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Please be aware that this is a student-generated wiki designed for review for my students' AP exams. Come in, look around, and enjoy yourself...just be aware of the nature of this wiki. Even though most everything is correct, I advise caution before citing this as an authoritative source.

Learning

Foreword
  • Much of what we do we learn from experience (Myers 309)
  • Over 200 years ago, philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume echoed Aristotle's conclusion from 2,000 years earlier: We learn by association (Myers 309)
  • Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence: We associate them
Learning
  • A relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience (Myers)
  • "experience is the key to learning" (Myers)
  • What is able to be learned, we can potentially teach-a fact that encourages parents, educators, coaches, and animal trainers. (Myers)
  • What has been learned we can potentially change by new learning-an assumption that underlies counseling, psychotherapy, and rehabilitation programs. (Myers)
    • John Locke was a major proponent of this idea and believed all people started off with a "blank slate" of knowledge only taking in experiences as learning
    • By experience organisms associate between cause and effect, or associative learning
    • Ex: "When disturbed by a squirt of water, the sea snail Aplysia will protectively withdraw its gill. If the squirts continue... the withdrawal response diminishes. But if the sea snail repeatedly receives an electric shock just after being squirted, it's withdrawal response to the squirt instead becomes stronger" (Myers 309).
  • Adaptability- our capacity to learn new behaviors that enable us to cope with changing circumstances. (Myers)
  • Successful adaption requires both nature (the needed genetic predisposition) and nurture (a history of appropriate learning) (Myers).
  • Forms of learning:
    • Conditioning- the process of learning associations (classical and operational). In classical conditioning, we learn to associate two stimuli and thus to anticipate events. We learn that a flash of lightning signals an impending crack of thunder, and so we start to brace ourselves when lightning flashes nearby. (Myers 311). In operant conditioning, we learn to associate a response and its consequence and thus to repeat acts followed by rewards and avoid acts followed by punishment. We learn that pushing a vending machine button relates to the delivery of a candy car. (Myers 311).
    • Observational- learning from experiences and examples of others.
  • Behaviorists in the early days believed that learned behavior could be reduced to stimulus-based response(Myers). People like John Watson(behaviorist) thought that Psychology should be an objective science, where as, into consideration of all the facts, form a conclusion
  • Latent learning: "Learning that occurs in the absence of reinforcement but only becomes apparent when there is an incentive to demonstrate it" (Myers).
  • example: you have your mom drive you to school everyday but one day she decides you have to drive yourself and you know the way even though you never actually did it yourself.
  • Vicarious Learning is learning based on observing the behavior of others and the consequences of those behaviors
Association
  • Associative learning is learning that occurs when certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (like in classical conditioning) or a response and consequence (as in Operant conditioning) (Myers 310)
  • By linking two events that occur close together, we exhibit associative learning. (Myers)
  • We learn by association
  • Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence (Myers), or by associating between cause and effect
The concept of association was first created by John Locke

    • Learning that 2 events occur together (Myers)
      • 2 stimuli
      • a response and its consequences
      • example: a dog will associate a treat with a certain trick. learning that when he does a trick(1st event) he will receive a treat (2nd event).
    • During an infants first year, they learn to associate different facial expressions with their accompanying behaviors and tones of voice, so that they can read a face (Myers).
      • These facial expressions are universal and are common to all cultures and religions. One of the many things that humans learn through reinforcement when they are only infants.

Classical Conditioning : Also known as Pavlovian conditioning after Ivan Pavlov, the scientist who started the practice.
Pavlov was a Russian physiologist in the later 1800's and early 1900's, and while studying dog digestion (particularly salivation) stumbled upon a number of odd things. When presented with food, the dogs would salivate more, and this began an experiment. Pavlov's study of dog digestion actually turned out to be a leading model of learning. Classical conditioning is said to be a basic form of learning by which all organisms adapt to their environment. Classical Conditioning, that is still widely used and accepted in current times.
  • Classical conditioning- we associate two stimuli and thus to anticipate events (Myers). When a neutral stimulus, paired with a previously meaningful stimulus, eventually takes on some sort of meaning (The Princeton Review). For example, We learn that a flash of lightning signals an impending crack of thunder, and so we start to brace ourselves when lightning flashes nearby.
  • Behaviorism- The study of how organisms respond to stimulus in their environment. (Myers)
    • The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. (Myers)
    • this view influenced North American psychology during the first half of the twentieth century
  • Unconditioned Response (UCR)- an unlearned and automatic response. For example, salivating when seeing the food.
  • Conditioning: the process of learning associations (Myers)
  • Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)- a stimulus that naturally gets a response. For example, saliva will pool in the mouth if we have food because of reflexes.
  • Observational Learning: learn from others experiences and examples (Myers)
  • Conditioned Response (CR)- a learned response. For example, salivation in response to a tone.
  • Conditioned Stimulus (CS)- triggers the conditioned response. For example, the tone that triggers the salivation.
  • Acquisition - the initial stage in classical conditioning ;the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response (Myers)
  • According to Myers, classical conditioning is biologically adaptive. It helps prepare organisms for good or bad events
  • Ex: Michael Domjan showed how the CA signals an important biological event by conditioning the sexual arousal of male Japanese quail. Before presenting a female, the researchers turned on a red light. Over time, the red light continuing to herald a female's impending arrival, it caused the male to be excited and develop a preference for their cage's red-light district (Myers 314).
- Ivan Pavlov classically conditioned dogs to respond to a tone with salivation. Pavlov noticed that at the sight of food (UCS) dogs would begin salivating (UCR) and gradually introduced a neutral stimulus of a tone that accompanied the food. Eventually just the sound of the tone (CS) resulted in salivation (CR).
  • An example of this in the book is the case of onion breath being a "turn on". Onion breath does not usually produce sexual arousal. But when repeatedly paired with a passionate kiss, it can become a CS and do just that (Myers 315).
  • Pavlov taught us that principles of learning apply across species, that significant psychological phenomena can be studied objectively, and that conditioning principles have important practical applications (Myers).
  • In other words Pavlov´s work showed that virtually all organisms can lear to adapt to their environment.(Myers)
  • furthermore Pavlov´s findings also provided a basis for the behaviorist idea that human behavior consists, in part, of stimulus-response connection (Myers).
  • The following are four types of classical conditioning:
    • Delayed conditioning: The CS is presented before the US, and the CS continues until the presentation of the US occurs. In Pavlov's dog study, this would mean that the bell is sounded and it is continually sounded until the food is presented.
    • Trace conditioning: The CS is presented. The presentation of the CS is halted for a short period of time, and then the Us is presented. This would mean that the bell is rung, and then stopped, and shortly afterward the food is presented to the dog.
    • Simultaneous Conditioning: The presentation of the CS and US happens together. This would mean that the bell is rung at the same time as the food is presented to the dog. This is prove to be the most effective method of classical conditioning due to its predictability and consistency.
      • Trace conditioning is found to work the best, while backward conditioning is not productive.[1]
  • Research by Rescorla and Wagner demonstrated that classical conditioning occurs best when the association between a CS and UCS is predictable. Indicating that subjects develop a cognitive expectancy. (Myers)
  • Conditioned Taste Aversion (CTA): when a subject associates the taste of a certain foods with poison or toxic, after it had caused them illness.
  • A man named John Garcia performed tests on which he would give rats food that would contain chemicals that would make them sick. Not long they got sick and they began to associate poison to the food. They began to avoid their food (Meyer).
  • John Watson and Rosalie Rayner's experiment on eleven month old infant named Albert showed how specific fears might be conditioned.Their pairing of a laboratory rat with a terribly loud noise gave little Albert a conditioned fear (the CR)of both the rats (the CS) and similar furry things (generalization). (Myers)
    • Pavlov showed generalization by attaching miniature vibrators to various parts of a dog's body. After conditioning salivation to the stimulation of the thigh, he stimulated other areas; the closer a stimulated spot was from the thigh, the stronger the conditioned response (Myers 316)
  • A phenomenon known as second-order or higher-order conditioning occurs, when a CS is used as a US and a new CS is paired with the US (which is the old CS) in order to elicit a CR. Using Pavlov's study as an example, this would mean that after the dog has been conditioning to increase salivation at the sound of the bell, the bell is used as a US. Whatever is used as the new CS will result in the CR of increased salivation. [2]
  • Classical conditioning even works on the body's immune system. say, a particular taste accompanies a drug that influences immune responses, the taste by itself may come to produce an immune response, when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
Ex. Ader and Cohen associated sweetened water with a drug that caused immune suppression in rats. After repeated pairings, the sweetened water alone triggered the conditioned response (Myers).
  • Findings in Classical conditioning can be used to help drug addicts, treat people with emotional disorders, and even help the immune system.
  • Former crack cocaine users often feel a craving when they again encounter cues associated with previous highs. thus, drug counselors advise addicts to steer clear of settings associated with the euphoria of previous drug use (Myers 320).
    • Counselors sometimes provide people who abuse alcohol with experiences that may reverse their positive associations with alcohol.
Ex. Lacing an appealing drink with a drug that causes violent nausea. By linking alcohol with violent nausea, therapist seeks to change persons reaction from positive to negative
(Myers).
  • Psychology should be an objective science based on observable behavior.
Five major processes with classical conditioning
  • Extinction-The diminishing of a conditioned response; Occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus; Occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced (Myers).
    • Example: Pavlov found that when he sounded the tone again and again without presenting food, the dogs salivated less and less (Myers).
    • in operant conditioning, this is the strengthening of a reinforced response.
  • Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance, after a rest period, of an extinguished conditioned response; it also suggested to pavlov that extinction was suppressing the CR rather than eliminating it (Myers).
    • Pavlov found, however, that if he allowed several hours to elapse before the sounding of the tone again, the salvation to the tone would reappear spontaneously.
    • Example: Pavlov noticed that a dog conditioned to the sound of one tone also responded somewhat to the sound of a different tone never paired with food.
    • Example: Baby Albert feared anything white and furry because he could not discriminate the white rat with any other white and furry thing (Myers).
    • Example: when toddlers are taught to fear moving cars in the street, they respond the same to trucks and motorcycles (Myers 316)
    • Example: A child bitten by one dog may fear all dogs. (Myers)
    • Pavlov demonstrated generalization by attaching miniature vibrators to various parts of a dog's body. After conditioning salivation to stimulation of the thigh, he stimulated other areas. The closer a stimulated spot was to the thigh, the stronger the conditioned response (Myers 316).
  • Discrimination is the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and other irrelevant stimuli. (Myers)
    • EX: confronting a pitbull, your heart races; confronting a golden retriever, most likely it won't, because the body distinguishes between the two dogs. One is a dangerous type of dog while the other one isn't.

Cognitive Processes
the early behaviorist believed that the learned behaviors of various organisms could be reduced to mindless mechanisms. (Myers)
  • Predictablility: 2 significant events occur close together in time, animals learn the predictability of the 2nd event ( Rescorla and Wagner)
    • The more predictable the association, the stronger the conditioned response.
    • Example: if a shock is always preceded by a tone, and then sometimes also by a light that accompanies the tone, a rat will react to fear to the tone but not the light. (Myers 317)
  • Expectancy: an awareness of how likely it is that the UCS will occur (Myers)
    • if the UCS were to appear before the CS then conditioning would not likely occur. this is because classical conditioning helps organisms prepare for good or bad evens that will occur.
  • Conditioning occurs best when the CS and UCS have just the sort of relationship that would lead a scientist to conclude that the CS causes the UCS.
  • Cognition also plays a role in classical conditioning. If we are aware of what is going on at the time, the conditioning will most likely not be as effective as if the person undergoing the conditioning was unaware of what was going on.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy: the primary focus is to help patients gain an understanding of, and modify the meaning attributed to, their traumatic event. In pursuit of this objective, an important goal of CPT is to decrease the pattern of avoiding the trauma memory so that beliefs and meanings can be evaluated. (deploymentpsych.org)
Operant Conditioning
A type of learning where organisms learn to voluntarily respond a certain way depending on the consequences (like reward or punishment). (Myers)
For example, we learn that pushing a vending machine button relates to the delivery of a candy bar. Operant Conditioning relies on the law of effect.The law of effect is Thorndike's principle the behaviors followed by a favorable consequence become more likely, and that behaviors that are followed by a unfavorable consequence become less likely.
  • Respondent behavior occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus (Myers)
  • Example of respondent behavior is salivating in response to meat powder and later in response to a tone (Myers).
  • Operant Behavior: The learned behavior that acts upon the situation and produces consequences (Myers).
    • ex. If you learned that eating on the bed makes your parents mad at you, your eating behavior will change depending on what kind of responses you want the situation (parents yelling or not) to have (Myers).
  • Using the law of effect, B.F. Skinner developed "behavioral technology" that revealed principles of behavior control. (Myers)
  • Rewarded behavior is likely to occur (Myers).
  • Skinner Box or the operant chamber– The box Skinner used to research on animal behavior. Inside the box, the animal presses a bar for a food reward. Outside, a measuring device records the animal's accumulated responses (Myers 323).
    • In Skinner's experiments he would get pigeons to peck a button which would dispense seeds. When the seeds that were supposed to come out were removed the pigeons would continue pecking the button for seeds (Meyer).
    • When a child is whining one should ignore it.
    • Parents should also not use violence and instead use things like time-out.
  • When shaping an animal's behavior, the method of successive approximations is used by rewarding responses that are ever-closer to the desired behavior and ignoring all other responses (Myers).
  • An example would be if you want to condition a rat to press a bar. You might give the rat food when it gets near the bar. Once the rat is approaching regularly, you would require it to move closer before rewarding it, then closer; finally, you would require it to touch the bar before you would gave it food. (Myers)
  • token economy- "Artificial economy based on tokens, which act as secondary reinforcers, in that the tokens can be used for purchasing primary reinforcers. The participants in a token economy are reinforced for desired behaviors with tokens. This reinforcement is designed to increase the number of positive behaviors." (Talamo).
  • Learned Helplessness- when consistent effort fails to bring rewards. (Talamo)
Reinforcer - any event that strengthens the behavior it follows Ex- praising a child immediately after they put away their toy
Reinforcement - any event that increases the frequency of a preceding response (Myers) Ex- A school teacher doesn't allow her students out until they are quiet
  • Primary reinforcer: innately reinforcing stimulus. Ex- satisfies a biological need.
-Ex. getting food when hunfy or being relieved of electric shock-innately satisfying (Meyers 325).
  • Conditioned reinforcer: A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer.(Myers)
  • Conditioned reinforcers are as well called secondary reinforcers. Secondary reinforcers enhance our ability to influence one another. (Myers 325)
-If a rat in a Skinner box learns that a light reliably signals that food is coming, the rat will work to turn on the light. The light has become a
secondary reinforcer associated with food. (Meyers 325)
  • Positive Reinforcement- Adding a desirable stimulus [Ex. Getting a hug; watching TV]
  • Negative Reinforcement- Removing an aversive stimulus [Ex. Getting bad grades and getting your cell phone taken away]
  • continuous reinforcement- reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs. It's best to use continuous reinforcement when promoting the acquisition of a new response. (Myers).
  • partial reinforcement- reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slowers acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement. A response that's been continuously reinforced is much less resistant than one that has been reinforced partially. (Myers)
Operant conditioning on ourselves:
1. State your goal (stop smoking, eat less, etc)
2. Monitor how often you engage in the behavior you are trying to promote
3. Reinforce the desired behavior
4. Reduce your incentives gradually (Myers)
  • Ex. In everyday life parents can use operant conditioning. According to parent training researchers Michelle Wierson and Rex Forehand parents who "cave" pr give in to their children's demands are reinforcing bad behaviors. However, if they reinforce good behaviors with rewards and ignore bad behavior their children's behaviors should improve. Studies like this one show the relevance of operant conditioning (Myers, 334).

Intelligence
the ability to learn from experience, solve problems, and use knowledge to adapt to new situations.(Myers)
(most psychologists agree on this definition)
  • Psychologists believe intelligence is not concrete, but a mere concept. (Myers)
  • There are three different definitions that psychologist debate should define intelligence; 1. an inherent mental capacity 2. an achieved level of intellectual performance 3. an ascribed qulity that, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Two different definitions of Intelligence are:‘Intelligence is the cognitive ability of an individual to learn from experience, to reason well, to remember important information, and to cope with the demands of daily living’.(Sternberg)
  • .The global capacity of a person to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his/her environment" (Wechler).
  • Today, various IQ tests and applications are used in schools, job recruitment, personal development and even console games on the Nintendo DS. Games like Brain Age and Big Brain Academy can all help increase intelligence with practice (Psychology 101).
Principles of Reinforcement
  • Fixed-ratio Schedule- a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses (Myers).
    • An example given by Myers is people who are paid on a piecework basis. They are paid only for the work they do instead of the time it took them to do it making rest inefficient, but the job is also tiring.
    • This is like gambling or going fishing. There is no way of predicting when a reinforcer will occur so the behavior is hard to extinguish (Myers).
    • An example is checking when cookies are done, as the time draws near we check more often than we initially put them.
  • Variable-interval schedule - reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals (Myers). This type of schedule usually results in the most consistent behavior and results, because they are more powerful in the sense that the reinforcer can come at any time (AllPsych).
  • ex.pop quizzes scheduled randomly that ensures students continuously study
  • Continuous reinforcement- Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs. (Myers)
  • Partial (intermittent) reinforcement- reinforcing a response only part of the time: results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.(Myers)

Punishment
  • An event that decreases the behavior that it follows. (Myers); powerful controller of unwanted behavior
  • A punished behavior is suppressed but not forgotten (Myers)
    • Behaviors may reappear in safe settings (Straub)
  • Punishment may promote aggressiveness as a way of coping or fear (Straub).
  • Even though punishment suppresses unwanted behavior, it often does not guide one toward more desirable behavior. Punishment tell you what not to do; reinforcement tells you what to do, there for, punishment combined with reinforcement is usually more effective than punishment alone (Myers 328).
    • For example, if your child refuses to clean up the mess he has made and you were to respond by spanking him, spanking would be a positive reinforcement because he will now wish to clean the mess because he does not wish to be spanked again.
  • Negative punishment: withdraw a desirable stimulus, for example, a revoked driver's license. (Myers)
    • An example of a negative punishment is taking away a person's off-campus lunch pass because that person has been coming back to school late
    • ex. Instead of saying "Clean the room or you don't get dinner", parents could instead say "You can come to dinner when your room is clean" and expect better results.
  • Punished behavior is likely to reappear if it is known that the punishment can be avoided. Skinner said that what punishment teaches is how to avoid it.
If a child pushes their younger brother/sister to the floor and the parent spanks them, that will serve as a punishment which will decrease the likelihood that the incident will happen again.
    • Ex. according to Myers When you take a child along shopping and the child ask for candy and the parents say "no!". The child starts screaming and crying, when the parents give in the child's behavior has been positively reinforced and the parents behavior has been strengthened by negative reinforcement.
  • It is important to remember that punished behavior is not forgotten, but merely suppressed. This means that a punished person may learn to simply discriminate behavior in different situations, and only commit the punishable offense when the punish-er is no longer around (Myers).
  • Undesirable side effects can be a result of punishment. Side effects such as teaching aggression and creating fear are most common effects of punishment.
  • To sum up, swift and sure punishment effectively decreases behavior, and it may on occasion cause less pain than does the self-destructive behavior it suppresses. However, punished behavior may reappear if the threatened punishment can be avoided. (Myers 329)

Updating Skinner's Understanding
  • Cognitive map- A mental representation of the layouts of one's environment (Myers).
  • EX: A person may walk through their house in the dark without bumping into things because they have a cognitive map of their home
  • Latent learning- learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate , it remains dormant until an experience activates it
    • Similar to humans, animals can learn from experience either with or without reinforcement. An experiment was conducted with rats: after exploring the maze for ten days, they would receive a food reward at the end of the maze. Their performance demonstrated that their prior learning of the maze was comparable to rats who had been reinforced for running the maze (Myers).
    • Latent learning and over justification shows that there is more to learn than the association of response in the presence of a reinforcer (Myers).
  • intrinsic motivation - a desire to perform a behavior for its own sake and to be effective (Myers); wanting to do something because we want to and enjoy doing so
    • Intrinsically motivated people work and play seeking enjoyment, interest, self-expression, or challenge.
    • it is seen many times that intrinsically motivated people find more happiness in their work and are less likely to be stressed in jobs
    • they do these things for their own satisfactoon in completing or even working on a task
  • extrinsic motivation - a desire to perform a behavior due to a promised rewards or threats of punishment.
  • An example would by theory Y and theory X. Theory Y states that workers are able and are intrinsically motivated
  • Extrinsically motivated people work at seeking external awards and avoiding punishment.
  • people also develop things such as taste aversion, or the avoidance of particular foods that have made us sick in order to avoid getting sick again. This was likely developed as humans evolved to keep them from repeatedly eating poisonous foods. In an instance where a person eats a piece of fish and gets extremely sick, the smell and taste of the food might become a cs, for nausea or a stomach ache (Myers 318).
  • Overjustification effect- effect of promising a reward for doing what one already likes to do. Instead of performing the task due to intrinsic motivation, the motivation is the reward that will be rewarded (Myers 331).
  • Ex) A child decides to clean their room if they are promised candy for doing so. Instead of cleaning because it is good to be neat, the child is doing so because they will be given a reward.
  • A reward is best used to signal a job that is well done, rather than to bribe or control (Myers).

Biological Predispositions
  • Biological constraints predispose organisms to learn associations that are naturally adaptive.
  • An animals predispositions constrains its capacity for operant conditioning.
  • ex. when training animals, trainers found it difficult to train them to do behaviors that they typically do not do like pigs picking up fake wooden dollars would quickly forget their training and resort back to pushing it wth their snout
  • Learning enables animals to adapt to their environments. (Myers)
  • With learning, animals are able to adapt to their surroundings and are better suited to survive. The faster they are able to learn if a certain food is toxic, the higher chances they have of surviving. This is related to the idea of natural selection and survival of the fittest (Myers).
  • Example when you reinforced a hamster's behavior with food, you can easily condition it to rear up, because these are among the animal's natural behaviors when searching for food.(Myers)
  • neuromodulators- strengthen the synapses between the sensory neurons and motor neurons
  • "Learning enables animals to adapt to their enviorments." (Myers)
Observational Learning
Observational learning is when we observe and imitate others, but when we observe a specific behavior; that is called modeling. For example, A child who sees his big sister burn her fingers on the stove has thereby learned not to touch it. (Myers)
  • According to Myers, “models” are most effective when their actions and words coincide. (Myers)
  • Albert Bandura experimented with the idea of observational learning in his famous experiment in which children who saw violent fighting on TV would feel the urge of hitting a Bobo Doll (Meyer). Bandura's study demonstrated the power of modeling on changing or affecting behavior fro children, especially since it reinforced the idea that learning comes from direct experience (The Princeton Review).
  • Television's greatest effect stem from what it displaces. Not only does it provoke violet play and aggression, but also consumes time leaving less time for studying, socializing, playing, or reading. (Meyers)
    • It is found that adolescents at age 14 who watch more than three hours of television will most likely end up committing five times as many crimes age of 16 or 22 (Myers 338).
  • Children are especially likely to imitate those they perceive to be like them, successful, or admirable. (Myers)
    • Example: A child is watching television, and see's an adult pull apart a toy. The child then is given the same toy that the adult took apart. He would then imitate the adult by pulling the toy apart the same way.
    • "The more hours children spend watching violent programs, the more at risk they are for aggression and crime as teens and adults" (Eron 1987; Turner & others, 1986).
  • "In experiments children tend to imitate what a model both does and says, whether the behavior is social or antisocial" (Myers 340).
    • ex) "A boy is learning to cook by observing his grandma" (Myers 340)
    • Likely to imitate who they would like to be like and find them admirable and successful
  • observational learning helps us understand how abusive parents might have aggressive children and why many men who beat their wives had wife-battering fathers. (Myers)
  • Mirror Neurons: frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation, language learning, and empathy (Myers). Also that PET scans reveal that humans, too, have mirror neurons in this brain area (336).
    • Mirror neurons provide a neural basis for observational learning (Myers).
    • Mirror neurons may enable children to learn language simply by observing and miming lip and tongue movements when forming new words (Myers).
    • The imitation of models thus shapes children's development. (Myers)
  • Prosocial Behavior-Positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior. Those who display prosocial behavior can invoke the same response in others. (Myers) Models are more effective when their actions and words are consistent (337).
  • Prosocial models have prosocial effects. For example, Mahatma Gandhi and Marin Luther King,Jr., made nonviolent action a powerful force for social change.Parents are also powerful prosocial models.(Myers)
    • Research has shown that viewing violence in the media does lead to more aggression in the viewers (Myers).
    • The more hours children spend watching violent programs, the higher the risk for aggressive acts when older (Myers).
    • Homicide rates doubled between 1957 and 1974 in the United States and in Canada with the spread of television and that happened with other areas too. This helps demonstrate how we learn and act from observational learning (Myers).
      • This was also seen in white South Africans who were introduced to television and homicide rate doubled after they were given television in 1975 (Myers).
    • In one experiment, male viewers became progressively less bothered by rapes and slashings after spending three evenings watching sexually violent movies.(Myers)
  • Although there have been numerous studies that prove those that watch violence become desensitized to violence, there is no study that proves there exists a correlation between those that play violent games/watch violent shows commit more crimes.

An example of observational learning is when Andrew Meltzoff put a 14 month old in front of a television and had the child watch a man pull apart a toy. The child was then given the same toy and then pulled it apart, imitating what he watched the man do on the television. (Myers)
Another example: The more hours children spend watching violent television shows, the more at risk they are to develop aggression and be involved in crime in later years. (Myers)

Imprinting- the attachment of a young animal to the first thing it sees OR phase sensitive learning independent of consequences of behavior (hacked up job from Myers and wikipedia). This is how ducklings know to follow their mother.

Habituation- non associative learning were decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation. As infants gain familiarity with repeated exposure to a visual stimulus, their interests wanes and they look away sooner. (again a hacked job with Myers and wikipedia)

Schedules of Reinforcement

  • Fixed Ratio (FR) - reinforces a response only after a specified number of response. Continuous reinforcement is a special kind of fixed-ratio schedule. (Myers)
The faster you respond the more rewards you receive
Fixed ratio has a very high rate of responding
Ex:like people paid on a a piecework basis-say,for every 30 pieces (Meyers 327)
  • Variable Interval (VI) - reinforces a response at varying time intervals (Myers)
Ex. Pop quiz
This produces a slow steady responding.
  • Fixed Interval (FI) - reinforce the first response after a fixed time period (Myers)
    • Response occurs more frequently as the anticipated time for the reward draws near.
    • Ex. Checking to see if the pot of water is boiled in order to make dinner.
  • Variable ratio- reinforces a response after a unpredictable number of responses.(Myers)
    • Very hard to extinguish because of unpredictability.
    • variable ratio is arguably the strongest reinforcement, and is the practice by gamblers
    • Door to door salesmen are an example of variable ratio (Myers)
Continuous Reinforcement - Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs. (Myers)
  1. ^ McEntarffer, Robert, and Allyson Weseley. Barron's AP Psychology. Fifth ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2012. Print.
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  2. ^ McEntarffer, Robert, and Allyson Weseley. Barron's AP Psychology. Fifth ed. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2012. Print.
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