Lecture 9- Learning Theory

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What are the 6 main theories of learning?
1. Behaviorism
2. Cognitivism
3. Social Learning Theory
4. Social Constructivism
5. Multiple Intelligences
6. Brain-Based Learning
Behaviorism is confied to what?
observable and measureable behavior
which scientist is associated with Classical Conditioning?
which scientist is associated with Operant Conditioning?
how does behaviorism define learning?
the outward expression of new behaviors
what is the sole focus of behaviorism?
observable behaviors
what is the basis of learning according to behaviorists?
biological basis for learning
according to behaviorism is learning context dependent?
No- learning is context independent
what are the critiques of behaviorism?
1. doesn’t account for processes taking place in the mind that cannot be observed
2. advocates for passive student learning in a teacher-centric environment
3. one size fits all
4. knowledge itself is given and absolute
5. programmed instruction and teacher spoofing
what theory of learning grew in response to behaviorism?
how is knowledge stored according to the cognitivism model?
cognitively as symbols
how does cognitivism define learning?
the process of connecting symbols in a meaningful and memorable way
what do cogntitivism studies focus on?
the mental processes that facilitate symbol connection
what are 2 other models associated to cognitivism?
1. discovery learning
2. meaningful verbal learning
what is cognitive learning?
higher-level learning involving thinking, knowing, understanding, and anticipating
what is latent learning?
ocurs without obvious reinforcement and is not demonstrated until reinforcement is provided
what is rote learning?
takes place mechanically, through repitition and memorization, or by learning a set of rules
what is discovery learning?
based on insight and understanding
what are the critiques of cognitivism?
1. knowledge itself i given and absolute
2. input–> output model is mechanistic and deterministic
3. little emphasis on affective characteristics, especially motivation
4. doesn’t account for individuality and differences in staged development
what is another term for social learning theory?
vicarious conditioning
what is the basis of the movement against violence in media and video games?
according to SLT, how does learning take place?
through observation and sensorial experiences
what are the steps to successful modeling?
1. pay attention to modeling
2. remember what was done
3. reproduce modeled behavior
4. if a model is successful/rewarded, behavior is more likely to occur
what are the critiques of social learning theory?
1. doesn’t account for individuality, context, experience
2. suggests students be passive receivers
3. emotions and motivation not important for learning
what are the features of Social Contructivism?
1. grew out of and in response to Cognitivism, framed around metacognition
2. knowledge is actively constructed
according to social contructivism, what is learning?
1. a search for meaning by the learner
2. contextualized
3. inherently social activity
4. dialogic and recursive
5. the responisibility of the learner
what are the critiques of social constructivism?
1. suggests that knowledge is neither given nor absolute, but is rather an individual construct
2. often seen as less rigorous than traditional approaches to instruction
3. does not fit well with traditional age grouping and scheduling
out of what did the multiple intelligences theory grow?
Constructivism, framed around metacognition
what are the 8 intelligences all people are born with?
1. Verbal-Linguistic
2. Visual-Spatial
3. Logical-Mathematical
4. Kinesthetic
5. Musical
6. Naturalist
7. Interpersonal
8. Intrapersonal
what is the advantage of multiple intelligences?
enables students to leverage their strengths and purposefully target and develop their weaknesses
what are the critiques of MI?
1. lack of quantifiable evidence
2. suggestive of departure from core curricula and standards
brain based learning grew out of what?
neuroscience and constructivism
what are the 12 governing principles of Brain-Based learning?
1. Brain is a parallel processor
2. Whole body learning
3. A search for meaning
4. Patterning
5. Emotions are critical
6. Processing of parts and wholes
7. Focused attention and peripheral perception
8. Conscious and unconscious processes
9. Several types of memory
10. Embedded learning sticks
11. Challenge and threat
12. Every brain is unique
what are the critiques of BBL?
1. researchers were neuroscientists not educators
2. lack of understanding of the brain
3. individual principles have been scientifically questioned
what is the central idea of humanist learning?
all students are intrinsically motivated to actualize or learn
what is self actualization?
humans achieve learning by acting with intentionality and values
according to humanism, learning is dependent on what?
meeting a hierarchy of needs
what is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs top to bottom?
1. transcendence
2. self-actualization
3. aesthetic needs
4. cognitive needs
5. esteem needs
6. belongingness and love needs
7. safety needs
8. biological and physiological needs
what is the reflex in Pavlovian classical conditioning?
automatic non-learned response= conditional reflex
what is unconditioned stimulus?
biologically relevant stimulus, that without prior learning elicits an unconditioned response
what is an example of a UCS?
odor of food
what is unconditioned response?
behavior that is in response to an unconditioned stimulus
what is a conditioned stimulus?
neutral stimulus that with many CS-US pairings elicits a conditioned response
what is an example of a CS?
sound of a lunch bell
what is conditioned response?
behavior in response to conditioned stimulus
what is higher order conditioning?
a CS is used to reinforce further learning
what happens in sensory preconditioning?
1. Two stimuli are presented together so that an association is learned with no reinforcement
2. S1 is paired with unconditioned stimuli until it elicits a conditioned response
3. S2 is presented with the anticipation of a conditioned response
what is an example of conditioned immunosuppression?
cyclosporin + juice conditions immunosuppression so that juice + placebo also causes immunosuppression
what is stimulus generalization?
a tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar, but not identical, to a conditioned stimulus
what is stimulus discrimination?
the ability to respond to various stimuli
what is conditioned emotional response?
learned emotional reaction to a previously neutral stimulus
what is acquisition?
training period when a response is strengthened
what is extinction?
weakening of a conditioned response through removal of reinforcement
what is phobia?
fear that persists even when no realistic danger exists
what is desensitization?
exposing phobic people gradually to feared stimuli while they stay calm and relaxed
what is learned helplessness?
1. painful or negative stimulus is presented, but learner is not able to avoid or escape
2. learned association between inability to escape and negative stimulus
3. reduced number of escape attempts
4. becomes hopeless and apathetic
what does learned helplessness have to do with antidepressants?
antidepressant treatments increase ascape attempts in animal models
what is habituation?
repeated stimulation results in decreased response
what is sensitization?
repeated stimulation results in increased response
what is the difference between classical conditioning and operant conditioning?
1. classical conditioning
– involves placing a neutral signal before a reflex
– focuses on automatic involuntary behaviors
2. operant conditioning
– applying reinforcement or punishment after a behavior
– focuses on strengthening or weakening voluntary behaviors
what is operant conditioning?
learning based on the consequences of responding
what is the Law of Effect?
the probability of a response is altered by the effect it has
what is a primary reinforcer?
non-learned and neutral; satisfies biological needs
what is a secondary reinforcer?
learned reinforcer like money, grades
– token reinforcer is a tangible secondary reinforcer
what is a social reinforcer?
provided by other people
what is positive reinforcement?
when a response is followed by a reward or other positive event
what is negative reinforcement?
when a response is followed by the removal of an unpleasant event
what is positive punishment?
any event that follows a response and decreases the likelihood of it recurring
weakens a behavior
what is negative punishment?
reinforcer or positive thing is removed as a punishment
what is severe punishment?
capable of suppressing a response for a long period
what is mild punishment?
usually slows response temporarily
what is an aversive stimulus?
stimulus that is painful or uncomfortable
what is escape learning?
learning to make a response to end an aversive stimulus
what is avoidance learning?
learning to make a response to avoid postpone or prevent discomfort
what happens in aversive conditioning?
1. unwanted behavior is painful or aversive stimulus
2. association between the aversive stimulus and unwanted behavior causes the unwanted behavior to stop
what is shaping?
molding responses gradually in a step by step fashion to a desired pattern
when is operant reinforcement most effective?
when given immediately after a correct response
what is continuous reinforcement?
a reinforcer follows every correct response
what is a fixed ration schedule of reinforcement?
1. set number of correct responses must be made to obtain a reinforcer
2. results in high steady response until reinforcer is delivered
3. best used when learning a new behavior
4. brief response pause after reinforcement
what is a variable ratio schedule?
1. varied number of correct responses must be made to get a reinforcer
2. high steady rate of responding
what is a fixed interval schedule?
1. first response is rewarded only after a specified amount of time has elapsed
2. causes high amounts of responding near the end of the interval, but much slower responding immediately after the delivery of the reinforcer
what is a variable interval schedule?
1. reinforcement is given for the first correct response made after a variable amount of time
2. produces a slow steady rate of response
how likely is extinction to happen when responses are acquired with partial reinforcement?
very resistant to extinction
what are superstitious behaviors?
behaviors that are repeated because they appear to produce reinforcement, even though its not necessary
what are self managed behavior principles?
1. choose a target behavior
2. record a baseline
3. establish goals
4. choose reinforcers
5. record your progress
6. reward successes
7. adjust your plan as you learn more about your behavior
what is the Premack principle?
any high frequency response can be used to reinforce a low frequency response
what is self recording?
self management based on keeping records of response frequencies
what are the ways to break bad habits?
1. alternate responses
2. extinction
3. response chains
4. cues and antecedents
5. behavioral contract
what is Alternate Responses?
try to get the same reinforcement with a new response
what is Extinction in breaking bad habits?
try to discover what is reinforcing the unwanted response and remove, avoid, or delay the reinforcement
what are Response Chains in breaking bad habits?
scramble the chain of events that leads to an undesired response
what are Cues and Antecedents in breaking bad habits?
try to avoid, narrow down, or remove stimuli that elicit the bad habit
what is behavioral contracting in breaking bad habits?
formal agreement stating behaviors to be changed and consequences that apply
what is the Medical Model of psychological therapy?
views abnormal behavior as reflecting a biological disorder
– usually in the brain
– person is viewed as patient and treated by doctors
– therapies are physical like drugs or surgery
what are psychotropic medications?
drugs that act on the brain to alter mental function
what are the classes included in psychotropic drugs?
1. antianxiety drugs relieve muscle tension
2. antipsychotic drugs improve thought processes
3. antidepressant drugs can reverse depression
psychotropic drugs can alter behavior via what?
1. an interaction with neurotransmitters in brain
2. a placebo effect
electroconvulsive therapy can alleviate what?
profound depression
what is psychosurgery?
intentional damage of the brain to alter behavior- Lobotomy
what is psychoanalysis?
techniques that move issues from the unconscious to the conscious level for resolution
what is Insight in psychoanalysis?
the situation when a person comes to understand their unconscious conflicts
what is catharsis?
an emotional energy that is released when early conflicts are relived
what is the goal of psychodynamic therapy?
to achieve insight into unconscious conflicts
what is Free Association?
the patient is encouraged to say whatever comes to mind to reveal the unconscious processes of the patient
what is Interpretation?
therapist interprets the thoughts and feelings of the patient in order to reveal the hidden conflicts and motivations
what are types of interpretation?
dream analysis
– manifest content
– latent content
what is analysis of transference?
patients into therapy their past troubled relationships, these are transferred to the therapist
what do cognitive behavioral therapies focus on?
current behaviors of a person
– present rather than past
– short term therapy
– behavior analysis- problem behavior and associated stimuli
what happens in systematic desensitization?
patient is encouraged to confront a feared stimulus while in a relaxed state
for what is aversive conditioning useful?
paraphilias or addicitons
what are flooding and implosion?
patient is exposed to actual (flooding) or imagined (implosion) overwhelming dose of the feared stimulus
what is flooding and implosion used for?
treatment of phobias
what happens in token economy?
desirable behavior is reinforced by a reward or positive reinforcement
what is token economy used for?
increase positive behavior in severely disorganized patients (psychotics), autistic patients, or mentally challenged
what happens in biofeedback?
biological feedback is used as an operant reinforcer
for what is biofeedback useful?
treatment of :
raynaud disease
migraine and tension HA
chronic pain
fecal incontinence
what is the focus of cognitive therapies?
changing dysfunctional thought patterns
what is the focus of rational emotive therapy?
focuses on the hurtful thought patterns of the patient
-Ellis: pathology results when people adopt illogic in response to life situations
– therapist notes illogical and self defeating thoughts and teaches alternative thinking that promotes rational thought
what are the maladaptive thought processes in depression targeted by cognitive therapy?
1. selective perception- focus on negative events
2. overgeneralization- negative conclusions based on minimal data
3. magnification- magnifies significance of negative event
4. all or none thinking- everything is good or bad
what is the target population of group therapy?
common problem
personality disorder
people who have trouble interacting one on one with therapists
what are the advantages of group therapy?
economy- cheaper
group support- others have the same problem
feedback- learn from eachother
behavioral rehearsal- role playing
what is the central idea of family therapy?
psychopathology in one family member reflects dysfunction in an entire family system- entire family is the patient
what is the targeted population for couples therapy?
couples with communication or psychosexual problems or differences in values
what is the goal of supportive or interpersonal therapy?
not aimed at finding insight into a problem, but rather to help people feel protected and supported during a crisis
what is the target population for interpersonal supportive therapy?
individuals with anxiety or stress related illness

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