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Psychology Chapters 6 & 7


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a relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential produced by experience.
-example of classical conditioning
1. food (ucs) -> salivate (ucr)
2. bell (neutral) -> no response
3. bell + food -> salivate
4. bell (now a conditioned stimulus) -> salivate (now a conditioned response)
classical conditioning
1. unconditioned stimulus --> un conditioned response(automatically, inborn, unlearned response)
2. Pair UCS with another neutral stimulus
3. after a while the other stimulus will elicite the uncondited response...and will be a conditioned stimulus that elicits a conditioned response.
associative learning
learning through either classical conditioning or operant conditioning that two events are connected
ex. doctors office --> pain
-strong irrational fears of objects or situations
-not objectively dangerous or less dangerous than the phobic reaction suggests
3. subject is aware their fear is irrational.
John B. Watson
-Little Albert (11 months old)
- used white rat (stimulus) + Loud noise (ucs) --> startle, fear (ucr)

- albert learned to associate rat with loud noise and developed a phobia of rats
Mary Cover Jones
- 3 yr old peter feared rats
- pair sight of rat with pleasant, incompatible experience (ice cream)
- move rat closer on successive days
-phobia of rats gone
Joseph Wolpe
-systematic desensitization
1. progressive muscle relaxation
2. anxiety hierarchy
sexually aroused by something you dont normally get aroused by
music in movies
-stimulates moods/feeling/emotions
ex. rocky, love story, jaws
Necessary factors for classical conditioning (4)
1. conditioned stimulus ideally comes before UCS
2. repeated trials of CS-UCS
3. interstimulus interval - .05-1.0 seconds
4. cs must be strong and distinctive enough to be perceived easily
-classical conditioning is selective
- some kinds of conditioning are accomplised very easily, where as other kinds may never occur

ex. snake phobia - easily conditioned
- flower phobia - almost never
Food (or taste) aversions
-illustrates learning preparedness
- poisoned food (ucs)-> nausea/sickness (ucr)
-conditioned food aversions are exceptions to the general rules about C.C.
-animals can learn to avoid poisonous foods
1. in many cases, only one pairiong of CS & UCS is necessary for learning to take place (1 trial learning)
2. even if there is a lengthy CS-UCS interval (bw eating the food and becoming ill) - up to 12 hours for rats
-suggests some behaviors can be learned by CC much faster than others - biologically prepared to learn associations b/w certain stimuli and certain responses
(classical conditioning) - the initial learning of the stimulus-response link, which involves a neutral stimulus being associated with an UCS and b/c a CS that elicits the CR
decreasing a behavior by not rewarding it
spontaneous recovery (c.c)
-extinguished response reappears after passage of time with no retraining
- CR is not as strong
-learning is not permanently lost
stimulus generalization
occurs when stimuli that are similar to the original CS also elicit the CR even though they have never been paired w/ the UCS
- the more similar the stimuli - the greater the generalization of response
1. bell 1, bell2, and bell 3 may all elicit the CR
2. baby calls everyone daddy 3. child thinks cats and dogs are both dogs
4. little alberts fear of white rat is generalized to white furry objects (beards, fur coats, rabbits)
post tramatic stress disorder
(PTSD) an anxiety disorder that develops through exposure to a traumatic event, a severly oppressive situation, severe abuse, or a natural or an unnatural disaster
stimulus discrimination (c.c.)
ex. present 2 similar bells but only one signals food
bell 1 -> food
bell 2 -> no food
learn to respond to only one stimulus and inhibit response to all other stimuli
- you learn to discriminte b/w the 2 bells and only respond to the bell that signals food
experimental neurosis (c.c)
-difficult discrimination
- discrimination breakdown - conflict - dog aggitated, try to excape, upset, bark, bite, fearful
Operant conditioning
also known as instrumental conditioning
- concerns the learning of voluntary behavior that operates on the environment in a way that is instrumental in obtaining a desirable outcome (gaining something desired/positive OR avoiding something unpleasant/negative)
acquisition (o.c.)
behavior which is reinforced gradually b/c of learning
generalization (o.c)
behavior reinforced in one situation may be shown in other situations
extinction (o.c.)
disappearance of the behavior if we fail to reinforce it for too long.
spontaneous recovery (o.c)
return of a previously extinguished response
types of reinforcement
-reinforcers strengthen behavior
-they increase the FREQUENCY and INTENSITY of the behavior it follows
-includes primary, secondary positive, and negative reinforcers
primary reinforcer
unlearned, inborn reinforcer
-like food, water, sex and oxygen
secondary reinforcer
-value is LEARNED thru its assocation w/ primary reinforcers or w/ other secondary reinforcers
- like money ->can buy other things
positive reinforcers
-increase the likelihood that a behavior will occur
-strengthens the behavior
-add something positive
ex. turn in hw -> praised by teacher -> always turn in hw
negative reinforcers
-also INCREASE the likelihood a behavior will occur
- do it by REDUCING or ELIMINATING something unpleasant
- remove something negative
S-R-->negative outcome
1. add negative/undesirable outcome
2. remove something desireable
3. suppress behavior
4. can work quickly
superstitious behavior
-when something we do is followed closely by a reinforcer, we tend to repeat that behavior
-even if the behavior was not actually responsible for producing the reinforcemnt
shaping (o.c)
reinforcement is given for successive approximations to teh desired behavior - eventually leading to desired behavior being learned
escape conditioning
ex: shock floor - dog learns to jump over fence to escape shock
avoidance conditioning
ex: light -> shock -> jump over fence
learns when light goies on -> jump over fence
learned helplessness
failure experiences lead to a sense of "helplessness"
reapeated failure -> leanred helplessness

you give up and are less likely to try in similar future situations

ex: solving puzzles

*learned helplessness is associated with many of the symptoms characteristic of depression
premack principle
a high-frequency activity (something you do often) can be used to reinforce low frequency behavior
ex. watching tv, talking on the phone, spending time with friends

access to the preferred activity is contingent on completing the low-frequency, non-preferred behavior.
ex. do hw then u can watch tv
continuous reinforcement
100% - response is reinforced each time it occurs
LEARNING and EXTINCTION occur rapidly
partial reinforcement schedule
responses are sometimes reinforced and sometimes not
Initial learning is slower but greater resistance to extinction.
interval schedule (fixed/variable)
reinforcement occurs after a certain amount of time has passed
fixed interval- reinforcement is presented after a fixed amount of time
variable interval - reinforcemnt is delivered on a randomvariable time schedule - ex : pop quiz
ratio schedules
reinforcment occurs after a certain number of responses/behaviors
fixed ratio - reinforcement presented after a fixed number of responses
ex: get paid 1 dollars for making 5 widgets.
variable ratio - reinforcement delivery is varaible but based on an overall average # of responses - MOST RESISTANT TO EXTINCTION
ex. lottery ticket, slot machine
fixed ratio
reinforcer given after fixed number of behaviors
observational learning
Albert Bandura
- modeling/imitation

Basic processes:
1. attention
2. retention
3. reproduction
4. motivation
problems with punishment
1. effects may be temporary
2. may imitate punisher - aggressive behavior
-associate punishment with punisher
3. may produce fear, anxiety, avoidance, - can disrupt learning process
4. may produce anger, resentment, leads to aggression
5. can reduce self-esteem
6. merely inhibits/suppresses behavior - it doesn't teach desired alternative behavior
7. angry parents may not think clearly and lose control
effective use of punishment
1. prompt
2. consistent/predictable
3. reinforce more appropriate alternative behavior
4. reinforcement strong enough to be a deterrent but not excessive/abusive
5. punish the behavior not the person
6. at times a conditioned punisher should be used. a conditioned punisher is a word (hey, no wrong) and or body posture (frowns) that predicts that punishment will occur if the offending behavior continues - this eventually becomes an informaitonal signal & can reduce the need for actual punishment
put information into memory
holding information in memovery over time
finding stored information in memory and bringing it back into consciousness
3 types of memory codes
1. acoustic = sound (better than visual)
2. visual
3. semantic - general meaning

the type of coding we use influences what we remember
3 stage information processing
information is processed in 3 stages
1. sensory registers
2. short term memory
3. long term memory
sensory memory
-information from sense
- information is held very briefly (often less than 1 second before being lost)
- information selectively attended to and encoded goes to short term memory

acoustic info lasts longer than visual info
short term memory
-short duration - about 18 seconds
- limited capacity 7 (+ or - 2) bits of information
- also called "working memorY"
-if information is attended to and processed further it goes to LTM
-acoustic coding dominates STM
-elaborative rehearsal is best for storing info in LTM
combite bits of related info into meaningful units or groupings of info
primacy effect
first words in a list remembered better
recency effect
last words in a list remembered better
long term memory
-unlimited duration
- unlimited capacity
- elaborative rehearsal is the best for storing into in LTM
-semantic coding - dominates LTM "general meaning" vs "the exact words" are stored
-ltm memory is subject to distortion
3 categories of info stored in LTM
1. episodic memory - memory of events in ur life
2. semantic memory - generalized knowledge of the world/facts
3. procedural chememroy - knowledge of how to do things
context dependent memories
we remember items better if we try to recall them when we are in a setting simmilar to the one in which we learned the info - ex test in a classroom
state dependent memories
we remember items better if we try to recall them when our internal state is similar to the one in which we learned the info (ex mood)
-when u feel angry or sad, negative events are more likely to be remembered
constructing memories
- our memories are affected by what we PERCEIVE and by what we ALREADY KNOW about the world
- we use existing knowledge to
1. organize new info as we receive it
2. fill in the gaps in the info that we encode and retrieve
-called constructive memory
- are mental representations of categories of objects, places, events, and people
-provide a basis for making inferences about incoming information during the encoding stage
-guide what we pay attention to and influence what we recall
eye witness testimony
- eyewitness can only remember what they preceive, adn they perceive only what they attended to
leading questions can alter witnesses memory
-misinformation effect
-fact that witness rports many details is no guarantee that all of them were remembered correctly
-witnesses confidence is often much highter than the accuracy of their reports
flashbulb memories
- clear vivid memories of unique, surprising, or strongly emtoinal moments in ur past
eidetic imagery
photographic memory
- more common in children
even after material is learned, additional repetition
-increases retention inf LTM
forgetting - theories
can be a problem w/ encoding, storage, retrieval, or some combination of these

7 theories:
1. trace decay theory
2. interference theory
3. trace trnasformational
4. repression theory
5. loss of access
6. selective attention
7. test anxiety
interference theory
storage or retrieval of info is impaired by teh presence of other information
trace decay theory
due to the passage of time
trace transformation
remembering is an active process (vs passive), info stored will be distorted or transformed to make it more stable or consistent with other knowledge we are remembering
repression theory
(freud) we unknowingly, unconsciously protect ourselves from unacceptable (anxiety provoking, threatening, embarassing) or painful information by driving it out of our consciousness to maintina a favorable image
loss of access
we never forget anything - info is just temporarily inaccessible
- info not lost just buried or the retrieval cues are inadequate
-tip of the tongue phenomenta
-penfield elctrode experiment
selective attention
we attend selectively to some details, others are forgotten
test anxiety
need to decrease arousal, improve study skills, decrease negative self statements that increase worry
improve ltm
1. organize info - outlide and relate info so it makes sense to u
2. alter/rested
3. time and effort are requried to study and review material - overlearning
4. reduce interferences
5. spaced vs. massed learning (dont cram for exams)
6. use MNEUMONIC techniques (method of loci, acronyms)
rna and memory
-planaria experiement
4 facts about alzheimers
1. is its irreversible as of now
2. not a normal part of the aging process
3. 4th leading cause of death in the elderly
4. the earlier the condition appears, the shorter the survival time

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