Learning- GCSE Psychology

Includes definitions, studies, evaluations and additional information in order to help you understand the module.

(Colourful with pics, just for a bit of fun :D )

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 07-05-12 11:58
Preview of Learning- GCSE Psychology

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By Ellie Sumsion.
Basic definitions:
Learning: Learning is when you find out new information and it is stored in your memory. It
is a permanent change in behaviour; it's due to a life experience. Without this ability we
wouldn't be able to function
Classical conditioning: A process of behaviour hat is modified to produce a desired
outcome to a previously neutral stimulus, repeatedly shown with an unconditioned stimulus.
Operant conditioning: A process of changing behaviour in where behaviour is shown
through positive or negative reinforcement each time the behaviour is displayed. They now
know whether to repeat or avoid certain behaviour.
Unconditioned stimulus: The unconditioned stimulus is one that unconditionally triggers a
response. E.g. salivating when you smell your favourite food.
Unconditioned response: The unconditioned response is the response that doesn't need
to be learned and that occurs naturally in response to an unconditioned stimulus.
Conditioned stimulus: A previously neutral stimulus that after repeated association with an
unconditioned stimulus becomes conditioned.
Conditioned response: The conditioned response is the response you learn by association.
Neutral stimulus: A stimulus that doesn't provide a response.
Punishment: There are two types positive and negative. As with reinforcement, it is the
behaviour, not the person that is punished.
Phobia: An intense, unrealistic fear, which can interfere with everyday life that is brought on
by an object, event or situation.
Reinforcement: a positive outcome of behaviour so that it is more likely to be repeated.
Shaping: A behaviour that is changed over time.

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Pavlov's drooling dogs
Ivan Pavlov was trying to discover secrets of the digestive
system; he was also studying which signals triggered
response, such as the secretion of saliva. When a dog receives
food, saliva is created.
Pavlov was interested in learning aboutg reflexes when he saw
that the dogs dribbled without the exact stimulus. E.g. no food
was in sight, but they still dribbled. It turned out that the dogs
were reacting to lab coats.…read more

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Little Albert
Watson and Rayner taught a little boy called Albert to be afraid of a
harmless white rat. At the beginning of the study, Albert wasn't scared
of the white rat and played with the animal. While he was playing with
the rat, the experimenters scared Albert by making a loud noise. Albert
then cries. After this, he avoided the rat and would cry whenever it was
near him.
After this Albert was scared of any furry, white object.…read more

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Systematic desensitisation: Phobic is gradually exposed to fear stimulus, it is done at a
pace comfortable to the participant and a hierarchy is created, Ranging from tolerable to
intolerable. The aim of this therapy is to reduce the fear response to the stimuli by making
the behaviour extinct. They are slowly desensitised to the fear completely.
Evaluation: The stimulus can trigger a fear response.
Flooding effect: Flooding is based on the idea that humans cannot maintain the fear
response for a long period of time.…read more

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Strengths and weaknesses of laboratory experiments:
controls extraneous variables
High control
Can be repeated
Increased control and accurate measurement.
Fewer distractions
Results are not hard to generalize.
Lacks ecological validity
Total control is not possible.
Results likely to be biased by sampling, demand characteristics
Raise ethical problems (Can be distressing)
Key Concepts of classical conditioning:
Extinction: When the CS is repeatedly presented without the UCS, this means that over
time the CS decreases.…read more


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