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Primary reinforcer
a stimulus that in innately satisfying, like on that satisfies a biological need (ex:food, water)
looked at trial-and-error learning across animal species
Puzzle Box
-small box with latched gate, mechanism to open gate -placed hungry cat inside, food outside -cat tries to get to food -cat tries clawing, biting parts of box, pushing paws through openings -eventually, cat would accidentally stumble across solution Important finding: it took progressively less time to escape on each trial.
Possible explanations for Thorndike's findings
-Cat "figured out" that pulling on wire opened door (probably not, judging by data) -cat merely learned that consequences of certain actions are associated with desirable outcome
Law of effect
-Behaviors that are followed by satifying effects are strengthened and are therefore more likely to occur again -Behaviors that are followed by unsatisfying effects are weakened and are therefore less likely to occur again -Parallels with Darwin: things that are effective carry on!
defined how instrumental conditioning would be studied
Skinner Box
-small bar protruding from wall -rat received food, continuous record made of rat's response -Improvement over Thorndike's puzzle box: -When animal behaves, it remains inside box -animals continually behave
respondent behavior
-classical conditioning -Automatic response to stimuli
Operant behavior
-instrumental conditioning -operates on the environment
-causes behavior to be performed more frequently
Positive reinforcer
increase in behavior caused by presenting (adding) something "good" to animal
negative reinforcer
increase in behavior caused by removing (subracting) or preventing something "bad"
discriminative stimuli
inform animal when behavior will be rewarded and when it won't Ex: Asking for a raise -ask for a raise when boss is in a good mood (S+) -asking for a riase won't be reinforced when he's in a bad mood (S-)
-Once animal learns to perform behavior in presence of particular S+, it will also perform behavior in presence of similar stimuli -Ex: pigeon trained to peck in presence of yellow light *will also peck to different wavelengths *as wavelengths gets further from original S+, response will diminish
reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
conditioned (secondary) reinforcer
a stimulus that works because of its association with a primary reinforcer (ex: money)
behavioral contrast
pattern of responding in which an organism seems to evaulate a reward relative to other rewards that are available or that have been available recently
extrinisic reinforcer
reinforcer coming from source outside animal and not inherently related to the behavior being performed (eg money, praise, applause)
instrinsic reinforcer
reinforcer coming from within the animal, based on inherent joy or satisfaction of the behavior
continuous reinforcement
-behaviors are reinforced every time they occur -learning occurs rapidly, but so does extinction
partial (intermittent) reinforcement
-only reinforce SOME responses -initial learning slower -more resistnat to extinction -4 different schedules: fixed-ratio, variable ratio, fixed interval, and variable interval
Fixed-ratio schedule
reinforce behaviors after a set number of responses
reinforce after an unpredictable number of responses
reinforce the first response after a fixed time period
reinforces first response after VARYING time intervals
decreases behavior
positive punishment
administer an aversive stimulus ex: spanking
negative punishment
withdraw a desirbale stimulus ex: take away favorite toy
the "mind" is simply a phenomenon that is not separate from the brain -the brain (and hence the "mind") is governed by the laws of physics, chemistry, and the firing of neurons, and both the brain and mental events are is explainable in physical terms
Primary weakness of dualism
-Doesn't adaquately explain how the non-physical mind can cause a physical effect (i.e. behavior) -If the mind consists of NO physical matter at all, and takes up no space at all, what is it that affects matter? -Having a non-physical mind violates the laws of physics.
Beliefs of Radical Behaviorism
-There are no mental events -Behaviors are merely responses to stimuli, they are not due to mental states and processes like "beliefs", "knowledge", or "expectations" -Mental States and processes are simply by-products of stimulus-response conditioning- they don't cause behavior -Because science requires evidence that is publicly verifiable, any approach to psychology that accepts or studies mental processes cannot be called a "science" -Says there is no mind-body problem, the "mind" doesn't exist!
The mind-body problem
-is the mind physical or non-physical? -how does the mind relate to the body?
our physical being, including muscles, organs, and brain
our sense or consciousness (thoughts, perceptions, emotions, etc)
Weakness of Radical Behaviorism
-As time went by, there was growing evidence of the existence of cognition and mental states and that they cause behavior (e.g. Tolman's research with cognitive maps, latent learning, etc) -Weakness of dualism and radical behaviorism led to development of two new philosophies: logical behaviorism and central-state-identity theory
Logical behaviorism
-tried to promote the acceptance of "mental states and processes" -reformulate claims of mental states into a set of "if-then" statements where all components are observable behaviors -Ex: mental state (fred is "hungry") -> behavioral equivalent (if there was a slice of pizza on the table, Fred would eat it).
-two types of events: physical and mental -mental events (e.g. consciousness, cognition) are not the results of physical events -the mind is non-physical (i.e. takes up no physical space) and is not the result of physical or chemical actions of the body
Problems with logical behaviorism
You can't adequately translate a mental process into behavioral terms Ex: "Fred is thirsy" -Logical behaviorist: "if there was water available, Fred would drink it" -However, Fred would NOT drink it if he thought it was poisonous -logical behaviorsit: "if Fred has access to something to drink AND if he believed it was nonpoisonous, then he would drink it -But now there has been another mental state introduced: a BELIEF -A "belief" cannot be adequately translated into behavioral terms -people can perform the same behavior even if they believe completely opposite beliefs
"Perfect Actor" problem
-It's possible that someone could perform all behaviors to simulate a mental state without BEING in that mental state -Example: being in low -smile when person is around -say loving things to the person -hold that person in their arms -"performing behaviors" and "being in a particular mental state" are different
"Perfect Spartan" problem
It's possible that someone cuold feel intense pain without showing any publicly observable symptoms of that pain
Central-state identity theory
-Mental events, mental states, and mental processes correspond to being in a particule neural state -simple explanation for how mental states can cause behavior-both mental states and behaviors are due to states and changes of our nervous system -Compared to logical behaviorism *like logical behaviorism, it equates mental states with purely physical states (materialist) *however, mental states can occur without any kind of observable behavior -compared to dualism *like dualism, can talk freely about any mental states or processes *however, it doesn't rely on strange, mysterious, non-physical process-avoids causation problem
Token physicalism
The view that all mental states and processes that happen to exist are based on neurophysiology, but doesn't rule out the possibility that mental states could occur in other non-organic entities -Way to interpret central-state identity theory
type physicalism
the view that all mental states that could ever be are based on neurophysiology
There seems to be no philosophical reason to preclude mental states in an entity simply because it doesn't consist of neurons-if they system is wired together properly and functions properly, it should make no difference what the system is made of
-beleif that mental states depend on how the system is put together, not on the material that the system is made of- what is important in anything is the FUNCTION of that thing, not what it's made of (e.g. a "heart") -as with token physicalism, if it eventually turns out that only neurons can create mental states, that's fine-functionalists simple allow for other possibilities -unlike behaviorism, functionalists believe that mental states interact and depend on each other
Funtionalism: Coke Machine Example
-Behavioristic machine *defined simply by stimulus respone-if (and only if) it receives a dime as input, it will dispense a coke *output does not depend of ANY internal states -Functionalistic machine *accepts nickels and dimes, and will give change -State 1 *if machine receives dime, will dispense coke and state in State 1 *if machine receives nickel, it will perform no observable behavior, but will change to state 2 -State 2 *if machine receives nickel, will dispense Coke and change to State 1 *if machine receives dime, will dispense Coke AND a nickel, and change to State 1
Differences between funtionalism and other philosphies
-Logical behaviorism's if-then statements cannot be specified solely in terms of behavior-they must include internal states *internal states can change depending on environmental input, even without behavioral output *future behavior determined (caused) by machine being in a particular state -Unlike central-state indenity theory, funtionalism believes that mental events are NOT dependent on a particular type of material *agress with token physicalism-mental states don't have to be due to nerual activity
Arguments with Functionalism
-It's one thing to talk generally about "internal states" (e.g. in Coke machines), but functionalism doesn't address the qualitative experience of mental states like pain, beliefs, or desires -Example: qualitative content of color *Observer 1 experiences green like you do *Observer 2 experiences green like you experience red *Functionally, they are the same-they boht answer questions about color the same way -However, they aer having completely different mental experiences-according to functionalism, there is no difference -Functionalism does not address consciousness
Little consensus on mind-body problem
-Dualism doesn't explain the non-physical/physical interaction -Materialism avoids the non-physical/physical interaction problem, but various materialist philosophies have their own weaknesses -Radical behaviorism avoids the mind-body problem, but denies existence of metnal processes -Logical behaviorsm tries to use semantics to get around the "no mental processes" assertion of radical behaviorism (doesn't seem to work) -Central-state identity theory allows for mental states and nicely explains mental/behavioral interaction -Fuctionalism extends central-state identity theory and token physicalism to include the possibility of mental states being possible from ANY type of material
Learned Helplessness
the hopelessness and passive resignation that results from learning that one's behavior has no effect on repeated aversive effects
the idea that, for any particular species, some stimuli seem to "belong" together and some do not
Garcia and Koelling (1966)
-Rats given access to a drinking tube -When rats licked tube they received water plus flavor stimulus added to water and noise-light stimulus -As rats licked tube: *One group received x-rays which made them ill 30 minutes later *One groups was shocked -Test phase: rats (both groups) given access to water was either 1)flavored, or 2)unflavored but accompanied by noise-light stimulus RESULTS: -X-ray group avoided flavored water, but drank plain water accompanied by noise-light stimulus (conditioned taste aversion) -Shock group drank flavored water, but avoided water accompanied by noise-light stimulus -What didnt happen: Xray group formed no association between nausea and noise-light stimulus Shocked group formed no association between flavor and shock
a biological predisposition to associate certain NS-US combinations
specialized types of learning
special abilities and capacities for learning certain things Ex: human beings-> special capacity for making sounds and learning language
observational learning
learning by observing and imitating others
Neural plasticity
the ability of neurons to change the way they function due to the experience of the organism -our nervous system is not a static network, but a plastic, living thing that grows and changes continuously -this is what gives us the ability to learn
A type of sea slug Work well for studying physiological level due to very large neurons Neural circuitry is very simple
Habituation at the Neural level
Habituation is assoicated with a decline in action potentials produced in the gill motor neurons by each siphon touch -Sensory neurons release less and less neurotransmitter in respone to each action potential
Causes in decrease of neurotransmitter release
Habituation; -a decrease in calcium ions entering the terminals of the sensory neurons -a depletion int he amount of neurotransmitter in the sensory neuron
enhancement of a response as a result of the presentation of some independent stimulus
Sensitization in Aplysia
-applying an electrical shock to the tail enhances the withdrawal response that occurs when the siphon is touched -Before sensitization: touching siphon causes gill withdrawl -During sensitization: applying shock to tail causes STRONG gill withdrawal -After sensitization: touching siphon causes STRONG gill responses
classical conditioning at the neural level
Basically the same as sensitization, except for the effect that occurs where interneurons from the TAIL snesory neurons synapse with terminals of the SIPHON sensory neurons
Long term potentiation
long-lasting increase in the strength of synaptic responsiveness
Types of measurements
-categories (e.g. makes of cars) -magnitudes (e.g. weights) -rankins (e.g. ranking tv shows 1-10)
4 types of scales
-categorical -ordinal -interval -ratio
Categorical scale
-label observations so that they fall into different categories -also called nominal scales (having to do with "names") -Ex: gender; monkey behaviors; political party
Ordinal scales
-Rank itens along some continuum -Ex: job supervisor ranking employess in terms of how well they perform their work; however, doesnt tell how much employees differ (no magnitude)
interval scales
-Form a series of intervals of exact same size -allows us to compute distances between values -However, they do NOT have an absolute zero indicating a complete absense of the variable being measured (ratios of values not meaningful)
Ratio scales
-Same as interval scale,but DOES have a true zero point -a value of zero indicates a complete absense of the variable being measured (this means ratios between values ARE meaningful) -Ex: height; being 6 foot is twice as tall as being 3 foot. There is an absolute zero point.
Frequency distribution
tells us how frequently subjects has a particular repsonse or score
-shows frequency distribution graphically -consists of a series of rectangles -size of rectangle reflects frequency of score
Grouped frequency distribution
put scores together into groups (aka bins) where each bin contains information about a range of scores
guidelines for creating groupd frequency distribution
Rule 1: table should have about 10 class intervals Rule 2: width of each inteval should be simple number (2, 5, 10, etc) Rule 3: bottom score should be multiple of the width
Measures of central tendency
-A single number that represents a whole set of scores -The goal is to find the single score that is most typical or representative of the entire group -3 meausures: mean, median, and mode.
The average of the scores. Found by adding up the total of all the scores and then diving by the number of scores.
The middle score
The score with the greatest frequency
skewed distrubution
A distribution with a few extreme scores -Usually use median
symmetrical distribution
a distribution where the deviations on each side of the mean about about the same -usually use mean
meausures of variation
-Tells use how similar or diverse the scores are. -Better to use every score by figuring out how far away scores are from the mean
difference between highest and lowest score in the data set
Variance and standard deviation
-Tells us how similar or diverse the scores are Variance: sum of (score-mean)^2 divided by number of scores. -Standard deviation: square root of variance
-Tells use how far above or below the mean a particular score was, in terms of the number of standard deviations Ex: mean is 100, SD is 15. if score is 130, z-score is +2.00
normal distribution
-Symmetrical around mean -Mean, mode, and median are all equal -Most scores pile up around mean, and extreme scores are relatively rare
-allows us to compare two variables -looks for relationships between variables -the extent at which two factors vary together
postive correlation
-Variables tend to move in same direction (when one variable increases, so does the other and when one decreases, so does the other)
Negative correlation
-Variables tend to move in opposite directions (when one variable increases, the other decreaes)
Correlation Coefficient
-describes strength and direction of correlation Range from -1.00 to +1.00
Determining Correlation coefficient
-Find z-scores for all the data -Sum products of z-scores -Divide that sum by number of pairs of scores
Hypothesis testing
A statistical procedure that uses sample date to draw inferences about the population Ex: Based on a person's score on a reading comprehension test, how likely is it that they have dyslexia?
null hypothesis
there is no difference between our subject's score and the population mean- always says there is no change, no effect, no difference, or nothing happened
alternative hypothesis
there is a difference between our subjects score and the population mean- always says there is a difference, is an effect, was a change, something did happen

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