Learning - Quiz 1

Carmen Maciel

What is learning?

Most people agree that learning takes place when an experience causes a change in a person's knowledge or behavior. Changes caused simply by maturation, illness, fatigue, or hunger are excluded from the definition of learning. (pg. 282)

How does CONDITIONING explain human learning?

Learning by associations (classical conditioning) and learning by how we respond to our environment (operant conditioning) aim at explaining how conditioning affects human learning.

The principle of contiguity states that whenever two or more sensations occur together frequently enough, they become associated. Later, when only one of these sensations (stimulus) happens, the other will be remembered also (response). (pg. 254)

With his experiment, Pavlov explains the basic paradigm for CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: A formerly neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus; a bell for example) is paired with another stimulus (unconditioned stimulus; food for example) that automatically produces a response (conditioned response; salivation for example). After repeated pairing, the neutral stimulus (bell) will elicit a response similar to the unconditioned response (bell will produce a response of salivation; this learned response to the bell is the conditioned response). (pg. 255)

Examples:
Learning to feel anxiety when you hear sounds at the dentist's office
Feeling certain emotions when you hear a song associated with a memory
Learning to feel upset when you see police lights in your rearview mirror

OPERANT CONDITIONING
aims to explain how we learn to behave in certain ways as we operate on the environment. It basically says that we change our behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. B.F. Skinner began with the belief that classical conditioning can only account for a small portion of learned behaviors. His theory argues that behaviors are operants, not respondents. A formula of his theory if you will is as follows:
ANTECEDENT--> BEHAVIOR-->CONSEQUENCE (A-B-C)
3 types of responses:
Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated
Reinforcers: responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. They can be positive or negative.
Punishers: responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.

Examples:
Teacher writing "Great work!" on a student's paper with a high grade (positive reinforcement)
After school detention to punish bad behavior (presentation punishment)
Excused from doing chores for having helped cook dinner (negative reinforcement)
Not being able to watch TV for a week for talking back to a parent (removal punishment)
(pg. 259)
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Social Learning Theory

Aims at explaining how reinforcement does not "stamp in" a response, but rather intsills expectations about outcomes. (pg. 279)

Bandura agrees with the classical and operant conditioning theories, but also adds:
1. mediating processes occur between stimuli and responses
2. behavior is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning

Bobo doll experiment:
Children who saw the kicking of the doll were the most aggressive towards the doll, those who saw that behavior punished were less aggressive towards it. When the children were promised rewards for imitating the model's aggression, they all demonstrated that they had learned the behavior.
Conclusions from experiment: This means that incentives can affect performance. Even if learning may have taken place, it may not be displayed until the situation becomes appropriate or there are incentives to perform.

An example of how performance is not always an indication of their learning are children who have learned how to simplify fractions well, but perform badly on an exam because they are anxious.

Reinforcement can be positive or negative, the important factor is that it will usually lead to a change in a person's behavior.
The Brain: A Secret History - Emotions; Bandura Bobo Doll Experiment

Information Processing Theory

This aims to explain how the human mind transforms sensory information and uses the computer as a model. Like a computer, our minds take information, perform operations on it to change its form and content, store the information, retrieve it when needed, and generate a response to it. (pg. 292)

With this model, stimuli from the environment (input) flow into sensory registers (one for each modality: seeing, hearing, tasting, etc.). After this, information is encoded and moves to short-term memory. It is held there briefly and combines it with information from long-term memory. With effort, some of that information is then transferred over to long-term memory storage. Short-term memory is responsible for producing responses (output). (pg. 293)

Sensory memory: the initial processing that transforms sights, sounds, smells, etc. into information so we can make sense of them. (pg. 294)
Working memory: where new information is held and temporarily combined with knowledge from long-term memory to solve problems; limited capacity (pg. 297)
Long-term memory: holds on to information that is learned well ex: someone's name (pg. 304)
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*** All information from: Educational Psychology 13th edition, Anita Woolfolk, Ohio State University, 2016

Image 1: https://thesciencedog.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/deconstructing-the-click/
Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zerCK0lRjp8
Image 2: https://psysc613.wikispaces.com/Information+Processing+Theory