Module 29 Notes

Module 29 Notes:
Associative learning (conditioning) doesn’t tell the whole story
Learning Theorists recognize that learning is the product/interaction of Bio/Psycho/Social
Limits on classical conditioning:
An animal (person’s) capacity for conditioning is constrained by its biological makeup.
Each species has predispositions than allow certain associations (enhance survival)
Not all associations are as readily conditioned
o (Garcia & Koellling) Rats, cancer treatment, plastic water bottles
o Taste Aversion stronger than sight or sounds conditioning
 True with Humans (food sickness, even 4 hours after food)
 US does not always need to IMMEDIATELY follow NS
 Survival Necessity (Birds more sight aversion)
Taste Aversion is a stronger conditioning tool than most
o Used by treatment programs to help quit drugs
o Wolves, contaminated sheep, penned w/ sheep
We tend to Learn (“Associate”) behaviors that are favored by natural selection…More effective Neutral
Red & sexuality (Red blush from increased bloodflow in ovulating women)
Red is a more effective NS than another color (lipstick, blush, etc..)
Limits on Operant Conditioning:
“Never try to teach a pigeon to sing” It wastes you time and annoys the pig”
Some behaviors are easier to train the others (more natural)
Instinctive Drift – Animals are inclined to behavior as they are biologically predisposed to do…even with
operant conditioning (Pig pushing money with snout rather than carry in mouth)
Cognition and Learning
Rescorla and Wagner
Animals can learn the predictability of an event/stimulus.
The predictability of a Stimulus (classical) or reward/punishment (operant) will influence the strength
and likelihood of conditioning occurring. This requires a cognitive process.
The more predictable the stronger the conditioned response
New technology since Watson
Observe cognition in action
o Latent learning, cognitive maps
*** Our thoughts, perceptions and expectations can influence our learning
Cognitive Map – a mental representation of the layout of our environment
Latent Learning – learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it
 (Rats in maze – only move deliberately and quickly if food is present)
Insight – Sudden realization of problems’ solution
Intrinsic Motivation – A desire to perform a behavior effectively for your own sake
Extrinsic Motivation – a desire to peform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened
Over justification: The more we are rewarded for something, the less we enjoy and want to do it
Teachers vs Pro Athletes ???
Personal Control
Control Environment