Learning Chapter 6 - Mrs. Short`s AP Psychology Class

Chapter 6
AP Psychology
Alice F. Short
Hilliard Davidson High School
Chapter Preview
Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Observational Learning
Factors That Affect Learning
Learning and Health and Wellness
Types of Learning
• learning - a systematic, relatively permanent change in
behavior that occurs through experience
• behaviorism – a theory of learning that focuses solely
on observable behaviors, discounting the importance
of such mental activity as thinking, wishing, and hoping
• associative learning / conditioning – learning that
occurs when we make a connection, or an association,
between two events
• observational learning – learning that occurs when a
person observes and imitates another’s behavior
Types of Associative Learning
• classical conditioning – learning process in which a neutral
stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and
acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response
• operant conditioning – (a.k.a. instrumental conditioning) a form of
associative learning in which the consequences of behavior change
the probability of the behavior’s occurrence
– operant  references behavior of the ORGANISM
Classical Conditioning: Terminology
helps to explain involuntary behavior
unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
unconditioned response (UCR)
neutral stimulus (NS)
conditioned stimulus (CS)
conditioned response (CR)
Classical Conditioning: Pavlov
Classical Conditioning: Terminology
• unconditioned stimulus (UCS) – a stimulus that produces a
response without prior learning
• unconditioned response (UCR) – an unlearned reaction
that is automatically elicited by the unconditioned stimulus
• neutral stimulus (NS) – a stimulus that does not elicit an
unconditioned response
• conditioned stimulus (CS) – a previously neutral stimulus
that eventually elicits a conditioned response after being
paired with the unconditioned stimulus
• conditioned response (CR) – the learned response to the
conditioned stimulus that occurs after conditioned
stimulus-unconditioned stimulus pairing
• reflex – an automatic stimulus-response (S-R) connection
Activity Handout 6.1
Identify the UCS, CS, UCR and CR
Read through the examples below and then identify the UCS, CS, UCR, and CR
in each of the examples.
• Pamela is walking her child at the mall and a lady walks by
and stops to see the baby. The lady has a shiny, noisy
bangle of bracelets that are the same as the ones Pamela
wears. When the lady reaches down to pat the baby on the
head, the bangles make noise and the baby starts making
suckling noises.
UCS food (milk)
CS the noise from the bracelets
UCRsuckling noises
CR suckling noises
Activity Handout 6.1
Identify the UCS, CS, UCR and CR
Read through the examples below and then identify the UCS, CS, UCR, and CR
in each of the examples.
• Scott’s dog waits every afternoon in the front room for
Scott to come home. He knows when he hears the garage
door open, Scott will come in and take him out for a walk.
One evening Scott leaves to go get something at the
grocery store. As he is leaving, he hits the garage door
opener and the dog starts running around like crazy.
UCS going on a walk
CS garage door
UCRdog’s excitement
CR dog’s excitement
Activity Handout 6.1
Identify the UCS, CS, UCR and CR
Read through the examples below and then identify the UCS, CS, UCR, and CR
in each of the examples.
• Elmer really likes to cook with onions and he puts onions into
almost everything he makes. He usually starts dinner every day
around 5:00 p.m. As he is cutting the onions, the grandfather clock
chimes five times because it is 5:00 p.m. Elmer is also crying
because cutting the onions makes his eyes water. One evening he is
at a friend’s house because they are going out to dinner later. He
and his friend are watching TV and the clock chimes five times
when it is 5:00 p.m. Elmer’s eyes start to water.
clock chiming five times
Classical Conditioning: Procedure
• acquisition
– UCS produces a UCR (reflex)
– neutral stimulus (NS) paired with a UCS
– after pairings, NS produces a CR
– the NS has become a CS
• contiguity – time between CS and UCS
• contingency – is CS regularly followed by the
Classical Conditioning: Pavlov
• Unlearned/Reflexive
– UCS – meat powder
– UCR – dog salivates
• NS – sound of Pavlov’s bell (prior to pairings with
meat powder)
• Learned
– CS – sound of Pavlov’s bell
– CR – dog salivates
Classical Conditioning: Pavlov
Classical Conditioning
• Generalization
– CRs may appear after various NS that are similar
to the CS
• Discrimination
– CRs appear after the CS but not after other CSs
– discrimination generally learned by presenting
other CSs without the UCS
Classical Conditioning
• Extinction
– CR is weakened by presenting the CS without the UCS
– Pavlov rang the bell but did not present food, and the dog
stopped salivating
• Spontaneous Recovery
– CR recurs after a time delay and without additional learning
– when Pavlov rang the bell the next day, the dog salivated
• Renewal
– recovery of the CR when organism is placed in novel context
Classical Conditioning
• classical conditioning -
Classical Conditioning: Applications
• Phobias
Watson and Rayner (1920) – Little Albert
white rat (CS) paired with loud noise (UCS)
fear of rat (CR), fear of loud noise (UCR)
fear of other animals (generalization)
• Counterconditioning
– associate CS with new, incompatible CR
– CS paired with new UCS
– aversive conditioning – a form of treatment that consists
of repeated pairings of a stimulus with a very unpleasant
• antabuse – a drug treatment for alcoholism since 1940s
Classical Conditioning: Applications
• placebo effect – the effect of a substance or procedure (such as
taking a pill) that is used as a control to identify the actual effects of
a treatment (example: drop in pain)
• immune (disease) and endocrine (hormones) responses
– immunosuppression – a decrease in the production of antibodies,
which can lower a person’s ability to fight disease
– sympathetic nervous system (part of autonomic nervous system that
responds to stress)
• taste aversion
– between taste and nausea
– unique (only 1 pairing required)
• advertising – associative learning
• drug habituation – decreased responsiveness to a stimulus after
repeated presentation
– preparing – body “braces” self
A SHORT Time to Ponder
• How might parents and schools accidently
condition undesirable behaviors? Relate this
to immunosuppression.
• Could you condition yourself to eat healthy?
• What routines do you have that might be
triggering unconscious conditioned
responses? Think habituation and preparing.
A SHORT Activity
• With a partner or group of three, create a
table or diagram in your spiral to explain the
placebo effect using classical conditioning
• With the same partner or group of three,
create a table or diagram in your spiral to
explain the advertising of a specific product
using classical conditioning terminology.
Operant Conditioning
• operant conditioning – (a.k.a. a form of
associative learning in which the
consequences of a behavior change the
probability of the behavior’s occurrence
– operant  references behavior of the organism
– better explains voluntary behaviors
– the consequences of a behavior change the
probability of that behavior’s occurrence
Operant Conditioning
• Thorndike’s Law of Effect
consequence strengthens or weakens a S – R connection
behaviors (reactions) followed by positive outcomes are strengthened
behaviors (reactions) followed by negative outcomes are weakened
not technically operant conditioning
“trial and accidental success”
• B.F. Skinner
– expanded on Thorndike’s work
– named operant conditioning
– maintained that his research with pigeons demonstrated the
usefulness of operant conditioning techniques for behavior control
– shaping (reward approximations of the desired behavior)
– “You have permission to be as smart as a seeing eye dog.”
- Mr. Hickey
Activity Handout 6.2
How Do You Shape This Behavior?
Look over the list of behaviors below and choose three of the behaviors.
Explain how you would go about (what steps you would use) shaping each of
the behaviors you chose.
Riding a bicycle
Jumping rope
Brushing your teeth
Making cookies
Potty training
Getting someone to complete their homework
• Each example should include:
– the concept of beginning the training by rewarding any approximation
of the behavior
– then gradually only rewarding the actual behavior.
B.F. Skinner
• “I did not direct my life. I didn't
design it. I never made decisions.
Things always came up and made
them for me. That's what life is.”
• “Give me a child and I'll shape
him into anything.”
• “The consequences of an act
affect the probability of its
occurring again.”
• “The real problem is not whether
machines think but whether men
• “Society attacks early, when the
individual is helpless.”
Skinner Box
Skinner Box (1930s)
• Developed by B. F. Skinner, a Skinner box is a chamber that
contains a bar or key that an animal can press or manipulate in
order to obtain food or water as a type of reinforcement.
– recorded each response provided by the animal
– recorded unique schedule of reinforcement that the animal was
• design of Skinner boxes
– varied depending upon the type of animal and the experimental
– chamber that includes at least one lever, bar, or key that the animal
can manipulate
• lever is pressed, food, water, or some other type of reinforcement might be
– Other stimuli can also be presented including lights, sounds, and
images. In some instances, the floor of the chamber may be
• purpose of a Skinner box -could carefully study behavior in a very
controlled environment.
• Example  determine which schedule of reinforcement led to the highest rate
of response in the study subjects
B.F. Skinner
4 Ways to Shape Behavior
positive reinforcement
negative reinforcement
positive punishment
negative punishment
Comparing Operant Procedures
Operant Conditioning: Reinforcement
• reinforcement – the process by which a rewarding stimulus or event (a
reinforcer) following a particular behavior increases the probability that
the behavior will happen again
• Reinforcement increases behavior.
– positive reinforcement increases behavior
– negative reinforcement increases behavior
• Positive Reinforcement
– behavior followed by rewarding consequence
– rewarding stimulus is “added”
– example: telling joke – listener laughing
• Negative Reinforcement
– behavior followed by rewarding consequence
– aversive (unpleasant) stimulus is “removed”
– example: putting on gloves  cold gone
Operant Conditioning: Reinforcement
• positive reinforcement increases behavior
• negative reinforcement increases behavior
Principles of Reinforcement:
Avoidance Reinforcement
Avoidance Reinforcement (a.k.a. avoidance
learning) – an organism's learning that it can
altogether avoid a negative stimulus by
making a particular response
…by making a particular response, a negative
stimulus can be avoided
Example: previously failed test  studying a
lot in the future  avoid future failing grades
NOTE: changing behavior permanently
Principles of Reinforcement:
Learned Helplessness
Learned Helplessness - an organism’s learning
through experience with unavoidable negative
stimuli that it has no control over negative
…an organism learns it has no control over
negative outcomes
Example: student fails in school whether studies
or not  student gives up on studying  if
student studied now would be successful
(different class, gained additional skills, etc.) but
continues to give up on trying
2 Types of Reinforcers
• Primary Reinforcers
– innately satisfying
– pleasurable w/o learning
– examples: food, water, sexual satisfaction
• Secondary Reinforcers
learned / conditioned reinforcer
become satisfying through experience (learning)
repeated association with a pre-existing reinforcer
token economy – behaviors are rewarded with tokens
(such as poker chips or stars on a chart) that can be
exchanged later for desired rewards (such as candy or
– examples: grades, paychecks
Schedules of Reinforcement
• Generalization (in operant conditioning)
– performing a reinforced behavior in a different situation
– stimulus “sets the occasion” for the response
– responding occurs to similar stimuli
• Discrimination (in operant conditioning)
– responding appropriately to stimuli that signal that a
behavior will or will not be reinforced
– stimuli signal when behavior will or will not be reinforced
• Extinction (in operant conditioning)
– behavior decreases when reinforcement stops
• Spontaneous Recovery
Schedules of Reinforcement
• schedule of reinforcement – specific patterns
that determine when a behavior will be
• Continuous Reinforcement
• Partial Reinforcement (vocabulary)
– fixed  set
– variable  not set / unpredictable
– ratio  #
– interval  time
4 Schedules of Partial Reinforcement
• Fixed Ratio (FR)
– reinforcement follows a set # of behaviors
– not used in casinos (problem / beat system)
• Variable Ratio (VR)
– reinforcement follows an unpredictable # of behaviors (e.g., an
– used in casinos: consistent, but not predictable
– resistant to extinction
• Fixed Interval (FI)
– reinforcement follows behavior that occurs after a set amount of time
has elapsed
– behavior increases before anticipated event
– example: elections
• Variable Interval (VI)
– reinforcement follows behavior that occurs after an unpredictable
amount of time has elapsed
– example: pop quizzes
Schedules of
• punishment decreases behavior.
• Positive Punishment
– behavior followed by aversive consequence
– aversive (unpleasant) stimulus is “added”
• Negative Punishment
– behavior followed by aversive consequence
– rewarding stimulus is “removed”
– example: timeout; jail (freedom removed)
• punishment – a consequence that decreases the
likelihood that a behavior will occur
Comparing Operant Procedures
Activity Handout 6.3
Which Schedule Is It?
For each of the scenarios below, determine which schedule is being used such
as positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and
negative punishment. Explain why you chose your answer.
Libby gets twenty dollars for every A she brings home on her report card.
Schedule: positive reinforcement
For every A that Tim gets on his report card he doesn’t have to do his chores for
two days.
Schedule: negative reinforcement
Every time the dog rolls over he gets a doggy treat.
Schedule: positive reinforcement
Jim comes home way after curfew and his parents take his car keys away for a
Schedule: negative punishment
Sally talks back to her mom and she gets grounded for three weeks.
Schedule: negative punishment
Controversy Over Punishment
p. 192
• corporal punishment
– used by 70-90% of parents in the U.S.
– correlational research studies
• problems associated with punishment
• why should parents avoid spanking?
• is physical punishment necessary?
Operant Conditioning:
Timing of Consequences
• Timing of Consequences
– immediate versus delayed reinforcement
– immediate versus delayed punishment
– immediate versus delayed reinforcement and
• obesity; smoking; drinking
Operant Conditioning:
Applied Behavior Analysis
• Applied Behavior Analysis
– behavior modification
work and school performance
training autistic children
to instruct individuals on effective parenting
to enhance environmentally conscious behaviors
(recycling, not littering)
• to promote workplace safety
• to improve self control
Activity Handout 6.4
How Do You Change the Behavior?
Read over the negative behaviors listed below. Choose three of the behaviors and
explain how you would go about changing that behavior into a more positive behavior.
Use the steps of behavior modification that were discussed in the chapter.
Talking back to your parents
Getting bad grades in school
Taking toys on the playground that do not belong to you
Kicking and hitting your sister
Writing on the table with crayons while coloring
Splashing water all over the bathroom floor while taking a bath
Using your mother’s lipstick to draw pictures on the walls
Answers should include the following steps:
• 1. define the problem
• 2. commit to change
• 3. collect information about yourself
• 4. design a self-control program including self-talk, self-instruction, or selfreinforcement
• 5. maintenance: establish follow-up checks and plans for when progress is not
Observational Learning
• learning that occurs when a person observes and
imitates behavior (modeling)
• Albert Bandura – Social Cognitive Theory
• four processes
motor reproduction
• vicarious reinforcement
• vicarious punishment
Observational Learning:
Bandura’s Model of Observational Learning
• observational learning – learning that occurs
when a person observes and imitates another’s
Albert Bandura… and Bobo Clowns,
which are creepy…
• Bobo doll experiment (1961, 63) - experiments
conducted by Albert Bandura studying children's
behavior after watching an adult model act
aggressively towards a Bobo doll
– There are different variations
– measured the children's behavior after seeing the
model get rewarded, punished or experience no
consequence for beating up the bobo doll
– empirical demonstration of Bandura's social
learning theory It shows that people not only learn
by being rewarded or punished itself
(behaviorism), they can learn from watching
somebody being rewarded or punished, too
(observational learning)
– important because they sparked many more
studies on the effects of observational learning
• practical implication, e.g. how children can be
influenced watching violent media
Cognitive Factors in Learning:
E.C. Tolhman (1932)
• purposiveness – the idea that much of
behavior is goal-directed
– studying
• behavior does not illustrate purpose (college, etc.)
• Purposive Behavior in Humans
– goal directed
– goal setting
– self-regulation and self-monitoring
Cognitive Factors in Learning
• expectancy learning
– information value
– expectancies – acquired from people’s experience with
their environment
• latent learning / implicit learning – unreinforced
learning that is immediately reflected in behavior
– latent = stored cognitively
– evident when you walk around a new setting to get a “lay
of the land”
– DISCUSSION: How can latent learning and learning the “lay
of the chapter” influence success in AP Psychology?
Cognitive Factors in Learning:
Insight Learning
• insight learning – a form of problem solving in
which the organism develops a sudden insight
into or understanding of a problem
– requires thinking “outside the box”… or “outside
the bun”
• setting aside previous expectations and assumptions
– Wolfgang Kohler
• the stick problem
• the box problem
Cognitive Factors in Learning:
Wolfgang Kohler and Insight Learning
• Wolfgang Kohler
• the box problem and the stick problem
A SHORT Time to Ponder:
Cognitive Factors in Learning
• Do cognitions matter?
• Does learning involve more than environmentbehavior connections?
Other Factors in Learning
• Biological Constraints
– instinctive drift – the tendency of animals to revert to
instinctive behavior that interferes with learning
• inability to learn or reverting to animal tendencies after
learning (biology sometimes wins)
– preparedness – the species-specific biological
predisposition to learn in certain ways but not in
• taste aversion in humans
• fear of snakes in most animals (b/c they are creepy)
Noam Chomsky
• believed we are prewired to learn language
Other Factors in Learning
• Cultural Influences
– classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and
observational learning = universal
– culture 
• influences degree
– example: Mexican American students prefer observational
learning; Euro-American students direct instruction
• influences content (geography, religion, etc.)
Other Factors in Learning:
Psychological Constraints
• Psychological Constraints
– mindset: fixed v. growth
– mindset – the way our beliefs about ability dictate what goals
we set for ourselves, what we think we can learn, and ultimately
what we do learn
• fixed mindset – believe that their qualities are carved in stone and
cannot change
– failure = lack of ability (belief that if failing, will continue to fail)
– … still failing
• growth mindset (incremental theory) - believe their qualities can
change and improve through their effort
– failure = what you need to learn
– … showing growth
• developing a growth mindset
– Understand that you intelligence and thinking skills are not fixed but can
– Become passionate about learning and stretch your mind in challenging
– Think about the growth mindsets of people you admire.
– Begin now.
Learning and Health and Wellness
• Factors influencing degree of stress
– predictability of stressor
– control over stressor
– improvement of (reduction in) stressor
– outlets for frustration
Activity Handout 6.5
Have you Learned to be Stressed?
Research has provided some insightful aspects in regards to how we deal with
stress. Under each component of the stress response, identify one or two
examples from your own life illustrating the functionality of that component.
Any answer that reflects on how events that are perceived as predictable are considered less stressful in general
than unpredictable situations.
Any answer that includes the idea of how having personal control over situations that happen in our lives is
deemed less stressful than having the feeling of a lack of control over aversive stimuli.
Any answer that shows how a perception of improvement over one’s circumstance, even in a situation that is
objectively worse than another, is related to lowered stress.
Outlets for Frustration:
Any answer that includes examples of ways to deal with stressful situations (productive or maladaptive).
From a learning perspective, how does stress operate in your life? What can you do to decrease the amount of
stress you are under?
Answers may vary.
Chapter Summary
Explain what learning is.
Describe classical conditioning.
Discuss operant conditioning.
Understand observational learning.
Discuss the role of cognition in learning.
Identify biological, cultural, and psychological
factors in learning.
• Describe how principles of learning apply to
health and wellness.
Chapter Summary
• Learning is a relatively permanent change in
behavior that occurs through experience.
• Classical Conditioning
– association between two stimuli
– terminology: CS, CR, UCS, UCR
– generalization and discrimination
– extinction and spontaneous recovery
– phobias and counterconditioning
Chapter Summary
• Operant Conditioning
– stimulus - response - consequence
– positive and negative reinforcement
– positive and negative punishment
– schedules of reinforcement
• Observational Learning
– attention, retention, motor reproduction, and
Chapter Summary
• Cognitive Factors in Learning
– purposive behavior
– insight learning
• Other Factors in Learning
– biological, cultural, psychological constraints
• Learning and Health and Wellness
– variables aggravating stress

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