Chapter 5
 Learning: process by which expertise or practice result in relatively
permanent change in behavior or potential behavior
 Encompasses classroom learning and studying, but also covers other
forms of learning like turning off the lights when you leave a room,
locking the door when you leave the house and learning how to
 Conditioning: acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence
of well-defined stimuli
 Basic form of learning
 EX: a dog getting their leash when their owner puts on their shoes
 Dog knows that they are going for a walk because of past
Section 1
 Pavlov’s Conditioning Experiments
 Classical conditioning was discovered on accident by Ivan Pavlov
 Russian physiologist who was studying digestive processes
 Wanted to measure how much a dog would salivate when food was
paced in their mouths so he placed tubes into the salivary glands
 Noticed that the dogs would salivate when they heard the
feeders footsteps and before they were even fed
 Changed experiment and set out to teach dogs to salivate when
a bell was sounded before they were fed
 Learned to salivate at the sounds of the bell
Elements of Classical Conditioning
 Classical conditioning involves pairing a response that is
usually triggered from one stimuli with a different neutral
 Pavlov’s experiment illustrated the 4 basic elements of
Classical Conditioning
 Unconditional Stimulus (US): stimulus that causes an
organism to respond a specific way
 EX: Food
 Unconditional Response (UR): a response that takes
place in an organism whenever an unconditional
stimulus occurs
 EX: salivation
 Classical Conditioning is also know as Pavlovian Conditioning
 Reflexive behaviors happen because of a neutral stimuli
 EX: when you get anxious during a scary movie because you
have heard the same eerie music in other scary movies
 Classical conditioning is contrasted with Operant Conditioning or
Instrumental Conditioning
 Selected behaviors are practiced to gain a reward or avoid
 EX: teaching a dog to sit and then rewarding them with a treat
 Will sit again to receive another reward
 Conditioned Stimulus (CS): originally neutral stimulus
that is paired with an unconditional stimulus and
eventually produces desired response in an organism
when presented alone
 EX: ringing bell
 Conditioned Response (CR): after conditioning, the
response an organism produces when only a
conditioned stimulus presented
 EX: hearing the bell and then salivating
Classical Conditioning in Humans
 Human beings learn behaviors through classical
 Irrational fears and anxieties are learned or
 Cats, spiders, snakes, heights, closed spaces
 Wolpe discovered that they could be unlearned or
 Desensitization Therapy: conditioning technique
designed to gradually reduce anxiety about a
particular object or situation
 Step 1: teaches patient deep muscle relaxation
 Step 2: Construct a list of situations that cause a
variety of levels of fear and anxiety
 Rate them form 1-100
 Step 3: enter into deep relaxation and imagine the
least stressful situation and work their way up
Classical Conditioning is Selective
 Humans must be prepared to develop fear responses and
phobias for survival
 Likely to be scared of heights and falling and dying them
about a flower
 Preparedness also underlies conditioned Food (or Taste)
 Conditioned avoidance of certain foods id there is only
one pairing of conditioned and unconditioned stimuli
 Only need to get sick from food poisoning to not eat
that food again
Elements of Operant Conditioning
 Operant Behavior: behavior designed to operate on the
environment in a way that will gain some kind of desired
or avoid something unpleasant
 Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949)
 American psychologist and educator
 Cat and Puzzle Box Experiment
 Put hungry cats in a box where they could see and
smell their food
 Each time the cat would be placed in the box it would
take less and less time to get out of the box to eat
 Reinforcer: stimulus that follows a behavior and
increases the likelihood that the behavior would be
 Punishers: stimulus that follows a behavior and
decreases the likelihood that the behavior will be
 Law of Effect: Thorndike’s theory that behavior
consistently rewarded will be “stamped in” as a learned
behavior, and behavior that brings about discomfort will
be “stamped out”
 Also, known as principle of reinforcement
Types of Reinforcement
 Positive and Negative Reinforcement
 Positive Reinforcements: any event whose presence increases
the likelihood that an ongoing behavior will occur
 Adds something
 EX: food, pleasant music, anything rewarding
 Negative Reinforcements: any event whose reduction or
termination increases the likelihood that ongoing behavior will
 Subtract something unpleasant
 EX: Animal learning to press a button to open a cage door to
escape loud noises
 Punishment: any event whose presence decreases the
likelihood that ongoing behavior will recur
 EX: fine for speeding or littering
 Punishments should be…
 Effective, it must be imposed properly
 Swift—be punished right away
 Sufficient—make sure punishment sis proportionate
to action
 Consistent—punish each and every time they
 Significant drawbacks to punishments
 Punishments only suppress behavior—doesn’t teach more
desirable behavior
 Punishments often stir up unpleasant emotions that can
impede learning the behavior we want to be substituted
 EX: when children are scolded fro mispronouncing a word
child may become frightened and confused and then they
may mispronounce more words because they are
 Punishments may convey the notion that inflicting pain on
other is justified
 As a method for controlling behavior, punishment is one
of the least pleasant options because it is ineffective
and can have negative side effects
 Avoidance Training: learning a desirable behavior to
prevent the occurrence of something unpleasant such
as punishment
Operant Conditioning is Selective
 Some behaviors are easier to train than others
 Leaning was most successful in situation that would
occur in natural training sessions
 EX: eating with silverware v. hands
Superstitious Behavior
 Humans learn superstitions through Operant
 EX: If we are wearing a pair of shoes and win a
basketball game you might want to wear those shoes
to every game
Learned Helplessness
 Learned Helplessness: failure to take steps to avoid or
escape from an unpleasant or averse stimulus that
occurs as a result of previous exposure to unavoidable
painful stimuli
 EX: children raised in abusive homes where
punishment is unrelated to child’s behavior often
developed a sense of powerlessness
 Even when child is removed from environment and in
a relatively normal environment the child still remains
listless, passive and indifferent
 Little attempt to seek reward or avoid discomfort
Section 3
Response Acquisition
 Classical Conditioning
 Requires repeated pairings of Conditioned Stimulus and
Unconditioned stimulus
 Each pairing builds on the learners pervious experience
 Response Acquisition: the “building phase” of
conditioning during which the likelihood or strength of
the desired response increases
 Each pairing of Conditioned Stimulus and Unconditioned
Stimulus is called a trial
 For the best learning trials should occur and a
consistent interval of time...not too many to close
together or far apart
 Operant Conditioning
 Most difficult but the behavior taught is usually a
voluntary trail such as not talking while someone else
is talking
 Need to wait until the subject lands on the correct
response on their own
 Can be a slow process
 There are ways to speed up the process and make it more
likely that the desired response will happen
 Increase motivation
 Reduce or eliminate the opportunities for making the
wrong choice
 Shaping: reinforcing successive approximations to a
desired behavior
 Rewarding each step in learning a behavior and setting
the expectations a little higher each time
 EX: reward for being to class on time, then a reward
for being to class on time and in uniform, finally a
reward for being to class on time, in uniform and
working on the Do Now
Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery
 How long does a learned behavior last, and once lost
can it be recovered?
 Classical Conditioning
 Extinction: a decrease in the strength or frequency of
a learned response because of failure to continue
pairing the Unconditioned Stimulus and Conditioned
Stimulus (Classical Conditioning) or withholding of
reinforcement (operant conditioning)
 Eventually you are desensitized, or no longer
sensitize to certain things after experiencing them
so much
 Spontaneous Recovery: the reappearance of an
extinguished response after the passage of time,
without further training
 Extinction does not erase conditioned responses,
extinction occurs because new learning interferes with
pervious learned response
 We overcome this interference with renewal effect
 Operant Conditioning
 Extinction happens when the reinforcement is being
 Does not result in immediate decrease in
 Extinction does not erase the response forever
 Spontaneous recovery may occur
 Will advert back to pervious behaviors but is
capable of still demonstrating learned behavior
 The stronger the original learning the longer it
takes to stop action from being preformed
 The greater the variety of settings in which
learning takes place the harder to extinguish
 Behaviors learned through punishment rather
than reinforcement are especially harder to
Generalization and Discrimination
 Classical Conditioning
 Remember the Little Albert and white rat experiment?
 Later tried to show him a white RABBIT and he was
still frightened, cried and tried to crawl away
 Stimulus Generalization: the transfer of a learned
response to a different but similar stimuli
 Albert was afraid of the rabbit because it looked like
the white rat
 Stimulus Discrimination: learning to respond to only one
stimulus and to inhabit the response to all other stimuli
 If they would have given Albert the white rat, rabbit,
cotton balls and other white fluffy things and only
made the loud sound when he touched the rat he
would be able to discriminate the only “scary” item
as the rat
 Operant Conditioning
 Stimulus Generalization
 EX: the skills you learn in ping pong you may
generalize when playing badminton or tennis
 Response Generalization: giving a response that is
somewhat different from the response originally
learned form the stimulus
 EX: a baby who called everyone “mama” might
start using word like “gaga” and “baba” because
they should similar—generalized as the same thing
 Discrimination
 Only reinforcing a very specific response and only
in the presence of a specific stimulus
 EX: only showing praise to a baby that says
“mama” will stop saying gaga and baba
New Learning Based on Original Learning
 Higher-Order Conditioning in Classical Conditioning
 Conditioning based on pervious learning; the conditioned
stimulus serves as an unconditioned stimulus for further
 EX: Pavlov was able to get his dogs to salivate at the sight
of a black square
 Originally they would salivate when they heard bell but
now he would show them a black square and then ring
the bell
 The black square became the object that made them
salivate not the bell
 Difficult to achieve because it races against extinction
 Secondary Reinforces in Operant Conditioning
 Primary Reinforcer: a reinforcer that is rewarding in
itself, such as food and water
 Secondary Reinforcer: a reinforcer whose value is
acquired through association with other primary or
secondary reinforcer
 EX: money
 Just holding the paper doesn’t do much for you,
but being able to buy things is what you want
money for
 Classical Conditioning
 Contingency: reliable “if- then” relationship between 2 events such
as Conditioned Stimulus and Unconditioned Stimulus
 EX: If I hear a loud sound and get shocked but sometimes when
I hear the sound I don’t get shocked, then I will be startled
every time I hear a loud sound
 Blocking: a process whereby conditioning prevents conditioning to
a second stimulus even when the two stimuli are presented
 EX: if you add a flash of light to the above example they only
showed fear when the heard the sound…they had be
conditioned to be scare of the sound not the later added light
 Operant Conditioning
 Schedule of Reinforcement
 Schedule of Reinforcement: in operant
conditioning, the rule for determining when and
how often reinforcers will be delivered
 A fixed-Interval
 Correct response is reinforced after a fixed
length of time since the last reinforcement
 EX: Midterms and final exams—student stress
peak right before them and hten drop
dramatically when they are over
 Variable-Interval Schedule
 Reinforced after varying lengths of time following the
last reinforcement
 EX: giving students candy at different time periods
with no pattern in mind
 Fixed-Ratio Schedule
 Reinforced after a fixed number of correct response
 EX: getting paid only for working 4 hr shifts. Work
less then 4 hrs don’t get paid and if you work 6hrs
you only get paid for one 4 hr shift
 Variable-Ratio Schedule
 Varying number of correct responses must occur
before reinforcement is presented
 EX: Casino slot machine
 You will win but you have no idea of when
 There is always a chance of hitting a jackpot so
the temptation to play is high
Section 4
Latent Learning and Cognitive Maps
 Cognitive Learning: learning that depends on mental processes
that are not directly observable
 How we learn our way around building or neighborhood, we
learn what to expect from a given situation, abstract concepts,
 Latent Learning: learning that is not immediately reflected in a
behavior change
 Learn something but don’t use it right away…use it later on
when it makes sense to use it
 Cognitive Map: learned mental image of a spatial environment that
may be called on to solve problems when stimuli is the
environment change
Insight and Learning Sets
 Insight: learning that occurs rapidly as a result of
understanding all the element of a problem
 The sudden coming together of elements of a
 “oohhhh that makes sense now” moments
 Pervious learning can also be used to speed up new
 Learning sets: ability to become increasingly more
effective in solving problems as more problems are
 With practice and experience problem solving
becomes easier and easier
Learning by Observing
 Many psychologists believe that leaning comes form
 Others believe that is stems from social learning theories
 Social Learning Theory: emphasizes that ability to learn by
observing a model or receiving instructions, without
firsthand experience by the learner
 We cam learn a behavior without ever doing it
 Observational Learning: learning by observing other
peoples behavior
 By watching someone else do something we can do it to
 Vicarious Reinforcement and Vicarious Punishment
 Reinforcement or punishment experiences by model
that affects the willingness of other to perform
behaviors they learn by observing those models
 Will or will no do something because of the
consequences that are experienced by others
Bandura’s Experiment in Learned Aggressive Behavior
 Watch video answer following questions
 1.
 2.
 3.

Chapter 5 Powerpoint - Destiny High School