Chapter 2 - Plain Local Schools

Chapter 2: Learning
There are Several Types of Learning:
1.Classical Conditioning –
Accidently discovered by Ivan Pavlov and his famous experiment with dogs
A learning procedure where an old response becomes attached to a new stimulus
old response - dog’s salivation
(when see/ smell food)
neutral stimulus – the tone of the bell
result = dogs salivate when hear tone (w/ no food presented), a learned response pairing of these
responses = conditioning
Unconditioned stimulus: An event that elicits a certain predictable response without previous
training (presence of food)
Unconditioned response
A reaction that occurs naturally and automatically when the unconditioned stimulus is presented
Conditioned Stimulus
a once-neutral stimulus (tone of bell) that has come to elicit a given response after a period of
training in which it has been paired with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
Conditioned Response
a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus (salivating with bell & no food present)
*With each pairing of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the learned response, or CR,
is strengthened*
UCS – food
UCR – salivate
PAIR UCS w/ CS several times
CS – Tone of bell, a neutral stimulus
CR – salivation, w no food present
Lets try some together!
Find a partner to work with
Related Classical Conditioning Terms:
Generalization: Responding similarly to a range of similar stimuli, think of little Albert & his fear
of all white fuzzy things
Discrimination: The ability to respond differently to similar but distinct stimuli, example being
afraid of only white fuzzy items not all fuzzy items
Extinction: The gradual disappearance of a conditioned response because the reinforcement is
withheld or because the conditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented without the UCS
(unconditioned stimulus)
Think about Baby Albert: if Watson would have removed the fear of white fuzzy things by showing baby fuzzy
things repeatedly with no loud scary noise, baby’s fear would have decreased and eventually become extinct
Acquisition - the first stages of learning when a response is established the period of time when the
stimulus comes to evoke the conditioned response.
Spontaneous Recovery –
the reappearance of the conditioned response after a rest period
Spontaneous recovery demonstrates that extinction is not the same thing as unlearning. While the response
might disappear, that does not meant that it has been forgotten or eliminated.
Taste Aversionslinking your distaste for particular items to a period of illness, queasiness or nausea
The previously neutral stimulus (the food) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (an illness), which
leads to an unconditioned response (feeling sick). After this one-time pairing, the previously neutral
stimulus (the food) is now a conditioned stimulus that elicits a conditioned response (avoiding the food).
In the case of a conditioned taste aversion, the time lapse often amounts to several hours, instead of a few
seconds as seen in traditional classical conditioning scenarios
2.Operant Conditioning: A form of learning in which a certain action is reinforced or punished,
resulting in corresponding increases or decreases in the likelihood that similar actions will occur
* the study of how behavior is affected by its consequences
B.F. Skinner, skinner box
Stimulus or event that affects the likelihood that a behavior will be repeated
Ex) social approval, money, treats
Immediately following a particular response with a reward to strengthen that response
Reinforcement is what set Operant conditioning apart from Classical Conditioning
Training Procedures:
1. Positive Reinforcement (rewards)Increase frequency of bx
Big Bang Video Clip
2. Negative Reinforcementremoval (subtraction of) of unpleasant stimulus, an aversive/punishment, increases frequency of
Examples of Negative Reinforcement
Learn more by looking at the following examples:
Before heading out for a day at the beach, you slather on sunscreen in order to avoid getting
You decide to clean up your mess in the kitchen in order to avoid getting in a fight with your
On Monday morning, you leave the house early in order to avoid getting stuck in traffic and
being late for class.
Can you identify the negative reinforcer in each of these examples? Sunburn, a fight with your
roommate and being late for work are all negative outcomes that were avoided by performing a specific
behavior. By eliminating these undesirable outcomes, the preventative behaviors become more likely to
occur again in the future.
3. Punishment aversive/ punishment follows bx, used to decrease undesirable behavior
4. Omission Training –
removal of a positive reinforcement
Primary vs. Secondary Reinforcers:
Secondary Reinforcement refers to a situation in which a stimulus reinforces a behavior after it has
been associated with a primary reinforcer, like money
The Primary Reinforcers occur naturally and do not need to be learned. Examples of primary
reinforcers include things that satisfy basic survival needs such as water, food, sleep, air
Money is one example of secondary reinforcement. Money can be used to reinforce behaviors because
it can be used to acquire primary reinforcers such as food, clothing, shelter and other such things.
Aversion ConditioningInfluencing behavior using unpleasant consequences
Chapter 2 Continued: Operant Learning
Timing and frequency of reinforcement are important:
Schedule of Reinforcements:
1.Continuous Schedule:
reward every desired behavior, learning happens quick but so does extinction
2.Partial Schedule (Intermittent):
responses are more stable and last longer/
4 Types of Partial Schedule Reinforcements:
Fixed-ratio schedule: A schedule of reinforcement in which a specific number of correct
responses is required before reinforcement can be obtained
Ex: Rewarding every 4th response
Variable-ratio schedule: A schedule of reinforcement in which a different number of responses
are required before reinforcement can be obtained each time
EX: Slot machines, set to pay off after a varying number of attempts
Fixed-interval schedule: A schedule of reinforcement in which a specific amount of time must
elapse before a response will elicit reinforcement
The time interval- whether it is seconds, minutes, hours or days- is always the same
Ex. Teacher gives a quiz, only study night before not every night
Variable-interval schedule: A schedule of reinforcement in which changing amount of time must
elapse before a response will obtain reinforcement each time
Ex: Trying to reach a friend and goes straight to voicemail. The number of times you continue to try and call
will determine roughly how often you try the phone again…and again
Now let’s try to identify the 4 types of reinforcement schedules in real life scenarios, find a