate for them (the children) and decide not to drink. All children have to attend to the modeled behavior, remember the behavior that was exhibited, and have the motivation to use the information, before they can imitate the modeled behavior. Bandura still strongly emphasizes the observed behavior and the imitation. Summary All three theories describe how we learn or change behavior. The theorists just believe that we learn in different ways.

Classical conditioning - learn through association Operant conditioning - learn through consequences Observational learning - learn through modeling