PSYA3 Psychology Intelligence- Animal Learning and Intelligence


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Animal Learning and Intelligence
Classical Conditioning
Key concepts:
Timing. Neutral Stimulus (NS) is most effectively conditioned if presented just before the UCS.
Extinction: If the Control Stimulus (CS) is given without the presentation of the UCS the CR
becomes weaker. The association is inhibited, not gone forever.
Spontaneous Recovery: If the CS is presented with the UCS again the association will be
remembered and them produce CR.
Stimulus Generalisation: When a similar stimulus to the CS is presented it will create a similar
response (e.g. all bells create salivation)
Stimulus Discrimination: If during conditioning you present a different bell the dog will then learn
to discriminate between sounds.
Lab Experiment. "Donjan" in the real world the CS cannot be unrelated to the UCS. Have to
be some similarities
Taste Aversion Learning. Sick from one thing so never eat it again. Goes against as not
repeated to hate it and there has been no extinction. Also timing relevance as weren't sick
before eating the product.
Generalisation difficult. Cannot generalise to all animals.
(+) Evolutionary Theory "Seligman" some association is biologically prepared, while others can
be learnt.
Ethical Issues. Studying animals.
Operant Conditioning.
Positive Reinforcement: A pleasant consequence which increases the likelihood of the behaviour
being repeated. (E.g. praise)
Negative Reinforcement: Having an unpleasant state removed in response to exhibiting a certain
behaviour (E.g. "Skinner" rats, push button to switch of electricity)
Punishment. Something which decreases the likelihood of carrying out the behaviour. "Hemphill
and Sampson" when parents used punishment techniques lead to bad behaviour at school. If
positively reinforced the children were well justified.
Can we generalise to all humans and animals? "Breland" trained pigs to find a wooden coin and
put it into a piggy bank. After a few months the pigs stopped no matter the reward they were
offered. Behaviour went back to instinct.
Long term effects don't seem to exist.
Problems with punishment. Associate the punishment with the one giving it, not with the
(+) has real life application. For example. Stopping smoking.
(+) "Arzin and Fox" meta analysis on toilet training. Positive reinforcement more effective with
toilet training.
Deterministic. No free will in the way we act.
Nature vs. Nurture. Biology has been ignored
Animal ethics

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