Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion

“Week 5 … Week 6”
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  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Psych Report
  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Lesson
  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Lesson
  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Psych Report
  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Lesson
  • Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Lesson

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Psych Report

  • Memorizing terms for a test isn’t like precisely recalling all of the details from the last time you went to dinner.
  • Depending on where you went and who you went with, that might actually be a good thing.
  • Now, if I remember correctly, it’s time for our mini lesson.
  • Before we spend more time on the cognitive side of learning, let’s go back to the early 1900s when Ivan Pavlov was doing his famous research on dogs salivating.
  • Pavlov, in his work with dogs, noticed a curious thing.
  • Even just the sound of Pavlov’s footsteps seemed to get his canine subjects salivating in anticipation of food.
  • How could they have made this association? Through his research, Pavlov identified that for his dogs there was an unconditioned stimulus, also known as food, that triggered an unconditioned response, in this case, salivation.
  • What he was able to prove through his research was that many different neutral stimuli, like the sound of a bell, could be associated with the unconditioned stimulus and create the same salivary response, which we now call the conditioned response.
  • This associative learning is called classical conditioning.
  • Pavlov’s research was not just about dogs, however.
  • John Watson’s famous experiments with Little Albert, a baby who he classically conditioned to fear a white stuffed rat, is another good example of this kind of conditioning.
  • Initially, the baby wasn’t afraid of the stuffed rat, but every time it appeared, it was paired with a loud scary noise.
  • In this case, the loud scary noise was the unconditioned stimulus, and the baby’s terror was the unconditioned response.
  • Through this experiment the neutral stuffed rat became the conditioned stimulus that evoked the fear.
  • Now that we understand classical conditioning, let’s consider operant conditioning and the work of Edward Thorndike and BF Skinner.
  • Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect really gets to the heart of operant conditioning.
  • Behavior preceding punishment or no reinforcement will decrease.
  • ” The trickiest part of this work relates to the notion of positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment.
  • We will go through a few examples in our next session, but just remember that reinforcement always increases behavior, both positive and negative, and punishment always decreases behavior.
  • Join me this week as we continue our discussion of operant conditioning and then later, cognition and memory.

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Lesson

  • Theories on how learning occurs were dominated by behaviorists for many decades.
  • We will discuss some of the seminal findings on learning and also some of the research that indicated that reinforcement and punishment weren’t the only learning tools in our toolbox.
  • Before we get there, let’s discuss Ivan Pavlov’s work on classical conditioning.
  • Classical conditioning is a type of learning that occurs when an association is made between a meaningful stimulus and a non-meaningful stimulus.
  • Let’s consider the classical conditioning terminology.
  • The unconditioned stimulus in this case was the food, and his unconditioned response was the salivation.
  • In the conditioning experiment, they paired the neutral stimulus, which was the bell, with the unconditioned stimulus, which was the food.
  • The introduction of the bell, which had become the conditioned stimulus, evoked the same response, which is the salivation, now called the conditioned response.
  • In this case, the bell was the conditioned stimulus that led to the salivation, which was the conditioned response.
  • You could also make the dog salivate if you paired the conditioned stimulus- in this case a metronome or another kind of bell- with a black square.
  • Through conditioning, that black square could also create a conditioned response, which is the dog salivating.
  • We had what is called operant conditioning.
  • The definition of operant conditioning is the learning of voluntary behavior through the effects of pleasant and unpleasant consequences.
  • His Skinner box created the prototype experiment for operant conditioning.
  • Punishment and reinforcement are central to operant conditioning.
  • With positive reinforcement, a response is strengthened because it is followed by the presentation of a rewarding stimulus.
  • With negative reinforcement, our response is strengthened because it is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus.
  • In the case of positive punishment, it occurs when an averse stimulus follows a response and decreases the tendency to make that response.
  • In the case of this same child, I might ground them or remove their privileges for the car.
  • In operant conditioning, there are reinforcement schedules that work better than others.
  • In a fixed interval schedule, the reinforcer is given for the first response after a fixed time interval is passed.
  • In a variable interval schedule, the reinforcer is given for the first response after a variable time interval.
  • One of the more famous limitations to classical conditioning is the conditioned taste aversion.
  • Dr. John Garcia violated the belief that a conditioned stimulus needs to be immediately paired with the unconditioned stimulus for conditioning to occur and that any conditioned stimulus could be used.
  • Bandura told us that reinforcement and punishment were not the only ways that we could learn.
  • Thank you for joining me in this discussion of learning.

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 5 > Lesson

  • Today we’re going to spend some time thinking about thinking.
  • Actually, the word for thinking about thinking is metacognition.
  • Today we’re going to be metacognitive as we better understand how we think, make decisions, and problem solve.
  • When we think, we often use concepts, which is a mental grouping of similar objects.
  • If I say the word bird as a concept, you would know exactly what I meant.
  • Another very important kind of thinking is problem solving.
  • What’s it called when you use a systematic formula to solve a problem? It’s called an algorithm, and here’s one right here.
  • Sometimes I can’t come up with a new strategy to solve a problem, even though my strategy isn’t working.
  • Often, thinking results in decision making, which is the process of choosing among a number of alternatives.
  • I might also weigh each option fairly and compare the road trip to the plane trip.
  • If we’re thinking about thinking, of course we have to consider the role of language in our thinking.
  • All languages share three things in common, semanticity, true language conveys thoughts in a meaningful way by use of symbols and sounds.
  • Generativity, the ability to combine words in new ways.
  • All languages have phonemes, morphemes, and syntax.
  • The phonemes, which are the smallest unit of language, are H-O-P. Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning, so hop is one morpheme.
  • If I turn it into hopped, it is two morphemes because E-D is a morpheme, too.
  • We also need to understand theories of language acquisition.
  • Skinner thought that language was learned through association reinforcement and social imitation.
  • Whereas Chomsky believed that language acquisition is innate from his observations that children create sentences they’ve never heard before.
  • Can word order and word choice affect our thinking? Does language shape our ideas? Sapir and Whorf thought so.
  • In cultures where they have 10 words for snow, all indicating slight differences in the snow, do they understand snow differently than in cultures where there’s just one word for snow? Sapir and Whorf thought so, which is the linguistic relativity hypothesis.
  • Thank you for thinking about thinking with me today.

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Psych Report

  • Well, everyone, I know I’m going to be happier once I communicate the information in this next mini lesson.
  • Or will I? Human emotion and motivation are so common to all of us, yet so hard to articulate.
  • Motivation researchers have provided us with great tools for thinking about the question of human motivation.
  • One of the earliest theories revolved around Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and suggested that our behavior can be understood as innate instincts that support our ability to thrive and reproduce.
  • The underlying assumption is that genes predispose us to behave a certain way.
  • A later iteration of a biologically based motivation theory is that we are motivated to reduce internal drives and keep our bodies at a state of homeostasis or a state of balance.
  • What accounts for the kind of motivation that encourages people to challenge themselves just for the sake of challenge, curiosity, or the desire to develop a new skill? Mountain climbers don’t look for new and challenging peaks because they’re hungry or thirsty, right? Motivation experts may answer this question with arousal theory, which is the belief that organisms are motivated to achieve and maintain an optimal level of arousal and therefore prefer environments that are more stimulating.
  • While this seems to make sense, is it true that our motivations are all biologically based? Well, of course not.
  • There are social and psychological explanations for motivation as well, such as incentive theory, expectancy theory, and goal setting theory.
  • All these theories suggest there is a cognitive component that directs and energizes our behavior.
  • We may also consider Bandura’s self-efficacy theory and the concept of achievement motivation, which may explain why people strive for excellence.
  • Newer theories, such as Carol Dweck’s MindSet and Angela Duckworth’s grit research indicate that belief systems and the ability to rebound from failure explain achievement related behavior and perseverance.
  • We will contemplate these theories and then round out our week together by considering the role of emotion in our human existence not only contemplating the basic emotions of acceptance, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, sadness and surprise, but also analyzing the biological, psychological, and social origins of emotion and emotion expression.

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Lesson

  • What motivates us and why? The definition of motivation is a need or desire that directs and maintains behavior, usually towards some goal.
  • Instinct theory just didn’t hold up as an explanation for everything that motivates us.
  • Still not satisfied with our explanations for motivation, Abraham Maslow developed his Hierarchy of Needs to explain motivation.
  • If we have physiological needs for food, or water, or safety needs, we’re probably going to focus on those first before we focus on esteem and self actualization.
  • Moving slightly away from theory and more into some concrete examples of motivators, we’re all motivated by hunger.
  • There are more reasons than just biological influences that motivate hunger and eating behavior.
  • Hunger is definitely influenced by appetite hormones, stomach pangs, the hypothalamic centers in our brain, and our natural attraction to sweet and salty tastes.
  • There are also social cultural influences, such as our culturally learned tastes and preferences for appearance of food.
  • Our interest in sex, how often and with whom, is greatly impacted by our sex hormones and certainly our sexual maturity.
  • There are also psychological influences, visual cues and other stimulating conditions impact our psychological experience of sexual fantasies and desire.
  • We’re also greatly impacted by family and societal influences and religious and personal values, like the expectation in many faiths that sex only occurs after marriage.
  • In addition to the basic drive such as hunger and sex, we also have a very basic need to belong.
  • We are social animals and have a very strong need to feel as though we belong.
  • Achievement motivation is a desire for significant accomplishment, for mastering skills or ideas, for control or for rapidly attaining a high standard.
  • All of these impact our motivation to do good work and meaningful work.
  • I hope I helped you understand your own motivation and maybe could help you direct your behavior in more positive ways in the future.

Module 3: Learning, Cognition, Motivation and Emotion > Week 6 > Lesson

  • Jeneen Graham: Welcome back, students. Today, we’ll be talking about emotions. You know what they feel like, but do you know how they generate? What we know is that the feeling is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more going on, and we’re going to dive in to learn a bit more about our emotions. The definition of emotion is”a response of the whole organism, involving physiological arousal, expressive behaviors, and conscious experience.
  • The Two Factor Theory suggests that people look to environmental cues to determine which emotion they feel.
  • Have you ever disliked something, and you don’t really know why? Theorists suggest that there’s a high road and a low road of emotion.
  • Some emotions make it to the cerebral cortex, and some bypass it.
  • Do different emotions exhibit different physiological responses? The answer is that different emotions don’t have sharp physiological divides.
  • What about the brain responses? EEG recordings show that emotions activate different areas of our brain’s cortex.
  • What emotion is experienced when lying? Polygraphs work to detect lying by measuring changes in breathing, cardiovascular activity, and perspiration.

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