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Unit 4: Learning and Memory

Chapters 5 & 6
Unit Outline
Theories of Learning
Theories of Memory
Biological Bases of Memory
Memory Distortion
Theories of Learning
Learning: "A relatively permanent change in behavior
or mental processes caused by experience."
Classical Conditioning: Modifies involuntary behavior
by linking the response to a new (conditioned) stimulus
Operant Conditioning: Modifies voluntary behavior by
a system of reinforcement or punishment
Social-cognitive learning: Consists of insight/intuition,
latent behavior and modeling ( copying observed
Classical Conditioning
The unconditioned stimulus (something to which there is
already an un-learned or unconditioned response)
The unconditioned response ( an involuntary behavior that
occurs in response to a stimulus without any conditioning or
external motivations
The neutral stimulus (an external -often artificial- stimulus that
the conditioning aims to link with the unconditioned response
When linked, these produce a conditioned response (the
behavior of the unconditioned response occurring due to the
previously neutral, now conditioned, stimulus).
Classical Conditioning
An experiment is conducted by a popular radio station do determine
whether ad placement following particular music types would
increase the effectiveness of the ad. They chose to always play In The
Garden of Eden at the lunch hour, along with ads for local restaurants
which described the specials of the day. Over a period of two months,
the individuals in the experiment (already regular listeners to the
station) listened to the radio station at the same time each day, during
their lunch hour, and always heard the same song. After the end of
the experiment, the station collected statistics from various restaurants
that showed that whenever the song was played in subsequent
months, there would be a slight increase in business, always from
regular listeners. By six months after the end of the experiment, the
increased business effect had dwindled to nothing. Identify: UR, US,
NS, CR, CS, and which of the six theories mentioned in your textbook
explains the change in response.
Operant Conditioning
Reinforcement: Is always aimed an increasing a
behavior. Positive reinforcement involves adding
a 'positive' stimulus (reward) while negative
reinforcement involves removing a 'negative'
stimulus (an irritant)
Punishment: Is always aimed at decreasing a
behavior. Positive punishment involves adding a
'negative' stimulus (such as pain) while negative
punishment involves removing a 'positive'
stimulus (such as the aforementioned reward)
Theories of Memory
Memory: "an internal record or
representation of some prior event or
Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval Model
Three-Stage Memory Model
Three Stage Memory
Sensory Memory: 1/4 to a few seconds duration
record of sensory input
Short Term Memory: active memory- the
conscious, useful information storage for
Long Term Memory: the long term storage of all
necessary information. Practically infinite storage
capacity, and long duration (years or decades)
Biological Bases of Memory
Motivated Forgetting
Encoding Failure
Retrieval Failure
Memory Distortion
False Memories
Encoding Failure