Basic Process of Learning Essay

BASIC PROCESS OF LEARNING The term learning is used in various ways by different psychologist to refer to the wide variety of phenomena. Learning is any process through which experience at one time can alter an individual’s behavior at a future time. The Behavioral perspective on LEARNING: acquiring ne responses to and for stimuli * Behaviorism is the attempt to understand behavior in terms of relationship between observable stimuli and observable response. * 2 separate learning processes Classical conditioning- a process by which a stimulus that previously did not elicit a response comes to elicit a response in a reflexlike fashion, after it is paired for one or more trails with a stimulus that already elicits a response. * Operant conditioning- process by which the consequences of a response increase or decrease the likelihood that the response will occur again. A. Classical Conditioning a. Petrovich Pavlov b. Has to do with the formation of reflexes i. Reflex is a simple, relatively automatic, stimulus response sequence mediated by the nervous system. c.

Reflexes are mediated by the nervous system, they can be modified by experience ii. One simple effect experience is habituation 1. Habituation is defined as a decline in the magnitude of a reflexive response when the stimulus is repeated several times in succession d. Conditioned vs. unconditioned reflex e. Conditioned vs. unconditioned response B. Operant Conditioning f. Operant responses- operate on the world to produce some effect iii. Also called instrumental responses because they function like instruments g. Edward L. Thorndike iv. Thorndike’s Puzzle-Box Procedure v.

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Thorndike’s Law of Effect 2. Responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become likely to occur again I that situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situation vi. Skinner Box h. Therapeutic Applications of Operant Conditioning vii. Biofeedback Training- sensors record scalp-muscle movements and finger temperature. In this procedure, a signal is made to come on whenever a certain desirable physiological change occurs and the person is instructed to try to keeo the signal on for increasing period of time. C.

Phenomena Associated with Operant Conditioning i. Shaping- technique which successively closer approximations to the desired response are reinforced until the response finally occurs j. Extinction and Schedules of Partial Reinforcement- to distinguish it on the one hand from continuous reinforcement, where the response is always reinforced and on the other hand from extinction, where response is never reinforced. k. Stimuli that set the occasion for operant behavior l. Chaining m. Primary Reinforcement is a stimulus such as food or water, that is reinforcing even without previous training n.

Secondary Reinforcement is a stimulus such as tone that acquired its reinforcement value through previous training o. Token- a secondary reinforcement such as money which can be saved and exchanged later for another reinforce p. Negative Reinforcement viii. Occurs when the removal of some stimulus following a response makes the response more likely to occur q. Punishment ix. Opposite of reinforcement 3. Positive punishment- arrival of a stimulus (electric shock) 4.

Negative punishment- removal of a stimulus (taking away food) The cognitive perspective on learning: acquiring information about the world A. Classical Conditioning Interprets as Stimulus-Stimulus Association B. Classical Conditioning Interprets as Learning Expectancy C. Conditioning Depends on the Predictive Value of the Conditioned Stimulus a. The condtitoned stimulus must precede the unconditional stimulus b. The conditioned stimulus must signal heightened probability of occurrence of the unconditioned stimulus c. Conditioned is ineffective when the animal already has a good predictor


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