Study review (associative Learning)

Psychology exam is in two days, 9 am November 9th, 2016. Here goes the study material. 

Associative Learning

What is associative learning: Before defining associative learning firstly lets define learning. Learning is, according to Domjam 2010 it is a relatively permanent change in behavior resulting from past experiences. Associative learning is a type of that occurs whenever a person or an animal forms a simple association among various stimuli and/or behaviors. Human has the ability to associate themselves with many other animals. there are two types of Associative learning that we use daily.

1. Classical conditioning
2. Operant conditioning.

Let’s delve a little deeper into associative learning: to be an associative learner, you must pay attention to what happened before and after a particular behavior. Events happening before the behaviors are called Antecedent.
Events happening after the behavior occurred, these are the consequences. For example, Every time Bo the dog hears the bell Johnny place his meal on the ground. So Bo would get up from where ever he was and rush to the kitchen to enjoy the delicious meal prepared. Thinking as an associative learner,

What caused Bo to rush to the kitchen , Johnny ringing the bell right. When Johnny rang the bell, the consequence for Johnny ring the bell is Bo racing to the Kitchen. The behavior, in this case, is, Bo running. What cause Bo to start running (consequence), the sound of the bell (antecedent). This behavior Bo racing to the Kitchen was encouraged by Johnny when he gave bo his afternoon meal.

Classical Conditioning

Now the other form of Associative learning: Classical Conditioning. Classical condition is the behavior that happens before responding. It begins with a stimulus that reliably triggers a behavior as a response. Imagine, for example, that a puff of air (the stimulus) is aimed at your eye. The air puff will make you blink (a response) every time. The eye-blink is a reflex (automatic, non-learned response). Now, assume that we sound a horn (another stimulus) just before each puff of air hits your eye. If the horn and the air puff occur together many times, what happens? Soon, the horn alone will make you blink. Clearly, you’ve learned something. Before, the horn didn’t make you blink. Now it does.

Therefore classical conditioning is a stimulus that does not produce a response but, is linked with the original stimulus that did.

Operant Conditioning

Now for the other type of learning, Operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is more focus on will the behavior continues or not based on the consequences. In bo’s case, there was a positive response, Johnny gave him a good meal but, if Johnny had slapped him instead of giving him food, what is the likelihood of Bo running to Johnny next time he heard the bell. Not a chance right. Operant conditioning focuses on the likelihood of a particular behavior occurring again. 

That’s all for the basics of associative learning. Next section Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiment. 

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