Learning Unit


  • Albert Bandura

    • Bobo doll experiment on observational learning (also called social learning)
    • children (and others) can learn by observing a model and then imitating the actions that they have observed
    • when children saw a model rewarded for aggressive acts, they were even more likely to engage in similar behavior in the future (vicarious conditioning)
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • John Garcia

    • pioneered food aversion learning and the idea of conditioned taste aversions
    • Garcia Effect - avoidance of foods that have made us ill in the past (a very strong form of classical conditioning to a distinctive taste or smell)
    • evolutionary basis - in the past, avoidance of anything that made us ill would have aided in our survival
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • Robert Resorla

    • Expectancy theory in classical conditioning; the typical stimulus response relationship seen in Pavlov's research has a cognitive component
    • we have build in neural connectiosn that explain typical stimulus-response classical conditioning from the perspective that we respond because we learn to expect the UCS (eg. the dog salivates to the bell because he is expecting to get food, not simply because he has learned an association between teh bell and the food)
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • B.F Skinner

    • Operant conditioning - the effect of an operant response (one that has some effect on the environment) changes the likelihood that response will occur again in the future (depending upon how the environment responds)
    • new responses can be shaped by rewarding successive approximations to the target behavior (shaping)
    • behavior can be changed through either reinforcement (which always increases behavior) or punishment (which always decreases behavior)
    • four types - positive reinforcement (addition of something desirable to increase behavior), negative reinforcement (removal of something aversive to increase behavior), punishment (addition of something aversive to decrease behavior) or omission training (removal of something desirable to decrease behavior)
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • Edward Thorndike

    • Puzzle box procedure and cats - by depriving cats of food and putting them in a 'puzzle box' he observed that once they learn how to get out of the box they will repeat those actions in the future to escape the box and find the food sooner
    • law of effect - responses that produce a positive consequence are more likely to occur and responses that produce a negative consequence are less likely to occur in the future
    • instrumental conditioning - responses are strengthened when they are instrumental in producing rewards
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • Edward Tolman

    • Came up with concept of 'cognitive maps' after his work with rats in puzzles
    • we create cognitive maps through a process called latent learning - by simply interacting with our environment, we learn about it and create internal representations (cognitive maps)
    • learning is not always through direct reward or punishment; often it is a more passive process and happens automatically and without conscious effort
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010
  • John B. Watson

    • Discovery of conditioned emotional responses (CER's) when he found that fear could be conditioned in humans
    • 1920 - Little Albert experiment with Rosalie Rayner - conditioned fear of a white rat in baby Albert
    • fear generalized to similar stimuli (other furry objects) - classically conditioned response may be root of phobias (experiences that we may not recall but the fear was conditioned early on in childhood)
    • this experiment was questionable by modern ethical guidelines
    • This famous psychologist is currently being worked on by Dhana Matthews at Seaquam Secondary, Delta, BC Canada in 2010