Post # 4

Posted: September 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week in psychology I learned about condition and learning.   Conditioning is basically the same as learning.  The definition of learning is the relative permanent change in behavior that can be changed because of experiences.  People often think that learning is caused by motivation, but it isn’t.

We actually learn by association, which means that our minds connect events that happen in order.  Associative learning is when we notice that two events happen together; a response and consequence.  Classical conditioning is when we associate two stimuli (a response/action).  For example: Stimulus 1 could be lightening, Stimulus 2 could be thunder.  As a result the stimulus is seeing lightening and the response would be we anticipate thunder.  Operant conditioning is when we associate a response and its consequences.  An example of this could be having someone pushing a vending machine button as a response and receiving a candy bar as a consequence.  That would strengthen this behavior when someone is hungry because it’s giving satisfaction.

Classical conditioning is reflex responses that are associated with new stimuli.  This was created by a Russian physician/neurophysiologist named Ivan Pavlov.  He studied digestive secretions.  He won a Nobel Prize in psychology by studying spit. He would cut the cheek of a dog and insert a tube which was connected to a metal hook with cylinder.  This caused actual saliva to instead of the saliva that touched the mouth.  He also created the idea of powered meat for the army.  Then the United States created Spam.  He noticed that when someone new walked in the room the dogs would stop drooling but while he was in the room they continuously drooled. 

Neutral Stimulus is when a stimulus doesn’t evoke a response.  Unconditioned Stimulus is when the stimulus innately capable of eliciting a response.  Conditioned Stimulus is a stimulus that evokes a response because it has been paired repeatedly with the Unconditioned Stimulus. Unconditioned Responses innate a reflex response that are elicited by the unconditioned stimulus. Conditioned Responses are learned responses that are elicited by a conditioned stimulus. 

Reinforcement is the increase of probability of a behavior.  Acquisition is the period during which a response is reinforced.  Respondent Reinforcement is reinforcement that happens when an unconditioned stimulus closely follows a conditioned stimulus.  This usually takes about .5-5 seconds to happen.  Extinction is the weakness of conditioned response through removal of reinforcement.

Extinction: Conditioned Stimulus = Conditioned Response; Conditioned Stimulus = Stops Reponses.

Spontaneous Recovery is the reappearance of a learned response after its apparent extinction.

Generalization is the tendency to respond to stimuli similar to, but not identical to, a conditioned stimulus.  Example:  Ring a bell that has almost the same sound but not exactly the same and the dog would start to drool (although it is not trained to drool at the new bell).

Fun Fact:  If you have ever noticed when you have company your dog tends to drool on you but not your friend.  This is because when you feed the dog and pet it, it causes the dog to think that whenever you pet it, it’s supposed to drool.  Your friend doesn’t feed the dog so the dog hasn’t learned to drool on them.  If you want to break this habit you can find a way to feed the dog without actually being there.

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