Unit II: Learning


A. B. A. B. C. A. B. C. D. Classical conditioning Operant conditioning Latent learning Observational learning PQ4R Method Three Kinds of Memory Three Processes of Memory Three Stages of Memory Improving Memory

II. Cognitive factors in learning

III. Memory

I. A. Classical Conditioning

Clip from NBC’s “The

• Stimulus – a feature in the environment that is detected by an organism or that leads to a change in behavior • Response – an observable reaction to a stimulus • Conditioning – a type of learning that involves stimulus-response connections, in which the response is conditional on the stimulus

• It is a simple form of learning in which one stimulus (the thought of food) calls forth a response (mouth watering) that is usually called forth by another stimulus (the actual food) • Classical Conditioning Notation
• • • • UCS  UCR (Unconditioned Reflex) CS + UCS  UCR (Conditioning) CS  CR (Conditioned Reflex) NS (neutral stimulus)

• UCS is also labeled US • UCR is also labeled UR

• Russian psychologist, Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) discovered that dogs, too, learn to associate one thing with another when food is involved. • He was trying to learn about digestion and the nervous system. • He thought that dogs salivate when meat is on the tongue to assist digestion. Meat is the stimulus for the production of saliva. • He discovered that dogs started salivating when they heard sound of food dropping in their bowl. They also salivated when assistants entered the room. • What does this mean? • Dogs learned that certain events meant that food was coming. • Pavlov hypothesized that he could condition dogs to salivate in response to any stimulus he chose – a bell

• An involuntary response (UCR) is preceded by a stimuli (UCS), or
• A stimulus (UCS) automatically triggers an involuntary response (UCR) • A neutral stimulus (NS) associated with UCS automatically triggers a conditioned response. • The NS becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS)


• US – Unconditioned Stimulus : a stimulus that causes a response that is automatic, not learned • UR – Unconditioned Response : the automatic response from an unconditioned stimulus • CR – Conditioned Response : a learned response to a stimulus that was previously neutral, or meaningless • CS – Conditioned Stimulus : a previous neutral stimulus that, because of pairing with a an unconditioned stimulus, now causes a conditioned response • NS – Neutral Stimulus : a stimulus that causes no response before conditioning

• Taste aversion – avoiding a certain food that has previously made you ill
• Feeling nauseated after eating ice cream • Chocolate ice cream = unconditioned stimulus (US) • Nausea = unconditioned response (UR) • Chocolate ice cream now becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS) and the nausea is a conditioned response (CR)

• Extinction/Extinguish – when a conditioned stimulus (CS) no longer triggers the conditioned response (CR)
• Pavlov’s dogs eventually extinguished the salivation (CR) to the bell (CS) when food did not follow the bell many times.

• Spontaneous Recovery – the reappearance of an extinguished conditioned response after some time has passed
• A song (US) is played on the radio that you really enjoy, it makes your head bop (UR). After some time the song is overplayed and no longer makes your head bop. The UR becomes extinguished. 6 months later the song reappears on the radio and you bop your head once again. The song has spontaneously recovered the response

• Generalization – responding the same way to a similar stimulus
• The ice cream that made you sick was chocolate. You generalize and avoid all types of ice cream.

• Discrimination – the act of responding differently to stimuli that are not similar to each other
• Chocolate ice cream made you sick. You can still eat chocolate pudding because it is not similar enough to ice cream.

• Many fears – such the fear of heights, snakes, public speaking – are out of proportion to the harm that can happen from them. • Reducing fear can happen from conditioning
• Flooding – a person is exposed to harmless stimulus until fear responses to that stimulus are extinguished (looking out a sixth-story window until heights are no longer upsetting) • Systematic desensitization – people are taught relaxation techniques to deal with fear (showing pictures of snakes while a person is relaxed. Eventually they are shown real snakes at a distance, then closer, then touch them.) • Counterconditioning – a pleasant stimulus is paired with a fearful one, counteracting the fear (eating candy while being shown a snake, may reduce the unconditioned response of anxiety)

• Take out your word list from yesterday • Write up the experiment identifying the following classical conditioning concepts in the context of this experiment: - acquisition - unconditioned stimulus - unconditioned response - conditioned stimulus - conditioned response - stimulus generalization - stimulus discrimination - extinction - spontaneous recovery What did you learn from this experiment?

I. B. Operant Conditioning

What is the : 1.Unconditioned stimulus 2.Unconditioned response 3.Conditioned stimulus 4.Conditioned response

• A voluntary response (R) is followed by a reinforcing stimulus (SRF)
• The voluntary response is more likely to be emitted by the organism. • A reinforcer is any stimulus that increases the frequency of a behavior • To be a reinforcer stimuli must immediately follow the response and must be perceived as contingent upon the response

From CBS’s “Big Bang

• In this form of learning behavior is strengthened because of a reinforcement.
• Linda and Janet learned that studying would result in good grades • Studying is the behavior • Good grades is the positive reinforcement

• Reinforcement - The process by which a stimulus increases the chances that the preceding behavior will occur again.
• A dog will likely sit again, when given a treat after performing the trick.

• Primary reinforcers – reinforcers that function due to the biological makeup of the organism
• Food • Water • Warmth

• Secondary reinforcers – reinforcers that function once the value of which is learned
• Money • Attention • Social approval

• Positive reinforcers – reinforcers that increase the frequency of the behavior the follow when they are applied
• Food • Fun activities • Social approval

• Negative reinforcers – reinforcers that increase the frequency of a behavior when they are removed
• Discomfort • Fear • Social disapproval

Behavior Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Studying  Studying 



Enjoyment of the Student studies material  more (increase) Decreases the fear of doing poorly on a test  Student studies more (increase)


Person has to pay Person stops a fine  littering (decrease) • Negative reinforcement is not the same as punishment • Negative reinforcement may also be unpleasant, but it encourages a behavior to be removed, whereas punishment discourages a behavior from being applied.

Littering 

• It does not in itself teach alternate acceptable behavior • It tends to work only when it is guaranteed.

• A child may learn what not to do in a particular situation but does not learn what to do instead. • If a behavior is punished some of the time but goes unnoticed the rest of the time, the behavior probably will continue • Children may run away from home.

• Severely punished people or animals may try to leave the situation rather than change their behavior. • Punishment can create anger and hostility.
• Children who are severely punished may take out their anger on others • If a parent hits a child when they are upset, the child may learn that they should hit people when they are also upset

• Punishment may be imitated as a way of solving problems

• In operant conditioning, extinction can occur just as it does with classical conditioning. • If a behavior is continually not reinforced, the behavior may be extinguished. • Michael may have studied for hours on a Calculus exam, but still done poorly. He may choose to not study next time because he was not reinforced to do so.

• A timetable for when and how often reinforcement for a particular behavior occurs. • Continuous reinforcement – reinforcement every time • Partial reinforcement – when reinforcement some times • Fixed-interval schedule – a fixed amount of time must pass (5 minutes) between reinforcements • Variable-interval schedule – a varying amount of time can pass between reinforcements, the unpredictability creates a steadier response rate
• In a Skinner Box, a rat may have to press a lever 5 times to receive the food; at other times they may have to press the lever 8 times to receive the food.

• Operant conditioning is a very common form of influence in everyday life. • Shaping is a way that psychologists teaching complex behaviors by reinforcing small steps in the right direction.
• Riding a bike – reinforce the sitting, grabbing the handle bars, stepping on the pedals, riding with training wheels, off training wheels • Your boss may reward high performing employees with bonuses • Parents may offer money or gifts to their children for good grades

• Programmed learning is a educational method developed by B. F. Skinner which breaks learning down into small steps and later combined into a more complicated whole. It is based on shaping.
• This method does not punish students for making errors, it helps students correct answers.

• In the classroom, some teachers reinforce poorly behaving students only. This may trigger other students to begin acting out to also seek the same reinforcement for acting properly. (Wentzel, 1994)

From FOX’s “The

II. Cognitive Factors in Learning

• Behaviorists, like BF Skinner, are only interested in studying what people do and not what they think. • Cognitive Psychologists are willing to speak about what people and animals know because of learning – not just what they do.
• Learning is purposeful • Learning is not mechanical • People can learn by thinking or observing others

• Two kinds of learning that involve cognitive factors are:
• Latent learning • Observational learning

• Many psychologists today, especially cognitive psychologists, believe that people do much of their learning without reinforcement • E.C. Tolman showed that rats perform as well in mazes when they are not reinforced. They learned the mazes and were able to recall the layout after very little reinforcement. • In the same way, students have a very clear understanding of the school layout without having to be reinforced to do so. • Latent learning – learning that remains hidden until it is needed.

• Observational learning we acquire knowledge and skills by observing and imitating others (Bandura 1963).
• New students watch other students and how they treat the class. They then adapt to the setting.

• Children learn to speak, eat, and play at least partly by observing their parents and others.

• Television is one of our major sources of informal observational learning. • Violence on television can play a negative effect on children • If a child watches two to four hours of TV a day, she or he will have seen 8,000 murders and another 100,000 acts of violence by the time she or he has finished elementary school (Eron 1993). • G-rated movies often have 9-10 minutes of violence per film (Yokota & Thompson 2000)

• A joint statement from the APA and medical associations made the following points (Holland 2000)
• Media violence supplies models of aggressive “skills,” which children may learn by watching • Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way to settle conflicts • Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization toward violence in real life • Viewing violence may lead to real life violence

• This research is a case-study comparing children who view violence on television and those that do not.

• This is a method of learning where the learner takes an active approach with the material. • The steps are:
• • • • • • Preview Question Read Reflect Recite Review

Previewing • Getting the general picture of what will be covered before a person begins studying. • Familiarity with the material in general will help a learner create a cognitive map of a lesson or unit.

• Goals or questions that are created by a learner to fulfill by the end of learning. • A person generally comes up with questions about a concept that they wish to answer. • This will help the learner be an active part of the learning process.

1. Read for the purpose of answering the questions that were created in the previous step. Taking notes during this process will help keep information organized. 2. Reflect on the information by making connections to everyday life so that it can become more relevant.

3. Recite what has been learned so that it becomes organized in a different way. 4. Review material with sufficient time and a regular schedule.

III. Memory A. Three Kinds of Memory

• Once people learn to ride a bicycle, they probably will never forget how. • The best way to remember something is to repeat it many times. • People with photographic memory are rare. • There is no known limit to how much information you can remember. • You can remember important events from the first two years of life. • There are certain tricks you can use to improve your memory.

• How would you define it? • What does it include
• • • •

• Memory is the process by which we recollect prior experiences and information and skills learned in the past. • One way to classify memory is according to the different kinds of information it contains: events, general knowledge, and skills. • There are three kinds of memory that people use in their life
1.Episodic memory 2.Semantic memory 3.Implicit memory

• A memory of a specific event that took place in a person’s presence or experience.
• What you ate for dinner last night. • What was on your last test.

• This can also take the form of flashbulb memories. • Flashbulb memories are important events that happen that seem to reappear as a photograph because at the time of the event it was like a flashbulb went off.
• Your recollection of September 11, 2001 • Your first date

• Sometimes places can be involved with this type of memory. The event can have such an impact that a person remembers exactly what they were doing and how they were feeling at the time
• People remember exactly where they were when JFK was assassinated or the World Trade Center was attacked.

• General knowledge that people remember but did not experience first hand.
• George Washington was the first president of the United States.

• In this type of memory, the person usually does not remember when they acquired the knowledge. Whereas in the episodic, the person remember when it was learned.
• You know the alphabet, but may not remember when or where you were when you learned it

• Episodic and semantic memories are examples of explicit memory because they are concerning specific information (facts).

• Implicit memory consists of the skills and procedures one has learned.
• • • • Riding a bike Throwing a ball Swimming Playing an instrument

• These memories usually stay with a person for a long period of time.

III. Memory B. Three Processes of Memory

• The 1st stage of memory is encoding or the translation of information into a form in which it can be stored.
• Computers encode information into storage

• Memorize the following letter list, do not write it down. YOU HAVE 30 SECONDS.


• Visual codes
• Seeing information as a picture in your mind

• Acoustic (auditory) codes
• Reading to yourself or aloud and repeating

• Semantic codes
• Representing information by giving it meaning – ROY G BIV

• The 2nd stage of memory is storage or the maintenance of encoded information over time. • People who want to store information in their memory use a variety of different strategies • Maintenance Rehearsal
• Repeating information over and over again to keep from forgetting • Not effective for long term storage other than phone numbers

• Elaborative Rehearsal
• A memory device that creates a meaningful link between new information and the information already known. • For foreign language, it may be beneficial to use new vocabulary words in sentences rather than just repeating them. • This is a more effective and lasting way to remember new information (Woloshyn 1994).

• Human memory is much like a filing cabinet
• Put information in an organized format, files in folders • When new information enhances that folder, it can be added

• Errors can occur because of this type of system. Just like how a paper can be put into the wrong folder, memories can be organized incorrectly. These are called filling errors.

• The 3rd and final memory process is retrieval or locating stored information and returning it to conscious thought. • Some memory is so familiar that it is readily available and almost impossible to forget.
• Names of friends and family • Lyrics to songs or lines from a movie

• Retrieve the list of letters that were presented to you earlier and write them down now.
• How many did you remember? • What method of storage did you use? (visual, acoustic, semantic) • Would it have helped you to know that the letters – OTTFFSSENT, were the first letters of the numbers 12345678910? • By knowing that the numbers 1-10 represent the letters, you will likely remember the letters better – using a semantic code

• Context-dependent memories
• Memories that are only retrieved when a person is in a particular physical location. • A person may recall a childhood memory when they visit their former school for the first time in many years • If a person did not return to this context, they would have not likely retrieved this memory.

• State-dependent memories
• Memories that are retrieved when a person is in a similar emotional state that they were in when the memory was stored. • People who are in a sad mood may remember information better when they are in that mood later.

• Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon
• The belief that a piece of information is stored in our memory although we cannot retrieve it easily • People often try to retrieve information by saying words that are similar in sound

III. Memory C. Three Stages of Memory

• The first stage of memory consisting of the immediate, initial recording of information through our senses. • This memory trace does not last long. • In order to store the memory something must be done with it quickly. • Psychologists believe that all of our senses have sensory registers.

• Iconic memory – the sensory register that briefly holds mental images (think “icon”) • Eidetic imagery – the maintenance of a very detailed visual memory over several months • Echoic memory – the sensory register in which traces of sounds are held and may be retrieved within several seconds

• The second stage of memory that holds information briefly before it is stored or forgotten.
• Remembering a phone number before dialing • Remembering a name of someone you just met

• It is sometimes called a “working memory” • Information in this stage tends to fade rapidly after several seconds.

• With series of numbers people tend to remember the first and last parts of the series the most
• Primacy effect is the tendency to remember the first part of a series of items. May be due to having more time to rehearse the information. • Recency effect is the tendency to recall the last items in a series. May be due to the freshness of the memory.

• Chunking is the organization of items into familiar or manageable units.
• Phone numbers we segment 313-290-1313 • It would be difficult if someone said their number was 3,132,901,313

• Interference can occur when new information appears and takes the place of what is already there.

• The third stage of memory is capable of large and relatively permanent storage. • To maintain information in this stage several techniques may help
• Mechanical repetition (maintenance rehearsal) is the way of transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory. • Elaborative rehearsal is the way of relating new information to information that you already know.

III. Memory D. Improving Memory

• This may seem like a simple issue, if you don’t think about something, you forget it, right? • It’s more complicated than that. • Forgetting can occur at any one of the three stages of memory – sensory, short-term, long-term. • Sensory memory traces can decay in less than a second • Short-term memory traces can decay in 10-12 seconds • Long-term memory traces can be lost if they are mixed with other information and are not organized • Learning a new language can confuse other languages if they are alike – the Roman languages
• Similar alphabets and roots

• Recognition
• A memory process in which one identifies objects or events that have previously been encountered. • Multiple choice tests are forms of a recognition activities. You choose an answer that you may have seen before. They are usually easier than constructing your own response

• Recall
• Retrieval of learned information by reconstructing the idea in your mind. • Essay tests are forms of recall activities.

• Relearning
• Learning material a second time, usually in less time than it was originally learned • In the case of Ebbinghaus’s research with nonsense syllables. Participants could remember a list of syllables more quickly than they could before. Even though, they were unable to remember them without relearning.

• The most common forms of forgetting are interference and decay.
• Interference occurs when new information shoves aside or disrupts what has been placed in a memory. • Decay is the fading away of a memory.

• Repression is a theory of forgetting that was brought up by Sigmund Freud
• We forget painful memories by pushing them out of our minds. • Some memories are so painful or unpleasant that they make us feel anxiety, guilt, or shame. • This theory is controversial in contemporary psychology

• Amnesia is severe memory loss caused by brain injury, shock, fatigue, illness, or repression. • Dissociative amnesia is thought to be caused by psychological trauma (an extremely upsetting experience or series of experiences). • Other kinds of amnesia

• Infantile amnesia is the idea that we are unable to remember events from birth to two years of age. This may be caused by the hippocampus in the brain being underdeveloped. Any memory that you have of this time is likely formed by what people have told you over and over. • Anterograde amnesia is caused by trauma to the head (blow to the head, electric shock, or brain surgery) • Retrograde amnesia occurs to people who have had brain trauma but effects the event leading up to the event. A person in a major car accident may not remember they were even in the car.

• Memory is not concrete and born in a person, it can be improved • Psychologists believe that there are methods to improve memory
1. Drill and practice 2. Relating to things that you already know 3. Form unusual associations The symbol for tin is “Sn” – you could think of a snake in a tin = Sn 1. Construct links Learning Spanish may be easier if you connect it the known word in English 1. Use mnemonic devices Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior (HOMES)

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