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Chapter 6

Learning is a relatively permanent change in an
organisms behavior due to experience.
Learning is more flexible in comparison to the
genetically-programmed behaviors of Chinook
salmon, for example.
-Instinctively programmed to know
where to swim, what to eat,
and how to protect themselves.

How Do We Learn?
We learn by association. Our minds
naturally connect events that occur in
2000 years ago, Aristotle suggested this
law of association. Then 200 years ago
Locke and Hume reiterated this law.

ASSOCIATIVE LEARNING: Learning that certain

events occur together
We learn by association

Our minds naturally connect events that occur in

sequence (i.e. one after another)
You smell fresh baked cookies; when you taste
them, they are delicious. Next time you smell
cookies, you expect them to be delicious!
You eat Papa Johns pizza at a party with
your friends, but get VERY sick from food
poisoning. Next time you smell Papa Johns
you gag

Stimulus-Stimulus Learning
Learning to associate one stimulus
with another.

Stimulus-Stimulus Learning
Learning to associate one stimulus
with another.

Behavior-Consequence Learning
Learning to associate a behavior
with a consequence.

Behavior-Consequence Learning
Learning to associate a response
with a consequence.


Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): A stimulus that

automatically and naturally triggers a response.
Unconditioned Response (UCR): A unlearned,
naturally occurring response to the unconditioned
stimulus, like salivation in the dog when food is in
the mouth.
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Originally a neutral
stimulus that, after association with an
unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a
conditioned response.
Conditioned Response (CR): A learned response
to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus.

UCS: Shark Attack

UCR: Fear, anxiety

CS: Music
CR: Fear, anxiety

Classical Conditioning
Ideas of classical conditioning originate from old
philosophical theories. However, it was the
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov who elucidated
classical conditioning.


His work provided a basis for later behaviorists

like John Watson and B. F. Skinner.

Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936)



Pavlovs Experiments
Before conditioning, food
(Unconditioned Stimulus, UCS) produces
salivation (Unconditioned Response, UCR).
However, the tone (neutral stimulus, NS) does not.

Pavlov clip

Pavlovs Experiments
During conditioning, the neutral stimulus (tone)
and the UCS (food) are paired,
resulting in salivation (UCR).
After conditioning, the neutral stimulus
(now Conditioned Stimulus, CS) elicits salivation
(now Conditioned Response, CR)

Acquisition is the initial stage in
classical conditioning in which an
association between a neutral stimulus and an
unconditioned stimulus takes place.

1. In most cases, for conditioning to occur, the

neutral stimulus needs to come before the
unconditioned stimulus.
2. The time in between the two stimuli should
be about half a second.

The CS needs to come half a second before the US
for acquisition to occur.





When the UCS (food) does not follow the
CS (tone), CR (salivation) begins to decrease and
eventually causes extinction.

Spontaneous Recovery
After a rest period, an extinguished CR (salivation)
spontaneously recovers, but if the CS (tone) persists
alone, the CR becomes extinct again.

Stimulus Generalization
Tendency to respond to
stimuli similar to the CS is
called generalization.
Pavlov conditioned the
dogs salivation (CR) by
using miniature vibrators
(CS) on the thigh. When he
subsequently stimulated
other parts of the dogs
body, salivation dropped.

Stimulus Discrimination
Discrimination is the learned ability to distinguish
between a conditioned stimulus and other stimuli that
do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.

Identify the following concerning

Pavlovs experiment:


That 70s Show clip


Little Albert
Behaviorist: John Watson

Little Albert
John B. WatsonBehavioral psychologist
Young baby, Little Albert, was an orphan
Presented Little Albert with a white ratfluffy and
Upon initial contact, L.A. had no fear response to the
As L.A. reached for the white rat, a hammer was
struck against a steel bar above his headscared
himya think?!?!?
After 7 trials, L.A. burst into tears at the sight of the

The case of Little Albert

UCS: loud bang
UCR: crying
CS: white rat
CR: crying

Albert previously loved the

white ratit was a neutral
stimulusbut after being
paired with the loud noise,
Albert learned to despise
the rat.

5 steps to classical

Albert Gets Darn Scared

Really Easily!

When your golden retriever was just a puppy

you would spank it with newspapers after he
did something naughty. He would lie down
and whimper. He is perfectly behaved now,
but each time he sees you holding a newspaper,
he lies down and whimpers.



Joan, an animal trainer, has been afraid

of monkeys since an attack in her
childhood. However, because of the high
pay she has taken a job at the zoo. Just
walking near the animal cages makes her
tense, sweaty, and nauseous.


Monkey attack
Tense, sweaty, nauseous
Animal cages
Tense, sweaty, nauseous

One night Rob went out with his buddies for

double-cheeseburgers at Sonic Drive-In
restaurant. He became violently ill afterwards.
Now just driving past Sonic makes his stomach


Db cheeseburger
seeing Jacks restaurant

GENERALIZATION: everything associated with Jacks

makes him sick, not just double cheeseburgers

Julie worked in a childrens clothing store that gave

balloons to all of the younger customers. One day she
gave a balloon to a little boy and he immediately popped
it. The next time, he did the same. After a few visits,
Julie flinched as soon as she handed him a balloon in
anticipation of him popping it.


Popping a balloon
Handing over balloon

Mary is receiving chemotherapy. Every time she leaves

the hospital the nausea gets the best of her and she has
to stop on her way out to throw-up. Last week she
went to visit a sick friend in a different hospital and on
her way out she had to stop to throw-up even though
she hadnt received chemotherapy.



Jose has five dogs at home; he has always been an animal lover.
When Joses friend James asked him to come over to help train
his new pit-bull, Beast, he gladly obliged. When Jose reach out to
pet Beast the dog lunged forward and bit his hand. Jose was very
sore and needed six stitches. Jose still loves caring for other dogs,
but just seeing Beast in the window makes his hand throb.


Getting attacked
Seeing Beast

Discrimination: Handed throbs only when he sees beast

and not other dogs

Pavlovs Legacy
Pavlovs greatest contribution
to psychology is isolating
elementary behaviors from
more complex ones through
objective scientific
Ivan Pavlov

Applications of Classical

Brown Brothers

Watson used classical

conditioning procedures to
develop advertising
campaigns for a number of
organizations, including
Maxwell House, making the
coffee break an American
John B. Watson

Extending Pavlovs Understanding

Pavlov and Watson considered consciousness, or
mind, unfit for the scientific study of psychology.
However, they underestimated the importance of
cognitive processes and biological constraints.

Cognitive Processes
Early behaviorists believed that learned
behaviors of various animals could be reduced
to mindless mechanisms.

However, later behaviorists suggested that

animals learn the predictability of a stimulus,
meaning they learn expectancy or awareness of a
stimulus (Rescorla, 1988).
IE: Alcohol treatment

Applications of Classical
1. Alcoholics may be
conditioned (aversively) by
reversing their positiveassociations with alcohol.
2. Through classical
conditioning, a drug (plus
its taste) that affects the
immune response may
cause the taste of the drug
to invoke the immune

Biological Predispositions
Even humans can develop classically to
conditioned nausea.

Biological Predispositions
Pavlov and Watson believed that laws of
learning were similar for all animals.
Therefore, a pigeon and a person do not differ
in their learning.
However, behaviorists
later suggested that learning
is constrained by an animals

Biological Predispositions

Courtesy of John Garcia

Garcia showed that the duration

between the CS and the UCS may
be long (hours), but yet result in
A biologically adaptive CS (taste)
led to conditioning (not the others,
like light or sound).

John Garcia

Martin Seligmans Experiments

Learned Helplessness the hopelessness or passive
resignation an animal or human
learns when unable to avoid
repeated unpleasant events.
Apply this idea to abused
spouses.why do they stay in
abusive relationships?

The view that psychology
1. Should be an objective science
2. Should study behavior without
mental processes

most psychologists
agree with
#1 but not #2

On your paper, please answer

2 ways you have been previously rewarded
2 ways you have been previously punished
How did the rewards & punishments affect
When finished, please discuss your answers
with the person sitting next to you.

What gets you motivated?

What motivates you?

What is worse punishment?

OPERANT conditioning

Learned association between behavior and

resulting events
A type of learning in which behavior is:
1.) STRENGTHENED if followed by
2.) DIMINISHED if followed by PUNISHMENT

Behavior that operates (depends) on the
environment and produces consequences

Classical Conditioning
& Operant Conditioning
A. Classical
conditioning forms
associations between
stimuli (CS and US).
B. Operant conditioning
forms an association
between behaviors and
the resulting events.

Classical Conditioning
Operant Conditioning
Classical natural and automatic,
biological, Pavlov's dogs didnt choose to
salivate. N/A/B.
Operant your actions are associated with
consequences. The animal or person makes
a choice about what it does. Consequences
can be good or bad.

Lets Review! On your paper,

please answer:
In operant conditioning, what
association does an animal

Explain the Skinner Box.

BF Skinner

Operant Chamber / Skinner Box

A bar or lever is in box
An animal manipulates
bar to obtain a
reinforcer, like food or
The bar is connected to
devices that record the
animals response.

Apply the Skinner Box to humans.

Skinner experimented on pigeons &
rats; why is it important to understand
his work?


Any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.


Positive Reinforcement


Positive Reinforcement
Add a desired stimulus
Reward for a good behavior
Money for As on a report card

Candy for correct answers

Negative Reinforcement
Removing an aversive or bad stimulus
Doing SOMETHING to remove a BAD stimulus
Do not confuse with PUNISHMENT
The behavior is still STRENGTHENED
Taking aspirin for a headache
Parent giving in to a nagging child to stop
nagging at the grocery store
Shutting off alarm clock
Putting on seat belt

Unit #6 Learning

11/7; Thursday Quiz #1 (pgs. 215-227)

11/11; Monday Train your dog ideas
11/13; Wednesday Quiz #2 (pgs. 228-249)
11/13; Wednesday Notecards due
11/15; Friday 40 studies and questions
11/18; Monday Train your dog due
11/21; Thursday, Unit 6 Test w/ essay
Checks for Understanding & Study Guide

Any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.



Skinners Experiments
Skinners experiments extend Thorndikes
thinking, especially his law of effect.
This law states that
rewarded behavior is likely to occur again.

Weird Weapons Clip


Ways to
Decrease Behavior
Positive Punishment

Administer an aversive (unfavorable)


Receiving a parking ticket

Negative Punishment

Withdraw a desirable stimulus


Time-out from privileges

Revoked drivers license



An aversive event that
decreases the behavior it follows.


Although there may be some justification for occasional
punishment (Larzelaere & Baumrind, 2002), it usually
leads to negative effects.

1. Results in unwanted fears & justifies pain.

Causes aggression.
2. Conveys no valuable information to the
3. Causes unwanted behaviors to reappear in its
-- Continue to swear; just not in front of parents!

Lets Practice!


On your paper, please answer

How did the volunteers behavior change as
a result of our feedback? How were they
affected by PR & PUN?
Which do you believe is more effective in
changing behavior, PR or PUN? Explain.

Operant conditioning procedure in which
reinforcers guide behavior towards closer
and closer approximations of the desired
target behavior.

Fred Bavendam/ Peter Arnold, Inc.

Khamis Ramadhan/ Panapress/ Getty Images

A rat shaped to sniff mines. A manatee shaped to discriminate

objects of different shapes, colors and sizes.

How could you decrease speeding in IL??

Positive Reinforcement

Use of
Reinforcers &
Punishments clip

Unit #6 Learning

11/7; Thursday Quiz #1 (pgs. 215-227)

11/11; Monday Train your dog ideas
11/13; Wednesday Quiz #2 (pgs. 228-249)
11/13; Wednesday Notecards due
11/15; Friday 40 studies and questions
11/18; Monday Train your dog due
11/21; Thursday, Unit 6 Test w/ essay
Checks for Understanding & Study Guide

Step 1: Identify the behavior/issue
Step 2: Is it a behavior we want to increase
(reinforcement) or decrease (punishment)?
Step 3: Was something added (positive) or
taken away (negative)?
** YES it can depend on the perspective
you are looking at it!! ASK if confusedor

Negative reinforcement
involves the removal of
a negative condition in
order to strengthen a
Punishment, involves
either presenting (+) or
taking away (-) a
stimulus in order
to weaken a behavior.

Braden didnt clean his room as asked. Therefore,

his dad made him spend the rest of the weekend
doing other chores like cleaning out the garage,
mowing the lawn and weeding the garden, in
addition to cleaning his room.

Not cleaning his room

Tom gets in a fight with his sister over

who gets to play with a new toy, the
mother simply takes the toy away.

A teenage girl stays out for an hour

past her curfew, so her parents ground
her for a week.
Past curfew

A third-grade boy yells at another

student during class, so his teacher
takes away "good behavior" tokens that
can be redeemed for prizes.

Scratching an insect bite that itches.


Your cell phone rings in the middle of a

class lecture, and you are scolded by
your teacher for not turning your phone
off prior to class.
Cell phone ringing

Billy "talks back" to his mother and he

loses his privilege of playing Mario
Bros for a week.
Talking back

To keep your roommate happy, you

decide to clean up your mess in the
kitchen in order to avoid getting in a

You drive over the speed limit through a

school zone one morning. As a result, you
get pulled over by a police officer and
receive a ticket.

You pet your cat's fur in a manner that the

cat finds unpleasant; the cat may attempt
to bite you.

Unpleasant petting of cat

Watching the worst movie ever, Joe

Versus the Volcano and leaving a movie

Leaving bad movie

On Monday morning, you leave the

house early in order to avoid getting
stuck in traffic and being late for
Leave house early

Lets Practice!

Lets Practice!
Sheldon gives Penny a
chocolate every time
she changes her
behavior to be less
annoying (quieter/lower
pitched/leave room/etc.)

Lets Practice!
The coach tries to
change his players poor
efforts on the field by
applying a punishment
of yelling at her (added)

Umpire wants coaches
bad behavior to stop, so
he punishes coach by
throwing him out of the
game (removed)

Lets Practice!
Negative Reinforcement
Raymond agrees to cancel the
fruit of the month club
subscription to remove the
aversive stimulus of his
parents complaining/nagging
him about it.


Lets Practice!
Negative Punishment
The Soup Nazi takes away
Georges soup to punish
him for complaining about
lack of bread.

Reinforce customers
behavior of ordering to
AVOIDmaking Soup
Nazi mad.

Positive Punishment

Primary & Secondary Reinforcers

1. Primary Reinforcer: An innately reinforcing
stimulus like food or drink. (inate, biological..I
need food, I need water!) dont have to learn!
2. (Conditioned Reinforcer; aka Secondary
Reinforcer): A learned reinforcer that gets its
reinforcing power through association with the
primary reinforcer. (Teach dog to come and give
treats, and praiseeventually give dog praise and
;they associate praise as being good.); $$$$$$
A on test, I give you food, A on the test I give you
praise. You had to LEARN praise was good.

Immediate & Delayed Reinforcers

1. Immediate Reinforcer: A reinforcer that
occurs instantly after a behavior. A rat gets
a food pellet for a bar press.
2. Delayed Reinforcer: A reinforcer that is
delayed in time for a certain behavior. A
paycheck that comes at the end of a week.
We may be inclined to engage in small immediate
reinforcers (watching TV) rather than large delayed
reinforcers (getting an A in a course) which require
consistent study.

Reinforcement Schedules can either be

Continuous Reinforcement: Every single
correct response or behavior is rewarded
--Produces behavior that extinguishes
(goes away) easily QUICKLY!
Partial Reinforcement: Reinforces a response
only part of the time. Though this results in
slower acquisition in the beginning, it shows
greater resistance to extinction later on.

Please answer.
Continuous vs. Partial Reinforcement?

What type of real world rewards

are delayed?
Why are kids taught to delay
Does the media encourage people to delay
gratification? Why or why not? An
example from the media?

What do these words





A fixed/set # of correct
responses must be given before you
are rewarded
Buy 2, get 1 free
Getting a free flight after
accumulating 10,000 flight miles
$10 for every 3 A; Piecework pay
Job Quota (have to make so many
phone calls, or no pay)
No time associated.
Causes fast responding as people
realize how often they are going to be
reinforced; fast rate of extinction
know it has stopped

2 for 1
10,000 for 1
free flight
50 calls for pay


The 1st correct response after a set
amount of TIME is rewarded
Paycheck every 2 weeks
Bus come every 15 minutes
Go to Great America every
Saturday if you do all of your
Get a 5 minute walking break
from the treadmills after every 30
minutes of running.
Time associated, know how long it
will take.


The # of correct responses
required for a reward is
RANDOM; Reinforcement
given after variable # of
The more times you play the
more likely you will be
rewarded; Gambling slot
machines, lottery tickets;
Very resistant to extinction
Most consistent rate of


TIME when you are reinforced
Reinforcement given after the
first response after a varying
amount of time has elapsed.
Pop quizzes
(assuming studying)
Waiting for your tax return
Dont know how long interval
will be - but will come!

Summary of Schedules
Fixed-Ratio Schedule: Set # of correct responses
must be given before you are rewarded ( Buy 2, get 1
free, ratio/no time)- Causes fast responding as people
realize how often they are going to be reinforced
Fixed-Interval Schedule: The 1st correct response
after a set amount of time is rewarded (paid every 2
weeks, bus schedules, TIME associated)
Variable Ratio Schedule: The # of correct responses
required for a reward is random , highly resistant to
extinction (Gambling, lottery)
Variable-Interval Schedule: Rewarded after a random
time period (pop quizzes/if you study, checking
voicemailwill get reward)

In... ...a fixed interval: Mopsy can pull on the lever as much has he
wants, but he is only given a pellet every 10 minutes (for example). In a
fixed ratio, this length of time never changes, so Mopsy will be less
likely to pull the level very often once he is conditioned (except near the
ten-minute mark, of course).
...a fixed ratio: Mopsy gets a pellet after pulling the lever 25 times (for
example). Regardless of the time it takes, if he pulls the lever 200
hundred times, he will have gotten 8 pellets.
...a variable ratio: is basically random; Mopsy will get a pellet for
pulling the lever after 3 times, then after pulling it 207 times, then after
pulling it 172 times... he gets a pellet based on pulling the lever, not
based on time, however, the number of times he has to pull the lever to
get the pellet changes, leading to the highest likelihood that Mopsy will
continue to pull the lever. (this one is a high factor in gambling
addictions, if you can imagine why!)
...variable interval: Mopsy is given a pellet at random times regardless
of the number of times he pulls the lever. For example, he may receive a
pellet after 10 minutes, then 6.5 minutes, then an hour.

How do I decide which one??

1. Is the reward set or does it change?
2. Do I have to do the behavior a
number of times or over a span of
time to get the reward?

Schedules of Reinforcement

How are they reinforced?

Door-to-door salespeople
Mary checking the oven to see if the
cookies are done
Frequent flier programs that offer free flight
after 25,000 miles of travel

Cognition & Operant Conditioning

Evidence of cognitive processes during operant
learning comes from rats.
During a maze exploration in which they navigate
the maze without an obvious reward. Rats seem to
develop cognitive maps, or mental representations,
of the layout of the maze (environment).

Latent Learning
(only apparent when there is incentive to demonstrate it)


Such cognitive maps are based on latent

learning, which becomes apparent when an
incentive is given (Tolman & Honzik, 1930).

Draw a cognitive map of your own!

Home to school
Locker to class
Partner Work: think about what
happens when a road is closed, or
a hallway inaccessible..

Intrinsic Motivation:
The desire to perform a
behavior for its own
Extrinsic Motivation:
The desire to perform a
behavior due to
promised rewards or
threats of punishments.


Overjustification Effect
When a behavior that was intrinsically
motivating (perform for own sake) becomes
extrinsically motivating (perform due to
reinforcers or punishers) due to the rewards
associated with the behavior.
Genuine love to play piano but your
parent starts to pay you $100/hour to play.
Playing now becomes extrinsically motivating
bc of the money. No longer play bc you love

Overjustification Effect
Teachers, social workers, police, firefighters
vs. professional athletes, celebrities, lawyers


Biological Predisposition

Photo: Bob Bailey

Biological constraints
predispose organisms to
learn associations that are
naturally adaptive.
(i.e. pigeons pecking to
obtain food)
Breland and Breland
(1961) showed that
animals drift towards their
biologically predisposed
instinctive behaviors
(instinctive drift).

Marian Breland Bailey

Skinners Legacy
Skinner argued that behaviors were shaped by
external influences instead of inner thoughts and
feelings. Critics argued that Skinner
dehumanized people by neglecting their free will.

Falk/ Photo Researchers, Inc

Applications of Operant
Skinner introduced the concept of teaching
machines that shape learning in small steps and
provide reinforcements for correct rewards.

LWA-JDL/ Corbis

In School

Applications of Operant
Reinforcement principles can enhance athletic

In Sports

Applications of Operant
Reinforcers affect productivity. Many companies
now allow employees to share profits and
participate in company ownership.

At work

Applications of Operant
In children, reinforcing good behavior increases
the occurrence of these behaviors. Ignoring
unwanted behavior decreases their occurrence.

Operant vs. Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning:
forms associations
between stimuli (CS
and UCS).
Operant conditioning:
forms an association
between behaviors
and the resulting

Operant vs. Classical Conditioning

Classical conditioning:
Respondent behavior
Automatic response to a certain stimulus.

Operant conditioning:
Operant behavior, a behavior that operates
(depends) on the environment
produces rewarding or punishing stimuli.



Learn associations
between events we dont
Automatic Response
A: associating events, CS
announces UCS
E: CR decreases when
CS is repeatedly
presented alone
SR: Reappearance of CR
G: respond to stimuli
similar to CS
D: distinguish btwn CS
and other stimuli that
dont signal UCS.
Expectations developed


Learning =
change in
behavior due to

Learn associations
btwn behavior &
resulting event
Voluntary Response,
depends on environ.
A: associating
(Reinf. Or Pun)
E: responding
decreases when
reinforcement stops
SR: reappearance of
an extinguished
G: your responses to
similar stimuli are
also reinforced
D: organisms learn
responses will be
Latent Learning
Schedules of

Operant vs. Classical Conditioning

Learning by Observation

MODELING: The process of observing and imitating a behavior

Herb Terrace

The monkey on the

right imitates the
monkey on the left in
touching the pictures in
a certain order to obtain
a reward.

Herb Terrace

Higher animals,
especially humans,
learn through observing
and imitating others.

Reprinted with permission from the American

Association for the Advancement of Science,
Subiaul et al., Science 305: 407-410 (2004)
2004 AAAS.

Mirror Neurons

Neuroscientists discovered mirror neurons in

the brains of animals and humans that are active
during observational learning.

Learning by observation
begins early in life. This
14-month-old child
imitates the adult on TV
in pulling a toy apart.

This 4 year old boy

imitates his father shaving

Meltzoff, A.N. (1998). Imitation of televised models by infants.

Child Development, 59 1221-1229. Photos Courtesy of A.N. Meltzoff and M. Hanuk.

Imitation Onset

Bandura's Bobo doll

study (1961) indicated
that individuals
(children) learn
through imitating
others who receive
rewards and
Bobo clip

Courtesy of Albert Bandura, Stanford University

Bandura's Experiments

Please answer:
What are mirror neurons?
Banduras Bobo Doll Experiment linked
observational learning with punishments &
rewards. Explain the benefits as well as
the dangers of this finding.

Bobo Doll Experiment

Banduras Bobo Doll Experiment linked
observational learning with punishments &
Explain the benefits as well as the
dangers of this finding.

Applications of Observational
Banduras studies
show that antisocial
(negative, harmful)
models (family,
neighborhood or TV)
may have antisocial

Children See, Children

Do clip

Positive Observational Learning

Science Nation, Babies

& Learning clip

Bob Daemmrich/ The Image Works

Fortunately, prosocial (positive, helpful) models

may have prosocial effects.

Television and Observational Learning

Ron Chapple/ Taxi/ Getty Images

Gentile et al., (2004) shows

that children in elementary
school who are exposed to
violent television, videos,
and video games express
increased aggression.

Modeling Violence

Children modeling after pro wrestlers

Glassman/ The Image Works

Game clip

Bob Daemmrich/ The Image Works

Research shows that viewing media violence

leads to an increased expression of aggression.

Please reflect on the video

Is this case an example of operant
conditioning? Explain.
Can we excuse his behavior?
Should he be punished? If yes, how?
Reaction to the claim video game supplied
him with a cranial menu?
Other comments?