Psychology Chapter 7/8 Learning and memory


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John B. Watson
Behaviorism *Viewed Psychology as objective science *Recommended study of behavior without reference to un observable mental processes * Argued against introspection *not universally accepted by all schools of thought today
a process by which experiences in the environment produce an enduring change in an organisms overt behaviors (capacity for behavior) or capabilities
process by which a stimulus or event weakens or reduces the probability of the response that it follows
Primary punisher
Something that is inherently punishing such as electric shock
Secondary punisher
A stimulus that has acquired punishing properties through an association with other punishers
Positive punisher
when something unpleasant occurs after a behaviour
Negative punisher
when something pleasant is removed after a behaviour
Processes of classical conditioning
Acquisition -Extinction-Spontaneous Recover (always)- Stimulus generalization-Stimulus discrimination
learning performance distinction
the difference between what has been learned and what is expressed or performed in overt (open) behaviour
show a decrease in behavioral response when a stimulus is presented repeatedly eg: Say you examine a picture and the first time you see it you have a strong emotional response. If you view the image repeatedly your emotional response to it will become weaker over time
a response to stimulus becomes stronger rather than weak. experience in the world (repeated experiences of a painful stimulus) leads to a consistent change in behavioral response (reports that the pain is more intense)
peoples verbal reports of their own sensations, images and feelings. John Watson argued this was not a acceptable means of studying behavior because it was too subjective.
B.F skinner
Studied operant conditioning* believed mental events such as thinking and imagining do cause behavior. rather, they are examples of behavior that are caused by environmental stimuli. trained pigeons and rats to say yes and no to certain things.
behavior analysis
area of psychology that focuses on discovering environmental determinants of learning and behavior. B.F.Skinner
classical conditioning
a basic form of learning in which one stimulus or event predicts the occurrence of another stimulus or event eg: when you listen to a song and it brings back memories to a happy or sad time
operant conditioning
B.F skinner coined the term.Learning procedures which manipulate the consequences of behavior in order to see what effect this has on subsquent behavior.
Edward. L. Thorndike
Studied the Law of effect* watched cat try and escape from puzzle boxes.
Law of effect
Edward Thorndike refers to this relationship behavior and consequences. A response followed by satisfying consequences becomes more probable. A response followed by dissatisfying consequences becomes less probable
Pavlov-Pavlovian conditioning
also called classical conditioning. Discovered conditions necessary for his dogs to be conditioned to salivate. Used bell and food to get dog to salivate.reflex responses-salivation, pupil contraction, knee jerks, eye blinking.a response that is naturally triggered by stimuli that are biologically relevant for the organism.
unconditioned stimulus (US)
Elicits a response in the absence of learning. Any stimulus that naturally elicits a behavior. Eg: food or pain
unconditioned response (UR)
the reflexive response to a stimulus in the absence of learning
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
An initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response after being paired with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned Response (CR)
A response that is elicited by the conditioned stimulus. Occurs after the CS is associated with the US. Is usually similar to US.
UCS (crash)–>UCR (shaken/tense)
CS (rain/brake light) + UCS (crash) –> UCR (shake/tense)
CS (rain/break light) –>CR (shake/tense)
The stage in a classical conditioning experiment during which the conditioned response (CR) is first elicited by the conditioned stimulus. During this the (CS+UCS) the strength of the CR increases rapidly.
the UCS no longer follows the CS and the strength of the CR drops to zero. In conditioning, the weakening of a conditioned association in the absence of a reinforce or unconditioned stimulus. Not permanent.The weakening of the CR as a result of the absence of CS and the UCS
delay conditoning
CS comes (turned on) prior to and stays on at least until the presenting of the UCS.
trace conditioning
CS is discontinued (turned off) or turned off before the UCS is presented.
memory that the organism is assumed to have of the CS which is no longer present when the UCS appears
stimultaneous conditioning
both the CS and UCS are presented at the same time.
backward conditioning
the CS is presented after the UCS
delayed conditioning
is the most effective form of conditioning.
stimultaneous procedure and backward procedure
Conditioning is usually poor using these mehtods
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance of an extinguished conditioned response after a rest period. the sudden reappearance of the CR after a rest period without further exposure to the UCS
stimulus generalization
Automatic extension of conditioned responses to stimuli that are similar to the CS. The more similar to CS the stronger the responses. Eg: Child bitten by a big dog and fears all dogs even small ones
Stimulus discrimination
learning to respond differently to stimuli that differ from the CS on some dimension. Works in balance with generalization to respond effectively Eg: red light and green light (stimulus discrimination)
Classical conditioning in real life
*Learning to like*Learning to fear*Accounting for taste*Reacting to medical treatments
reinforcement constingencies
consistent relationship between a response and the changes in the envirorment it produces. *Can target specific behaviors * Constingencies depend on reinforcers *punishment changes the constingency
any stimulus that when made contingent on a behavior, increases the probability of that behavior. appetitive versus aversive reinforcesReinforcement-delivery of reinforce after response
Decrease behavior.any stimulus that when made contingent on a response decreases the probability of that response * punishment-delivery of punisher after response
John Watson and Rosalie Rayner
experimented of an infant called Little Albert. Trained him to fear a white rat (neutral stimulus) that he had initially liked by pairing its appearance with the an aversive UCS (a loud noise) striking of a steel bar with a hammer.His fear was developed in seven conditioning trials.His fear had generalized to other furry objects as well.
Shepard Siegal
suggested that the setting in which drug use occurs acts as a conditioned stimulus for a situation in which the body learns to protect itself by preventing the drug from having its usual effect.
positive reinforcement
increase behavior. behavior that is followed by the delivery of an appetitive (positive) stimulus (increases behavior).When a pleasant consequence follows a response making the response more likely to occur again eg: A. messy room B.clean up room C. Favorite activity
Negative reinforcement
Increase behavior. behavior that is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus (increases behavior)When a response is followed by the removal of something unpleasant making the response more likely to occur again. Eg: A. Seat belt buzzer B. buckle up C. removal of aversive noise
escape comditioning
response allows escape from aversive stimulus. (part of negative reinforcement).animals learn that a response will allow them to escape from an aversive stimulus or raising an umbrella during a rainstorm.You learn to use the umbrella to escape the aversive stimulus of getting wet.
avoidance conditioning
animals learn responses that allow them to avoid aversive stimuli before they begin. Eg: suppose your car has a buzzer that sounds when you fail to buckle your seat belt. You will learn to buckle up to avoid the aversive noise.
Positive +
means something is being added.Recieve praise for a job well done or getting food after pressing a lever. Primary reinforcer -food, water Secondary reinforcer-money
Negative –
Means something is being taken away Putting sunscreen on in response to the sun removes the pain of sun burn (behavior of putting sun screen on increases) Aversive stimulus not received (avoided or terminated) after a response that increases the probability of that response occuring
Discriminative stimuli
stimuli that precede a particular response (reinforcement or punishment) and come to set the context for that behavior. refered to as the three-term contingency (discriminative behavior consequence)
the capacity to store and retrieve information-involved in processing and remembering-Many different types-Often analogous to information processing or a computer based system.
Implicit memory
availability of information through memory without conscious effort.

Ex: Walking into a kitchen and seeing a rabbit. You know the rabbit does not belong in the kitchen. The rabbit is implicit because your memory processes brought your past knowledge of kitchens to bear on your interpretation of the picture without any particular effort on your part.

Explicit memory
conscious effort to recover information.

Ex: You are asked the question what is missing from this kitchen?
You ask yourself what appears in the typical kitchen?What is missing?Did you think off the sink or stove?

Procedural memory
memory for how to do things, the way you remember how to get things done ( ex- driving) (Knowing how to do things) It is a long term memory. It is used to acquire, retain and employ perceptual, cognitive and motor skills. Ex: learning to ride a bike. You do not necessarily have the skills to tell someone exactly how to do it, but once you have learned how to ride a bike, you can hop on virtually any bike and make it move.
Declarative memory
recollection of facts and events. It is a long term memory. (Knowing that) Ex: Knowing that Victoria is the Capital of Canada. Is sub-divided into episodic memory and semantic memory.
Semantic memory
General knowledge. Generic, categorical memories such as meanings of words and concepts.
Episodic memory
Personal recollections. They preserve individually the specific events that you have personally experienced. Ex: memories of your happiest birthday or first kiss.
Memory processes
ENCODING (mental representation in memory based information processing)- STORAGE (retention of encoded information over time) – RETRIEVAL ( recovery of the stored information at a later time)
Encoding (Info into memory)
Getting information (visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.) into the cognitive system by translating in into a neutral code the brain processes. It is both automatic and effortful. The role of attention is really important the processing of directing mental effort to some feature of the environment it is important for encoding
Automatic processing
Takes place in encoding. Unconscious encoding of incidental information.
Space- (visual location of info- where is that?)
Time- (where did I leave my keys?)
Frequency- ( that’s the third time I have seen her today)
Effortfull processing
Takes place in encoding. Requires attention and conscious effort. Elaborative rehearsal ( meaning linked with the experience and past knowledge)
Short term memory can be enhanced by doing this.Conscious repetition of information. To maintain it in consciousness and store it.
Ex: repeating a friends phone number in your head.
Information Processing and Storage systems
Encoding- (Getting information in)- Attention- Storage (maintaining information) (sensory memory) (working memory-is limited and fades fast) (long term memory- has unlimited storage and lasts a lifetime. Logic and meaning)- Retrieval- (getting information out)
Sensory memory/ Iconic and Echoic
The immediate initial recording of sensory information in the memory system
Working memory
Alan Baddely
focuses more on the processing of briefly stored information. Resource involved in tasks such as reasoning and language comprehension. Foundation for moment by moment fluidity of though and action / integration of information.
Short term memory
activated memory that holds a few items briefly ( look up a phone number, then quickly dial before the information is forgotten. Mechanism for focusing cognitive resources on a small set of mental representations. Involves preservation of very recent experiences and brief retrieval of information from Long term memory when needed. Has a capacity.
Long term memory
The relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. The storehouse of all experiences, events, information, emotions, skills, words, categories, rules and judgements that have been acquired from sensory and short term memories. It involves the preservation of information for retrieval at any later time. Has an unlimited capacity. The “match between encoding and recall is important.
Short term memory ( STM)
Mechanism for focusing cognitive resources on a small set of mental representations. Involves preservation of very recent experiences and brief retrieval of information from the LTM when needed. Has a limited capacity
Shot term memory strategies
REHEARSAL (maintenance rehearsal involves repeating information repetitively) (Lack of rehearsal and interference related to decreased memory ability. CHUNKING -the process of reconfiguring items by grouping them on the basis of similarity or some other organizing principle ( or patterns based on Long term memory). A chunk is a meaningful unit of information.
Retrieval cues
the stimuli available as you search for a particular memory ( can be externally (such as questions on a quiz)or internally generated (asking yourself if you have met someone before)
Tests of memory
1.Recall-reproduction of information to which you were previously exposed
2.Recognition-realization that a certain stimulus in one you have seen or heard before. Recognition cues are stronger and more straightforward then recall cues.
Implicit or explicit our knowledge about the contents of our own memories.* FOknowledge about memory abilites and effective memory startegies; cognition about memory FOK- feelings of knowing
cue familiarity hypothesis
Feeling of knowing based on the familiarity with retrieval cue
Accessibility hypothesis
Feelings of knowing based on judgments of accessibility or availability of partial information from memory.
Devices that encode a long series of facts by associating them with familiar and previously encoded information.Improves memory.
Method of Loci
Mnemonics. Practiced by ancient greek orators.means of remembering the order of a list of names or objects or for the orator the individual section of a long speech by associating them with some sequence of places with which you are familiar. Ex: to remember a grocery list you might mentally put each item sequentially along the route you take to get home from school. To remember the list later you might go through your route and find the item associated with each spot.
Peg-word method
You associate the items on a list with cues rather then with familiar locations.They are usually a series of rhymes that associate number with words. Ex: you might memorize “one is a bun” “two is a shoe. Then you would associate each item on your list interacting with the appropriate cue.
Elaborative rehearsal
enhances memory by elaborating on material to be learned. The basic idea to this technique is that while you are rehearsing information -while you are first committing it to memory-you elaborate on the material to enrich the encoding.
Structures of long term memory. Conceptual frameworks, or clusters of knowledge, regarding objects, people and situations.Generalizations that can be applied to interpret situations. Are knowledge packages that encode complex generalizations about your experience of the structure of the environment. Ex: kitchen,bedroom,graduation. They are not permanent and change with life events.
the representation of average number of a category.You recognize objects by comparing them to prototypes in memory.
categorization based on comparison to examples in memory.
Brain areas involved in memory
Frontal lobe,cerebral cortex, hippo campus, cerebellum, pre frontal cortex.
Patients provide researchers with information about where certain types of memories are processed or stored.
Anterograde amnesia
inability to form memories for events that occur after brain damage.
Retrograde amnesia
inability to remember events that occured prior to brain damage.
Brain imaging
these techniques have enabled researchers to localize brain areas associated with memory functions. Ex- PET scan and Fmri have been used to determine activation during memory formation and retrieval
Karl Lashey
Searched for the engram. (the psychical memory trace for information in the brain). Researched early attempts to determine where memories were physically represented in the brain. Found memory processes widely distributed throughout the cortex depends on the type of memory involved.
Reconstructive memory
Reconstruction has very important implications for eyewitness memory.Elizabeth Loftus studied this. eyewitnesses memories for what they have seen are vulnerable to post event information. Further misinformation can be incorporated into memory and lead to false recall.
Believed memory is not a permanent record of experiences. Bartlett found his readers reproductions of his story were often greatly altered from the original.The distortions found involved 3 kinds of reconstructive processes:
1. Levelling-simplifying the story
2.Sharpening-hi-lighting and over emphasizing certain details
3.Assimilating-changing the details to better fit the participants own background or knowledge
Part of the three metal processes :Gets information in.The process by which a mental representation is formed in memory.The initial processing of information that leads to representation in memory.
Part of the three mental processes. The retention over time of encoded material.Hold information until you need it.
Part of the three mental processes. The recovery of stored information from the memory. Retrieval gets information out.
sensory memory
The initial memory processes involved in the momentary preservation of fleeting impressions of sensory stimuli.
Iconic memory
A memory system in the visual domain that allows large amounts of information to be stored for very brief duration’s. It lasts for about 1/2 a second.
Studied Iconic memory.Presented participants with three rows of letters and numbers.
Whole-report procedure- participants tried to recall as many of the items in the display as possible. (usually they could only report 4 items)
Partial-report procedure-Participants were required to report only one row rather than the whole pattern.
Echoic memory
Sensory memory that allows auditory information to be stored for brief duration’s.Follows many of the same principles of iconic memory. Last longer then Iconic memory 5-10 seconds longer.
Photographic (eidectic ) memory
Not to be confused with iconic memory as they are not the same. Some children may experience this but it is virtually non-existent in adults.
George Miller
Studied short term memory.
Suggested that +7 or -2 was the “magic” number that characterized people’s memory performance on random lists of letters, words, numbers, or almost any kind of meaningful familiar item.
Short term memory can be enhanced through this. A meaningful unit of information. The process of re configuring items by grouping them on the basis of similarity or some other organizing principle (or patterns based on Long term Memory) Ex: 134135136
phonological loop
Alan Baddeley.
Component of working memory.
Holds and manipulates speech based information.
It over laps the most with Short-term memory.
Ex:As you rehearse a telephone number by “listening” to it as you run it through your head you are making use of the ____________.
Visuospatial sketchpad
Alan Baddeley.
Component of working memory.
This resource performs the same types of functions as the phonological loop for visual and spatial information. Ex: if someone asked you how many desks there are in your psychology classroom you might use the resources of the __________ to form a mental picture of the class room and then estimate the number of desks from that picture.
central executive
Alan Baddeley.
Component of working memory.
This resource is responsible for controlling attention and co-coordinating information from the phonological loop and visuospatial sketch pad. Any time you carry out a task that requires a combination of mental processes for ex: you are asked to describe a picture from memory you rely on the ____________ function to apportion your mental resources to different aspects of the task.
A way to measure memory.
A method of retrieval in which an individual is required to reproduce the information previously presented.
A way to measure memory.
A method of retrieval in which an individual is required to identify stimuli as having been experienced before.
Encoding specificity errors
Memories emerge most efficiently when the context of retrieval matches the context of encoding.
context-dependent memory improves recall .
Serial position effect
The tendency for recall of first and last items on a list to surpass recall of items in the middle of the list.
Primary effect- improved memory for items at the start of the list
Recency effect-improved memory for items at end of list.
transfer appropriate processing
memory is best when the type of processing carried out at encoding transfers to processes at retrieval.
Involves priming.
First experience of an item primes memory for later experiences (makes it more likely to be recalled)
levels of processing theory
information processed at a deeper level is more likely to be retained.
structural encoding
paying attention to the structural properties of words & how it looks (shallow)
Phonological (phonemic) encoding
paying attention to the sound qualities of words (intermediary)
semantic encoding
paying attention to the meaning of words (deepest processing)
Designed the first methods used in systematic study for forgetting.
-use of nonsense learning
-recall decreases period levels off overtime savings
-When retrieval cues do not point effectively to one specific memory.
pro-active interference
information you have acquired in the past makes it more difficult to acquire new information
retroactive interference
Acquisition of new information makes it difficult to remember old information
flashbulb memories
arise when people experience emotionally charged events: peoples memories are so vivid that they seem almost to be photographs of the original incident

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