Psychology of Learning

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PSYCHOLOGY OF LEARNING Learning is a process that depends on experience and leads to long-term changes in behavior potential. Behavior potential designates the possible behavior of an individual, not actual behavior. The main assumption behind all learning psychology is that the effects of the environment, conditioning, reinforcement, etc. provide psychologists with the best information from which to understand human behavior. As opposed to short term changes in behavior potential (caused e.g. by fatigue) learning implies long term changes. As opposed to long term changes caused by aging and development, learning implies changes related directly to experience. Learning theories try to better understand how the learning process works.…show more content…
In his initial experiments, Pavlov rang a bell and then gave the dog food; after a few repetitions, the dogs started to salivate in response to the bell. Pavlov called the bell the conditioned (or conditional) stimulus (CS) because its effects depend on its association with food. He called the food the unconditioned stimulus (US) because its effects did not depend on previous experience. Likewise, the response to the CS was the conditioned response (CR) and that to the US was the unconditioned response (UR). The timing between the presentation of the CS and US affects both the learning and the performance of the conditioned response. Pavlov found that the shorter the interval between the ringing of the bell and the appearance of the food, the stronger and quicker the dog learned the conditioned response. Forward conditioning Learning is fastest in forward conditioning. During forward conditioning, the onset of the CS precedes the onset of the US in order to signal that the US will follow. Two common forms of forward conditioning are delay and trace conditioning. Delay conditioning: In delay conditioning the CS is presented and is overlapped by the presentation of the US. The difference between Trace conditioning and Delay conditioning is that in the delayed procedure the CS and US overlap.For example: We often hear the thunder before the lightning has faded from view. Trace conditioning: During trace
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