Learning and Behavior / Edition 6

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Overview

Widely acclaimed for its thoroughness and clarity, this contemporary survey of the field of learning offers comprehensive coverage of both classic studies and the most recent developments and trends–with an emphasis on the importance of learning principles in everyday life. Many real-world examples and analogies make the often abstract concepts and theories of the field more concrete and relevant, and most chapters include sections that describe how the theories and principles have been used in the applied field of behavior modification.

Chapter topics include classical conditioning, operant conditioning, avoidance and punishment, theories and research on operant conditioning, stimulus control and concept formation, learning by observation, and much more.

For individuals with an interest in psychology—especially learning, conditioning, and the experimental analysis of behavior.

Early theories about the association of ideas, Ebbinghaus's experiments in memory, form of conditioned response, etc.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Describes some of the most important principles, theories, and experiments<-->including recent research with human subjects<-->that have been produced by this branch of psychology in its first century. Topics include theories about physiological changes that may occur during the learning process; innate behaviors and habituation; classical conditioning; the various facets of operant conditioning; research on concept formation; observational learning and motor-skills learning; and behavioral research on choice behavior. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Booknews
Textbook for undergraduate students assumes no prior knowledge of psychology. Describes principles, theories, controversies, and experiments relative to the applied field of behavior modification. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131931633
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 4/25/2005
  • Series: MySearchLab Series 15% off Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Psychology of Learning and Behavior 1
The Search for General Principles of Learning 2
The Nature of Scientific Theories 4
Behavioral and Cognitive Approaches to Learning 11
On Free Will, Determinism, and Chaos Theory 16
2 Simple Ideas, Simple Associations, and Simple Cells 19
Early Theories about the Association of Ideas 19
Ebbinghaus's Experiments on Memory 23
Physiological Facts and Theories Related to Associationism 27
3 Innate Behavior Patterns and Habituation 37
Characteristics of Goal-Directed Systems 38
Reflexes 39
Tropisms and Orientation 40
Sequences of Behavior 42
Habituation 45
4 Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning 58
Pavlov's Discovery and Its Impact 58
Basic Conditioning Phenomena 67
Temporal Relationships between CS and US 73
Other Conditioning Arrangements 76
Classical Conditioning Outside the Laboratory 78
5 Theories and Research on Classical Conditioning 87
Theories of Associative Learning 88
Types of Associations 99
Biological Constraints on Classical Conditioning 103
The Form of the Conditioned Response 110
Physiological Research on Classical Conditioning 114
6 Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning 121
The Law of Effect 121
The Procedure of Shaping, or Successive Approximations 129
The Research of B. F. Skinner 134
Biological Constraints on Operant Conditioning 139
7 Reinforcement Schedules: Experimental Analyses and Applications 148
Plotting Moment-to-Moment Behavior: The Cumulative Recorder 148
The Four Simple Reinforcement Schedules 149
Factors Affecting Performance on Reinforcement Schedules 156
The Experimental Analysis of Reinforcement Schedules 160
Applications of Operant Conditioning 165
8 Avoidance and Punishment 173
Avoidance 174
Learned Helplessness 184
Punishment 186
Behavior Decelerators in Behavior Therapy 192
9 Theories and Research on Operant Conditioning 202
The Role of the Response 202
The Role of the Reinforcer 203
How Can We Predict What Will Be a Reinforcer? 212
Behavioral Economics 221
10 Stimulus Control and Concept Formation 227
Generalization Gradients 227
Is Stimulus Control Absolute or Relational? 232
Behavioral Contrast 238
"Errorless" Discrimination Learning 240
Transfer of Learning After Discrimination Training 242
Concept Formation 244
Stimulus Control in Behavior Modification 249
11 Comparative Cognition 253
Memory 253
Time, Number, and Serial Patterns 265
Language and Reasoning 273
12 Learning by Observation 282
Theories of Imitation 283
Factors That Affect the Likelihood of Imitation 290
Interactions Between Observational Learning and Operant Conditioning 291
The Influence of Television 293
What Can Be Learned through Observation? 295
Modeling in Behavior Therapy 297
Conclusions: The Sophisticated Skill of Learning by Observation 307
13 Learning Motor Skills 304
The Variety of Motor Skills 304
Variables Affecting Motor Learning and Performance 306
Theories of Motor-Skill Learning 314
Learning Movement Sequences 320
14 Choice 327
The Matching Law 328
Theories of Choice Behavior 335
Self-Control Choices 344
Other Choice Situations 351
Glossary 358
References 373
Acknowledgments 419
Author Index 423
Subject Index 435
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Preface

The purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to the branch of psychology that deals with how people and animals learn and how their behaviors are later changed as a result of this learning. This is a broad topic, for nearly all of our behaviors are influenced by prior learning experiences in some way. Because examples of learning and learned behaviors are so numerous, the goal of most psychologists in this field has been to discover general principles that are applicable to many different species and many different learning situations. What continues to impress and inspire me after many years in this field is that it is indeed possible to make such general statements about learning and behavior. This book describes some of the most important principles, theories, controversies, and experiments that have been produced by this branch of psychology in its first century.

This text is designed to be suitable for introductory or intermediate level courses in learning, conditioning, or the experimental analysis of behavior. No prior knowledge of psychology is assumed, but the reading may be a bit easier for those who have had a course in introductory psychology. Many of the concepts and theories in this field are fairly abstract, and to make them more concrete (and more relevant), I have included many real-world examples and analogies. In addition, most of the chapters include sections that describe how the theories and principles have been used in the applied field of behavior modification.

Roughly speaking, the book proceeds from the simple to the complex, both with respect to the difficulty of the material and the types of learning that are discussed.Chapter 1 discusses the nature of scientific theories and experiments, and it outlines the behavioral approach to learning and contrasts it with the cognitive approach. Chapter 2 first describes some of the earliest theories about the learning process, and then presents some basic findings about the physiological mechanisms of learning. Chapter 3 discusses innate behaviors and the simplest type of learning, habituation. Many of the terms and ideas introduced here reappear in later chapters on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and motor skills learning.

The next two chapters deal with classical conditioning. Chapter 4 begins with basic principles and ends with some therapeutic applications. Chapter 5 describes more recent theoretical developments and experimental findings in this area. The next three chapters discuss the various facets of operant conditioning: Chapter 6 covers the basic principles and terminology of positive reinforcement, Chapter 7 covers schedules of reinforcement and applications, and Chapter 8 covers negative reinforcement and punishment. Chapters 9 and 10 have a more theoretical orientation (although many empirical findings are described here as well). Chapter 9 presents differing views on such fundamental questions as what constitutes a reinforcer and what conditions are necessary for learning to occur. Chapter 10 takes a more thorough look at generalization and discrimination than was possible in earlier chapters, and it also examines research on concept formation.

Chapter 11 surveys a wide range of findings in the rapidly growing area of comparative cognition. Chapters 12 and 13 discuss two types of learning that are given little or no emphasis in many texts on learning—observational learning and motor-skills learning. These chapters were included because a substantial portion of human learning involves either observation or the development of new motor skills. Readers might well be puzzled or disappointed (with some justification) with a text on learning that included no mention of these topics. Finally, Chapter 14 presents an overview of behavioral research on choice.

This fifth edition includes a number of changes, both to help students learn the material and to keep the information up to date. A glossary has been added so that readers can quickly find the definitions of key terms. Each chapter now includes references to a few Internet sites that provide further information or demonstrations of the concepts presented in the chapter. Each chapter has also been updated with new studies that reflect recent developments in the field. One trend in the field of learning seems to be the increasing use of human subjects in research on basic behavioral processes. This edition reflects this trend by including recent research with human subjects in several different areas, including classical conditioning, physiological mechanisms, rule-governed behavior, biological preparedness, stimulus control, and others.

I owe thanks to many people for their help in different aspects of the preparation of this book. Many of my thoughts about learning and about psychology in general were shaped by my discussions with the late Richard Herrnstein, my teacher, advisor, and friend. I am also grateful to several others who read portions of the book and gave me valuable feedback: Mark Branch, University of Florida; Gary Brosvic, Rider University; Valerie Farmer-Dougan, Illinois State University; Adam Goodie, University of Georgia; Kenneth P. Hillner, South Dakota State University; Peter Holland, Duke University; Ann Kelley, Harvard University; Kathleen McCartney, University of New Hampshire; David Mostofsky, Boston University; Thomas Moye, Coe College; Jack Nation, Texas A & M University; David Schaal, West Virginia University; James R. Sutterer, Syracuse University; E. A. Wasserman, University of Iowa; and Joseph Wister, Chatham College. In addition, I thank Marge Averill, Stan Averill, John Bailey, Chris Berry, Paul Carroll, David Coe, David Cook, Susan Herrnstein, Margaret Makepeace, Margaret Nygren, Steven Pratt, and James Roach for their competent and cheerful help on different editions of this book. I am also grateful for the assistance and advice provided by Jayme Heffler of Prentice Hall. Finally, I thank my wife, Laurie Averill, for her help on this edition.

J. E. M.

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Introduction

The purpose of this book is to introduce the reader to the branch of psychology that deals with how people and animals learn and how their behaviors are later changed as a result of this learning. This is a broad topic, for nearly all of our behaviors are influenced by prior learning experiences in some way. Because examples of learning and learned behaviors are so numerous, the goal of most psychologists in this field has been to discover general principles that are applicable to many different species and many different learning situations. What continues to impress and inspire me after many years in this field is that it is indeed possible to make such general statements about learning and behavior. This book describes some of the most important principles, theories, controversies, and experiments that have been produced by this branch of psychology in its first century.

This text is designed to be suitable for introductory or intermediate level courses in learning, conditioning, or the experimental analysis of behavior. No prior knowledge of psychology is assumed, but the reading may be a bit easier for those who have had a course in introductory psychology. Many of the concepts and theories in this field are fairly abstract, and to make them more concrete (and more relevant), I have included many real-world examples and analogies. In addition, most of the chapters include sections that describe how the theories and principles have been used in the applied field of behavior modification.

Roughly speaking, the book proceeds from the simple to the complex, both with respect to the difficulty of the material and the types of learning that are discussed. Chapter 1discusses the nature of scientific theories and experiments, and it outlines the behavioral approach to learning and contrasts it with the cognitive approach. Chapter 2 first describes some of the earliest theories about the learning process, and then presents some basic findings about the physiological mechanisms of learning. Chapter 3 discusses innate behaviors and the simplest type of learning, habituation. Many of the terms and ideas introduced here reappear in later chapters on classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and motor skills learning.

The next two chapters deal with classical conditioning. Chapter 4 begins with basic principles and ends with some therapeutic applications. Chapter 5 describes more recent theoretical developments and experimental findings in this area. The next three chapters discuss the various facets of operant conditioning: Chapter 6 covers the basic principles and terminology of positive reinforcement, Chapter 7 covers schedules of reinforcement and applications, and Chapter 8 covers negative reinforcement and punishment. Chapters 9 and 10 have a more theoretical orientation (although many empirical findings are described here as well). Chapter 9 presents differing views on such fundamental questions as what constitutes a reinforcer and what conditions are necessary for learning to occur. Chapter 10 takes a more thorough look at generalization and discrimination than was possible in earlier chapters, and it also examines research on concept formation.

Chapter 11 surveys a wide range of findings in the rapidly growing area of comparative cognition. Chapters 12 and 13 discuss two types of learning that are given little or no emphasis in many texts on learning--observational learning and motor-skills learning. These chapters were included because a substantial portion of human learning involves either observation or the development of new motor skills. Readers might well be puzzled or disappointed (with some justification) with a text on learning that included no mention of these topics. Finally, Chapter 14 presents an overview of behavioral research on choice.

This fifth edition includes a number of changes, both to help students learn the material and to keep the information up to date. A glossary has been added so that readers can quickly find the definitions of key terms. Each chapter now includes references to a few Internet sites that provide further information or demonstrations of the concepts presented in the chapter. Each chapter has also been updated with new studies that reflect recent developments in the field. One trend in the field of learning seems to be the increasing use of human subjects in research on basic behavioral processes. This edition reflects this trend by including recent research with human subjects in several different areas, including classical conditioning, physiological mechanisms, rule-governed behavior, biological preparedness, stimulus control, and others.

I owe thanks to many people for their help in different aspects of the preparation of this book. Many of my thoughts about learning and about psychology in general were shaped by my discussions with the late Richard Herrnstein, my teacher, advisor, and friend. I am also grateful to several others who read portions of the book and gave me valuable feedback: Mark Branch, University of Florida; Gary Brosvic, Rider University; Valerie Farmer-Dougan, Illinois State University; Adam Goodie, University of Georgia; Kenneth P. Hillner, South Dakota State University; Peter Holland, Duke University; Ann Kelley, Harvard University; Kathleen McCartney, University of New Hampshire; David Mostofsky, Boston University; Thomas Moye, Coe College; Jack Nation, Texas A & M University; David Schaal, West Virginia University; James R. Sutterer, Syracuse University; E. A. Wasserman, University of Iowa; and Joseph Wister, Chatham College. In addition, I thank Marge Averill, Stan Averill, John Bailey, Chris Berry, Paul Carroll, David Coe, David Cook, Susan Herrnstein, Margaret Makepeace, Margaret Nygren, Steven Pratt, and James Roach for their competent and cheerful help on different editions of this book. I am also grateful for the assistance and advice provided by Jayme Heffler of Prentice Hall. Finally, I thank my wife, Laurie Averill, for her help on this edition.

J. E. M.

Read More Show Less

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