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Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition
08 Learning
>> ZIMBARDO: What does playing the flute have in common with working on an assembly line? baby crying ) Why would a baby be scared of a gentle How does a dog learn to operate an elevator? >> ZIMBARDO: "Learning," this time on Discovering Psychology . For every animal, the name of the game is survival. The rules are simple: find food and drink. find shelter, and avoid predators and hostile environments. Those who are best equipped to survive and who manage to mate will pass on their genes to the next generation. This is the true meaning of survival of the fittest. It provides animals with a set of built-in, inherited skills that function at birth or shortly thereafter. Some reflexes, like sucking, provide necessary biological supports. reflexes are ready-made, swift, and simple reactions to stimuli that pose a potential threat. And nature also provides more complex patterns of reaction, known as fixed-action patterns. Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
For example, the annual upstream journey of salmon to spawning grounds. These are sequences of actions triggered automatically by particular environmental and biological events and performed in the same way by every member of a species. geese honking ) These birds will migrate to the same destination at the same time of every year. When we take a look at animals that are more evolved, we find their behavior is less the replaying of the same-old song and more a series of variations from individual to individual. The behavior of these animals is more adaptive to changing circumstances because of their capacity for learning. Learning is the way that a species profits from its experience. It's the mechanism by which past experience guides future behavior. This is true for humans as well as other animals. For humans, learning covers a wide range of activities, from acquiring a different language to studying in school. In the process of learning, an individual's behavior is modified. He or she acquires new habits, and new ideas are put into practice. >> Can you mix up all these dry ingredients? Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
>> ZIMBARDO: The new behavior can change the environment itself, making it more conducive to the individual's well-being. >> That looks pretty good, Joshua. >> ZIMBARDO: Learning allows us to do two important things in the quest for survival: first, to anticipate the future from past experience, and second, to control a complex and ever- changing environment. orchestra playing ) Traditionally, learning has been studied in laboratories like this one using animals as subjects, in part because it's easier to conduct controlled experiments with animals than it is with humans. And also, because animals are like humans in important ways. As a result, behavioral psychologists have come up with new views not only of animal behavior, but of human nature as well. And these views all concern a process that we take for granted -- learning -- because we are all truly born to learn. Ironically, one of the most important figures in the study of learning, Ivan Pavlov, wasn't concerned with the subject at all, at least not at first. Pavlov, a noted Russian scientist, won the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine in 1904. As this original footage shows, Pavlov was initially interested in digestion and the action of the salivary glands. By diverting the saliva of dogs into test tubes, he could precisely measure if and how much they salivated during digestion. When food was presented, the dogs salivated quickly, an inherited salivary reflex. But over repeated testings, a strange thing happened: the dogs salivated before contact with the food. Just the sight of the food was enough to stimulate their drooling. Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
seeing the food dish or even hearing the footsteps of Pavlov or his assistants was enough to trigger this built-in reflex. What was going on to elicit this response? Pavlov decided to find out by systematically varying the stimuli and measuring the dog's reaction. metronome ticking ) Metronomes, lights, and bells were all used as stimuli, and they all worked as stand-ins for the food. was not the kind of stimulus that was used, but the fact that it reliably signaled that food was on the way. Pavlov had discovered a fundamental type of learning called classical conditioning. stimulus elicits an automatic, unlearned Both stimulus and response happen naturally; they are unconditioned. Then a second, neutral stimulus that never elicits the unconditioned response by itself is introduced just before the presentation of the original stimulus. bell rings ) ( bell rings ) ( bell rings ) If the neutral, or signaling, stimulus is presented alone and response occurs as if the original stimulus was still there, we say that conditioning has taken place. bell rings ) The arbitrary neutral stimulus becomes a bell rings ) The reverse is also true. Pavlov and others studied the extinction over time of such conditioned responses. bell rings ) When the subject learns that the conditioned stimulus no longer signals a desired event. bell rings ) .the acquisition process is reversed as the learned connection is gradually weakened. Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
bell ringing repeatedly ) Pavlov's work and the work of those who followed him led to a remarkable conclusion. And that is, any stimulus an organism can perceive is capable of eliciting any reaction the organism is capable of making. This means that virtually any sound, sight, or smell can influence the way our muscles tense or relax, our moods fluctuate, or even the way our attitudes are formed. For instance, if I say "relax" and then do this. pistol firing ) .you're going to be startled and upset. pistol firing ) .just saying the word "relax" is going to generate a negative response rather than its usual learned reaction. Classical conditioning can be so powerful, in fact, that it can actually make us sick by suppressing the body's immune system. The immune system is a complex network of specialized organs and cells that protect the body from disease. When the immune system is conditioned not to work, the results can be devastating. At the University of Rochester Medical School, researcher Robert Ader and his colleague Nicholas Cohen conditioned rats to dislike something they usually like very much: the taste of saccharine-flavored water. discovered that he had also unintentionally conditioned >> We were pairing a saccharine- flavored drinking solution with an agent that produced a temporary stomachache in rats, using a drug called cyclophosphamide. And indeed we found, as we expected, that the more of the saccharine they consumed, the stronger was the aversion to Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
the taste of saccharine when it was paired with this drug that made them sick. Over a month's time, giving these animals repeated exposures to saccharine instead of their usual water, some of the animals died. Now, this was an experiment in which animals should not have died; there was no reason for them to have died. And when this happens in an experiment when it's not supposed to, this is troublesome. It turns out that the drug we were using to induce this taste aversion is a powerful immunosuppressive drug; it suppresses immune responses. At the same time that we were conditioning the behavioral response, which was avoidance of the saccharine, we were also conditioning the effects of the drug, that is an immunosuppressive response. Every time the animal was exposed to saccharine there was an aversion response, and there was also a suppression of the immune system. >> ZIMBARDO: So even the immune system may be influenced by conditioning. We can learn to become sick and possibly die. Classical conditioning is not the only kind of conditioning. While Pavlov had shown the importance of learning relationships between two stimulus events, an American psychologist named Edward Thorndike pioneered the study of another kind of learning around the turn of the century. to the complex puzzles the world devises. How do we and other animals learn the habits and new skills that enable us to find our way through life's mazes? By carefully observing, measuring, and quantifying the performance of experimental animals, Thorndike discovered Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
the type of learning we call instrumental conditioning. Thorndike's animals worked by trial and error. The actions that brought reward -- that is, the actions that were instrumental to achieving a goal -- became learned. it's the consequences of what an individual does that most influence the learning process. Thorndike's Law of Effect states that learning is controlled by its consequences. Those behaviors followed by good consequences are selected and repeated, while those leading to bad consequences or no consequences at all are not repeated. 101 01:42:35:04 Another American psychologist who was greatly influenced Watson believed that learned, observable behavior was the only thing in psychology worthy of scientific study. He attacked the doctrines of inherited traits and instincts as the cause of behavior. Instead, he spoke of the unlimited power of conditioning and environmental control to mold the behavior of animals and humans alike. To study the power of conditioning, Watson used infants as subjects, as you can see in this original footage from the 1920s. Watson showed that strong emotions could be learned in one situation by conditioning and then generalized; that is, transferred to other similar situations without having to repeat the original conditioning. Watson and his assistant, Rosalie Rayner, conditioned the infants to fear a white rat they had liked at first. In this case, they work with an eight-month-old called Little Albert. Each time the rat was presented, a loud gong was struck, startling the infant. Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
Soon the appearance of the rat alone was enough to make him cry and become fearful. This was classical conditioning at work. When the child crawled away from the rat toward safety, her behavior was rewarded in that her fear was reduced. 113 01:43:59:09 Instrumental conditioning was now at work. Later, when the children saw any stimulus that was similar to the rat -- a rabbit, a dog, a fur coat, a mask -- their learned fear was generalized to all of them. 115 01:44:15:26 The once-fearless children were now easily frightened by a Watson's pioneering study was controversial because of the way he used children. Such an experiment could not be conducted today because of strict ethical guidelines governing the treatment of all research subjects, humans and animals. A few years after the demonstrations, an associate of Watson, Mary Cover Jones, developed techniques for removing naturally-conditioned fears in youngsters. But these techniques came too late for some of Watson's subjects. 121 01:44:57:05 Little Albert's fate remains unknown. Another towering figure in the study of learning was Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner. Skinner built upon the ideas of Pavlov, Thorndike, and Watson and was interested in how behavior is influenced by external events in our lives. For many psychologists, behavior is explained as an effect of internal processes, either mental or neural. For them, behavior is seen as the outward expression of what's going on inside, but Skinner disagrees. His research investigates behavior in terms of its relationship Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
to environmental variables that precede and follow it. You can think of it as psychology's ABCs: antecedents, behavior, consequences. In the early 1940s, Skinner began to examine a simple response of an ordinary animal -- a pigeon pecking a disk that was followed by a reinforcer, say a food pellet or some water. A reinforcer is anything that increases the rate of responding. >> We can wait for it to turn a little further. >> ZIMBARDO: The pigeon was kept in a highly-controlled environment that has come to be known as a Skinner box. 132 01:46:13:19 And Skinner's version of instrumental conditioning is known >> Well, operant behavior is behavior which operates upon the environment and produces consequences. And operant conditioning is the change that takes place when those consequences have a particular effect, and we call this effect strengthening or reinforcing. >> ZIMBARDO: Through operant conditioning, pigeons have been trained to peck at the correct sum of numbers and to perform all kinds of feats. 136 01:46:48:23 ( pecking out a tune on piano ) Operant conditioning is one But in Skinner's view of psychology, all learned behavior can be stripped down to the relationship between the behavior, its antecedents, and its consequences. 138 01:47:09:01 He believes that any behavior that is followed by a consequence will change in its rate of occurrence in direct relationship to changes in the consequence. Today, psychologists are pushing the limits of operant conditioning beyond the Skinnerian model. 140 01:47:28:06 Behavioral Psychologist Howard Rachlin at the State University of New York looks at ways to enable self-control Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
>> Self-control, like everything else, is a little bit of environment and a little bit of genes. like everything. 142 01:47:47:28 Self-control is really choosing between a large-but-delayed reward and a smaller-but-more- immediate reward. A larger reward is more abstract and difficult to put your finger on, like good health. >> ZIMBARDO: Things like good health or even job satisfaction are often the result of long- term behavior in which delayed gratification was consciously chosen. Rachlin looks at how patterns of behavior act as a reinforcement for self-control. Like Skinner, Rachlin also uses pigeons to test his ideas. >> In the first condition, a pigeon chooses between a small, immediate reward and a larger- but-delayed reward. If it pecks the green button, it gets a small amount of food right away. If it pecks the red button, it has to wait a few seconds, but it gets twice as much food by pressing the red button. 150 01:48:52:20 Pigeons are very impulsive. Almost 100% of the time, pigeons will go for the smaller, immediate reward. In another condition, we'll say to the pigeon, "Instead of pecking the key just once to get that reward, you have to peck the key 15 times." And when we asked the pigeon to peck the key 15 times to get either reward, it will start pecking the key leading to the larger reward. So when it only has to peck once, it's right up against the small reward and it takes the small reward. 155 01:49:36:00 Whereas when, if you put the pigeon back and it has to peck 15 times, it sees the rewards as they are. And seeing the rewards as they are, it starts pecking the key Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
>> ZIMBARDO: Rachlin demonstrates that following the 15th peck on the green button, the pigeon receives a small-but- immediate reward of food. The case is different with the red button. 159 01:50:01:11 After the 15th peck on the red button, the pigeon has to wait an additional four seconds, but the reward is larger. The pigeon chooses the red button leading to the larger, delayed reward, illustrating that a pattern of behavior can reinforce the choices that lead to self-control. >> The rewards of self-control are very hard to pin down. 162 01:50:25:01 They're very hard to isolate. And they're not simply the sum of a bunch of instants. 164 01:50:32:01 ( duo singing ) .just like listening to a song is not simply the sum of a bunch of notes; it's some abstract relationship. A song is a certain relationship, and that relationship takes time to occur. And these rewards are like songs in that sense: they take time to occur, and they're not simply the sum of a bunch of instants. >> ZIMBARDO: Rachlin believes that recognizing alternatives to a particular behavior helps to change that behavior. For instance, if we want to stop smoking, it is not enough to take away the cigarettes. You need to reinforce the potentially larger-but-delayed benefits of not smoking, such as experiencing better health, having more money, and increased social approval. >> The difference between my view and Skinner is that we not only look at the consequences of the specific act that we might want to change, but also the alternatives. And we focus on both of those, because sometimes the best way to manipulate a certain behavior is not to work on the Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
behavior itself but to work on the alternatives. >> ZIMBARDO: Operant conditioning has been applied in several settings beyond the research laboratories where it was first discovered. >> These are not mechanical devices. 175 01:51:58:01 That means that they don't always do everything perfectly >> ZIMBARDO: This promotional film shows a San Diego training program called Canines for Independence. 177 01:52:09:20 Using behavioral principles, these dogs have learned to assist in the care of disabled patients. Desired behaviors are reinforced by means of operant conditioning until the dog learns a new routine in which a complex sequence of responses are chained together. >> So I got him to jump up on the table. It took me about. three or four times of telling him what I wanted, and then he got it and handed it to me. And now he just does it all the time; it's just one command for him to get it. >> ZIMBARDO: The dogs learn to retrieve objects. They learn to pull wheelchairs and even push elevator buttons. >> I didn't know it was going to be like this when I first started, but after I went through it, it's all come true. After learning all these commands, everything's. Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
everything that I've learned, you know, it's working. >> ZIMBARDO: We've seen some of the ways in which individuals learn how to change their situation. But what happens if they learn that nothing makes a difference? What happens if they learn to give up entirely? Can we use conditioning to overcome such learned helplessness? Fortunately, the answer for many distressed people is yes. This woman is undergoing behavior therapy for agoraphobia. 198 01:53:37:04 Agoraphobia, the fear of public places, imprisons untold numbers of people, mostly women, in their homes. >> That's good, just take that deep breath. >> ZIMBARDO: The unique feature of this behavioral therapy is its pragmatic focus on directly changing the problem behavior, the individual's symptoms. There's no attempt to find out what caused the behavior, only identifying and changing the sources of reinforcement that keep it going in the wrong direction. 204 01:54:10:28 The problem is treated by learning to cope with a fearful emotion and by arranging new, positive consequences for the desired behavior. So learning can be positive and it can be negative. But whatever we learn, whether it's the reinforcing consequences of our behavior or the futility of our actions, something more than behavior is changed; there's also a change in our knowledge. And for that knowledge to direct our future actions, it must be remembered, which means somehow it must be registered Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition: 08 Learning
in our memory and called into play upon demand. Learning without memory is impossible; memory without learning is useless. So next time, we'll look at how we remember and why we forget. 211 01:55:01:06 [Captioned by The Caption Center WGBH Educational 212 01:55:37:20 >> Funding for this program is provided by Annenberg/CPB to advance excellent teaching .

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Palomar college arboretum checklist

Lecture: Plants Of The Palomar College Arboretum W. P. Armstrong & Tony Rangel, April 2011 If You Get Lost In Wayne's Word Pages, Find This Page Again At The Top Of Brief Summary Of The Palomar College Arboretum By 1970, campus horticulturist Bob Kelly had already begun planting trees in an undeveloped area east of campus (near the Perimeter Road). ASG President Brian Hawthorne be


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