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Caitlin Woodhead 0402350

Assignment 4 Learning is something that every living creature does. This knowledge is the bases for many theories in psychology regarding learning. It is known people learn but what is not known is how people learn. Several theories have been created in order to answer these questions. One theory is the classical conditioning theory by Ivan Pavlov. This theory states that a stimulus elicits a response. Another theory by B.F Skinner is called operant conditioning. This theory believes that stimuli can be added or taken away which results in an increase or decrease depending on the desired behaviour. A third theory by Albert Bandura has to do with social and more specifically what he called modelling. Modelling is when a person sees another persons actions and learns from them. All of these theories are ways to explain how a person learns something new. The concept of classical conditioning was established when a scientist was exploring the salivation of dogs. He discovered that when a dog smelled food it salivated and just the action of Pavlov entering the room caused them to salivate. This simple understanding can be applied to many things. When I was younger I touched a cigarette lighter that was in a car with my thumb. I immediately pulled my thumb away and never touched it again. In this example the unconditioned stimulus was the cigarette lighter and the unconditioned response was pulling my thumb away. I didnt have to learn to pull my hand away from something hot it was a reflex action. However, this does not mean that everything we learn is a reflex. There is something he termed conditioned stimulus and conditioned response. An example of this is when it is winter time and I get out of the car I flinch and try to shut the door with anything other than my hand. This is because each time my hand touches the door in the winter I get shocked. In this example the car door is initially a neutral stimulus; it elicits no response. However, when the neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned response such as flinching when getting a shock I associate shut-

Caitlin Woodhead 0402350

ting a car door with a shock. The previously neutral stimulus now becomes a conditioned one. This also created a conditioned response where when I try to shut the car door I flinch. This response caused me to learn that touching a car door in winter can cause a shock so I avoid it. The theory of operant conditioning was developed by B.F Skinner. This theory can be used to increase or decrease a behaviour and is done by either adding a stimulus or taking one away. There are four concepts that can be used to teach someone. One of them is what Skinner called positive punishment. This is when a stimulus is added and it causes a decrease in a behaviour. An example of this is when my cat rolls over and I pet his stomach I usually end up being scratched. In this example when I put my hand on my cats stomach he applies punishment in the form of his claws. From this I have learned not touch his stomach and therefore decreased this behaviour. Negative punishment is also used to decrease a behaviour, however, the removal of a stimulus that is pleasurable is used. When I was a teenager if I was too rude to my parents I lost my computer or phone privileges. In this example the behaviour is being rude and my parents took away something I enjoyed to decrease this behaviour. This taught me to watch what I say to my parents and how I said it. Operant conditioning can also be used to increase desirable behaviour. One way to do this is by negative reinforcement. When I was a child and I got in trouble I would get yelled at. If it was my Dad that was yelling at me I could cry and he would stop yelling. This was not something I could do with my mom because she would know I was faking to get out of trouble and eventually she told my Dad what I would do so it did not work anymore. In this example the desired behaviour was to have my Dad stop yelling at me. I was negatively reinforcing the behaviour by crying. This caused him to stop yelling or punishing me. Each time I got in trouble and cried he reinforced this behaviour by not yelling anymore. I learned how to get out of trouble.

Caitlin Woodhead 0402350

Behaviour can also be positively reinforced and Skinner said it was the best way to have someone learn something. This is done by rewarding behaviour you find desirable to have it continue. An example of this when I was younger until my Mom passed away she would tell everyone if I did something she thought was good. If I got a really good grade or did something nice for someone else she would boast about it to family members. This was a very strong reinforcement because it told me how happy she was with something I had done. In this example the desired behaviour is good grades or doing something she liked. The boasting was the reward and it positively reinforced the behaviours that my mom wanted me to continue doing. This taught me to work harder and made me not want to disappoint her. A third theory of learning is the social learning theory by Albert Bandura. This theory states that a person learns by observing another person. This is what Bandura called modelling and demonstrated it very well in his Bobo doll experiment. This is type of learning is used almost daily by many people who look up videos on youtube on how to do something. I have been teaching myself piano and one way I do this is by watching other people play a song on youtube. The person in the video is the model and I am the person who is learning by watching the model. I am imitating this person, however, Bandura distinguished between modelling and imitation. Imitation is when someone mimics another person and modelling is learning from observation. I am observing a person in a youtube video but I am learning not mimicking them therefore I am using modelling to learn how to play the piano. In conclusion, a person can learn a behaviour in many ways. One way is by classical conditioning where a stimulus is conditioned to elicit a response. Another way is by operant conditioning where a behaviour can be decreased or increased either by adding a stimulus or taking it away. A third way is by observational learning where a person learns from observing another.

Caitlin Woodhead 0402350

These types of learning are noticeable in everyones life and can happen without them even realizing.