[Crash Course] Psychology XI&XII Learning process

Behaviourism: an empirically rigorous science focused on observable behaviours and not unobservable internal mental processes.

Learning: the process of acquiring, through experience, new and relatively enduring information or behaviours. Learning is what allows us to adapt to our environments and to survive.

  1. Associative learning: when a subject links certain events, behaviours, or stimuli together in the process of conditioning. Animals can exhibit associative learning.

This may be the most elemental, basic form of learning a brain can do, but that doesn't mean that the processes behind conditioning are, or ever were, obvious. Or for that matter, simple.

2.1 Classical conditioning: a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events. It shows that how a process like learning can actually be studied through direct observation of behaviour.

2.2 Operant conditioning: a type of learning in which behaviour is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher. The basic premise here is that behaviours increase when followed by a reinforcement, or reward, but they decrease when followed by a punishment. (B.F. Skinner, the operant chamber/Skinner box) [Operant-conditioning behaviour requires shaping, which is a procedure that reinforcers guide behaviour towards closer and closer approximations of the desired behaviour.]

  1. Reinforcement and punishment 3.1 Positive reinforcement: a stimulus that when presented after a response, strengthens the response.

3.2 Negative reinforcement: any stimulus that when removed after a response, strengthens the response. Removes the punishing event to increase a behaviour.

3.3 Punishment: decreases a behaviour either positively or negatively.

3.4 Primary reinforcer: an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need. Beeping and cookies.

3.5 Conditioned reinforcer: a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer. Pay checks.

3.6 Reinforcement schedule: a pattern that defines how often a desired response will be reinforced.

3.7 Partical (intermittent) reinforcement: reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement. Learning under these conditions takes longer, but it holds up better in the long run and is less susceptible to that extinction.

Behaviourism thinks, that learning is soley aboutconditioning and association, rewards and punishments

Social-cognitive learning thinks, that learning can occur through observing and imitating someone else's behaviour.

What we learn doesn't only influence our behaviour, it also shapes our attitudes.

Cognition: our thoughts, perspectives, and expectations.

Social context

Models are important.