Learning & Behavior / Edition 7

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Overview

A thorough survey of the field of learning.

Learning & Behavior covers topics such as classical and operant conditioning, reinforcement schedules, avoidance and punishment, stimulus control, comparative cognition, observational learning, motor skill learning, and choice.

The book includes thorough coverage of classic studies and the most recent developments and trends, while providing examples of real-world applications of the principles discovered in laboratory research. It also emphasizes the behavioral approach but not exclusively so; many cognitive theories are covered as well, and there is a chapter on comparative cognition.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Understand the field of learning
  • Discuss real-world applications of learning principles

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: 9780205246441
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/5/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 192,673
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. Mazur obtained his B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College in 1973, and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University in 1977. He taught at Harvard University as an assistant professor and associate professor from 1980 to 1988, and since then he has taught at Southern Connecticut State University, where he is a CSU Professor of Psychology. He has conducted research on operant conditioning and choice for over 35 years. He has published over 60 journal articles and chapters on such topics as reinforcement schedules, conditioned reinforcement, self-control, risk-taking, procrastination, and mathematical models of choice.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 History, Background, and Basic Concepts Chapter 2 Innate Behavior Patterns and Habituation Chapter 3 Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning Chapter 4 Theories and Research on Classical Conditioning Chapter 5 Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning Chapter 6 Reinforcement Schedules: Experimental Analyses and Applications Chapter 7 Avoidance and Punishment Chapter 8 Theories and Research on Operant Conditioning Chapter 9 Stimulus Control and Concept Learning Chapter 10 Comparative Cognition Chapter 11 Learning by Observation Chapter 12 Learning Motor Skills Chapter 13 Choice Glossary References Acknowledgments Author Index Subject Index 2. FULL TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface Chapter 1: History, Background, and Basic Concepts The Search for General Principles of Learning The Associationists Aristotle The British Associationists: Simple and Complex Ideas Ebbinghaus,s Experiments on Memory The Effects of Repetition The Effects of Time The Role of Contiguity The Influence of the Associationists and Ebbinghaus Behavioral and Cognitive Approaches to Learning The Use of Animal Subjects The Emphasis on External Events The Physiological Approach: Brain and Behavior The Basic Characteristics of Neurons Physiological Research on Simple Sensations Physiological Research on Feature Detectors Physiological Research on Learning Summary Review Questions Chapter 2: Innate Behavior Patterns and Habituation Characteristics of Goal-Directed Systems Reflexes Tropisms and Orientation Kineses Taxes Sequences of Behavior Fixed Action Patterns Reaction Chains Innate Human Abilities and Predispositions Habituation General Principles of Habituation Physiological Mechanisms of Habituation Habituation in Emotional Responses: The Opponent-Process Theory Summary Review Questions Chapter 3: Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning Pavlov,s Discovery and Its Impact The Standard Paradigm of Classical Conditioning The Variety of Conditioned Responses Pavlov,s Stimulus Substitution Theory S-S or S-R Connections? Basic Conditioning Phenomena Acquisition Extinction Spontaneous Recovery, Disinhibition, and Rapid Reacquisition Conditioned Inhibition Generalization and Discrimination The Importance of Timing in Classical Conditioning CS-US Correlations Higher Order Conditioning Classical Conditioning Outside the Laboratory Classical Conditioning and Emotional Responses Classical Conditioning and the Immune System Applications in Behavior Therapy Summary Review Questions Chapter 4: Theories and Research on Classical Conditioning Theories of Associative Learning The Blocking Effect The Rescorla-Wagner Model Other Theories Summary Types of Associations Associations in First-Order Conditioning Associations in Second-Order Conditioning Associations with Contextual Stimuli CS-CS Associations Occasion Setting Summary Biological Constraints on Classical Conditioning The Contiguity Principle and Taste-Aversion Learning Biological Preparedness in Taste-Aversion Learning Biological Preparedness in Human Learning Biological Constraints and the General-Principle Approach The Form of the Conditioned Response Drug Tolerance and Drug Cravings as Conditioned Responses Conditioned Opponent Theories Physiological Research on Classical Conditioning Summary Review Questions Chapter 5: Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning The Law of Effect Thorndike,s Experiments Guthrie and Horton: Evidence for a Mechanical Strengthening Process Superstitious Behaviors The Procedure of Shaping, or Successive Approximations Shaping Lever Pressing in a Rat Shaping Behaviors in the Classroom Shaping as a Tool in Behavior Modification Making Shaping More Precise: Percentile Schedules Versatility of the Shaping Process The Research of B. F. Skinner The Free Operant The Three-Term Contingency Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning Resurgence Conditioned Reinforcement Response Chains Biological Constraints on Operant Conditioning Instinctive Drift Autoshaping Reconciling Reinforcement Theory and Biological Constraints Summary Review Questions Chapter 6: Reinforcement Schedules: Experimental Analyses and Applications Plotting Moment-to-Moment Behavior: The Cumulative Recorder The Four Simple Reinforcement Schedules Fixed Ratio Variable Ratio Fixed Interval Variable Interval Extinction and the Four Simple Schedules Other Reinforcement Schedules Factors Affecting Performance on Reinforcement Schedules Behavioral Momentum Contingency-Shaped versus Rule-Governed Behaviors Reinforcement History Summary The Experimental Analysis of Reinforcement Schedules Cause of the FR Postreinforcement Pause Comparisons of VR and VI Response Rates Applications of Operant Conditioning Teaching Language to Children with Autism Token Reinforcement Organizational Behavior Management Behavior Therapy for Marital Problems Conclusions Summary Review Questions Chapter 7: Avoidance and Punishment Avoidance A Representative Experiment Two-Factor Theory Evidence Supporting Two-Factor Theory Problems with Two-Factor Theory One-Factor Theory Cognitive Theory Biological Constraints in Avoidance Learning Conclusions about the Theories of Avoidance Flooding as Behavior Therapy Learned Helplessness Punishment Is Punishment the Opposite of Reinforcement? Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Punishment Disadvantages of Using Punishment Negative Punishment Behavior Decelerators in Behavior Therapy Positive Punishment Negative Punishment: Response Cost and Time-Out Other Techniques for Behavior Deceleration Summary Review Questions Chapter 8: Theories and Research on Operant Conditioning The Role of the Response The Role of the Reinforcer Is Reinforcement Necessary for Operant Conditioning? Expectations about the Reinforcer Can Reinforcement Control Visceral Responses? Biofeedback How Can We Predict What Will Be a Reinforcer? Need Reduction Drive Reduction Trans-situationality Premack,s Principle Response Deprivation Theory The Functional Analysis of Behaviors and Reinforcers Behavioral Economics Optimization: Theory and Research Elasticity and Inelasticity of Demand Behavioral Economics and Drug Abuse Other Applications Summary Review Questions Chapter 9: Stimulus Control and Concept Learning Generalization Gradients Measuring Generalization Gradients What Causes Generalization Gradients? Is Stimulus Control Absolute or Relational? Transposition and Peak Shift Spence,s Theory of Excitatory and Inhibitory Gradients The Intermediate-Size Problem Other Data, and Some Conclusions Behavioral Contrast "Errorless" Discrimination Learning Transfer of Learning and Learning Sets Concept Learning The Structure of Natural Categories Animal Studies on Natural Concept Learning Developing Stimulus Equivalence Stimulus Control in Behavior Modification Stimulus Equivalence Training Study Habits and Health Habits Insomnia Summary Review Questions Chapter 10: Comparative Cognition Memory and Rehearsal Short-Term Memory, or Working Memory Rehearsal Long-Term Memory, Retrieval, and Forgetting Time, Number, and Serial Patterns Experiments on an "Internal Clock" Counting Serial Pattern Learning Chunking Language and Reasoning Teaching Language to Animals Reasoning by Animals Summary Review Questions Chapter 11: Learning by Observation Theories of Imitation Imitation as an Instinct Imitation as an Operant Response Imitation as a Generalized Operant Response Bandura,s Theory of Imitation Which Theory of Imitation Is Best? Mirror Neurons and Imitation Interactions Between Observational Learning and Operant Conditioning Achievement Motivation Aggression Effects of the Mass Media Television Violence and Aggressive Behavior Video Games and Popular Music What Can Be Learned Through Observation? Phobias Drug Use and Addictions Cognitive Development Moral Standards and Behavior Modeling in Behavior Therapy Facilitation of Low-Probability Behaviors Acquisition of New Behaviors Elimination of Fears and Unwanted Behaviors Video Self-Modeling Conclusions: The Sophisticated Skill of Learning by Observation Summary Review Questions Chapter 12: Learning Motor Skills The Variety of Motor Skills Variables Affecting Motor Learning and Performance Reinforcement and Knowledge of Results Knowledge of Performance Distribution of Practice Observational Learning of Motor Skills Transfer from Previous Training Ironic Errors in Movement Theories of Motor-Skill Learning Adams,s Two-Stage Theory Schmidt,s Schema Theory What is the Best Way to Practice? Learning Movement Sequences The Response Chain Approach Motor Programs Dynamic Pattern Theory Summary Review Questions Chapter 13: Choice The Matching Law Herrnstein,s Experiment Other Experiments on Matching Deviations from Matching Varying the Quality and Amount of Reinforcement An Application to Single Schedules Theories of Choice Behavior Matching Theory and Melioration Theory Optimization Theory Momentary Maximization Theory Other Theories of Choice Self-Control Choices Delay Discounting The Ainslie-Rachlin Theory Animal Studies on Self-Control Factors Affecting Self-Control in Children Techniques for Improving Self-Control Other Choice Situations Risk Taking The Tragedy of the Commons

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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.

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