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The Psychology of Learning and Memory

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Title: The Psychology of Learning and Memory


1
Chapter 1
  • The Psychology of Learning and Memory

2
1.1 The Philosophy of Mind
3
1.1 The Philosophy of Mind
  • Learning and Memory in Everyday LifeTop Ten Tips
    for a Better Memory
  • Aristotle and Associationism
  • Descartes and Dualism
  • John Locke and Empiricism
  • William James and Association

4
Learning and Memory
  • Learningthe process by which behavioral changes
    result from experience.
  • Memorythe record of our past experiences
    acquired through learning.

5
Learning and Memory in Everyday Life Top Top Ten
Tips for a Better Memory
  1. Pay full attention during learning.
  2. Create associations between new and old material.
  3. Generate meaningful images.
  4. Practice facts and skills.

6
Learning and Memory in Everyday Life Top Top Ten
Tips for a Better Memory
  1. Read material aloud and write it out.
  2. Use memory aids (post-it notes, calendars, or
    electronic schedulers).
  3. Try to remember when and where you first learned
    the material.

7
Learning and Memory in Everyday Life Top Top Ten
Tips for a Better Memory
  1. Sleep well to increase concentration and
    facilitate memory storage.
  2. Create a poem or song to learn a string of random
    information.
  3. If blocked, relax and turn to something else.

8
(No Transcript)
9
Aristotle and Associationism
  • Aristotle (384322 BC)
  • Principles of associationismmemory requires
    linkages between pairs of events, sensations,
    ideas.
  • Contiguity
  • Nearness in time and space
  • Frequency
  • Similarity

10
Descartes and Dualism
  • Descartes (15061650)
  • Believed in dualismimmaterial mind and material
    body are separate entities, governed by their own
    laws.
  • The body works as a machine with a fixed
    response (reflex) to an external sensory event
    (stimulus).

Corbis
11
John Locke and Empiricism
  • John Locke (16321704)
  • Held empiricist viewall knowledge results from
    experience alone.
  • Children are blank slate
  • All have equal potential for knowledge.
  • The mind passively combines simple ideas into
    complex ideas.

12
William James and Association
  • William James (18421910)
  • Authored Principles of Psychology (1890)
  • Worldwide psychology text for many decades
  • Believed in associationism
  • Memory of an event has many components.
  • A second event may be remembered due to an
    overlap of components.

13
William James Memory Model
14
1.1 Interim Summary
  • Learning changes in behavior through
    experience.
  • Memory record of past experiences acquired
    through learning.
  • Learning and memory no single process for is a
    single cohesive process.
  • Many kinds of memory, many ways to learn.

15
1.1 Interim Summary
  • Associationists memory depends on links between
    events, sensations, ideas.
  • Aristotle three key association principles.
  • Contiguity, frequency, similarity
  • James remembering involves learning links
    between event components.
  • Activation of one component could activate
    others.
  • Linkage between common components.

16
1.1 Interim Summary
  • Empiricists we are born blank slates.
  • All knowledge comes from experience.
  • Aristotle, Locke, Watson
  • Nativists bulk of knowledge is inborn.
  • Plato, Descartes, Galton
  • Debate continues today.
  • Nature versus nurture
  • Nature (genes) is modified by experience.

17
1.1 Interim Summary
  • Descartes dualist
  • Mind and body are separate.
  • Body is a machine to be understood through
    mechanical principles.
  • Reflex pathway sensory stimulus to motor
    response.
  • Locke empiricist
  • All humans born with equal potential for
    knowledge and success (deserve equal opportunity).

18
1.2 Evolution and Natural Selection
19
1.2 Evolution and Natural Selection
  • Erasmus Darwin and Early Proponents of Evolution
  • Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural
    Selection
  • Francis Galton Variability of Nature
  • Unsolved MysteriesCan Learning Influence
    Evolution?

20
Erasmus Darwin and Early Proponents of Evolution
  • Evolutionchange in a species over time
  • Early Proponents
  • Erasmus Darwin (17311892) Personal physician to
    King George III of England
  • Grandfather of Charles Darwin and Francis Galton
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamark (17441829) French
    naturalist
  • Proposed (falsely) that an animal can acquire a
    trait from experience and pass it to progeny.

21
Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural
Selection
  • Charles Darwin (18091882)
  • Amateur naturalist on H.M.S. Beagle
  • Found beak variation in finches that matched
    survival on its isolated Galápagos island

HIP/Art Resource, NY
22
Darwins Three Criteria for Traits to Evolve
through Natural Selection
23
Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural
Selection
  • Proposed theory of natural selection.
  • Species evolve when a trait is inheritable, can
    vary, and makes individual more fit for
    survival and reproduction.
  • Traits can be physical or behavioral
  • Authored The Origin of Species (1859)
  • Proposes a similar ancestor for man and ape
  • Gives rise to evolutionary psychology (study
    behavioral evolution through natural selection).
  • Learning is integral to survival.

24
Francis Galton Variability of Nature
  • Francis Galton (18221911)
  • Charles Darwin (cousin) inspired Galtons study
    of human individual differences.
  • Fascinated by the physically and mentally fittest
  • Found that attributes (e.g., height, blood
    pressure, memory skills) followed a normal
    distribution, a bell-shaped curve.
  • Began eugenics movement (encouraged procreation
    among societys fittest)

25
Francis Galton Variability of Nature
  • Founder of modern statistics developed
    statistical concepts like
  • Hypothesisan observation that can be tested
  • Correlational studytwo variables tend to vary
    together
  • Experimental group (receives treatment) versus
    control group (no treatment)
  • Problem Galtons research did not control for
    confounds (extraneous variables).

26
Unsolved Mysteries Can Learning Influence
Evolution?
  • Evolution change in a species over time
  • Learning a process of adaptation and
    improvement
  • View learning as an adaptive process that
    fine-tunes what evolution began.

27
1.2 Interim Summary
  • Theory of evolution change over time.
  • New traits passed from one generation to the
    next.
  • Charles Darwin natural selection
  • Survival of the fittest mechanism for
    evolution.
  • Trait evolution requires inheritability, natural
    variation, relevance to survival.
  • Galton all natural abilities are inherited.
  • Developed much of modern statistics and
    experimental methodology.

28
1.3 The Birth of Experimental Psychology
29
1.3 The Birth of Experimental Psychology
  • Hermann Ebbinghaus and Human Memory Experiments
  • Ivan Pavlov and Animal Learning
  • Edward Thorndike Law of Effect

30
Hermann Ebbinghaus and Human Memory Experiments
  • Hermann Ebbinghaus (18501909)
  • Completed first experiments on human memory (used
    himself as sole participant).
  • Especially interested in forgetting (memory
    deterioration over time).
  • Examined how long it took him to relearn a
    previously learned list.
  • Established retention curve (percentage time
    saved to relearn list).

31
Hermann Ebbinghaus and Human Memory Experiments
  • Unlike Galton, designed experiments that examined
    hypothesis validity.
  • Dependent variablea studys manipulated factor
  • Number of nonsense syllables recalled
  • Independent variableobserved factor whose change
    is measured
  • Delay between learning and relearning list

32
Limitations to Ebbinghaus Research
  • Conducted research only on himself.
  • As the participant, he knew the manipulated
    variables (subject bias).
  • As the researcher, he knew the desired outcome
    (experimenter bias).
  • Modern research avoids with
  • Blind designparticipant unaware of hypothesis
  • Double-blind designboth participant and
    experimenter unaware of hypothesis (e.g.,
    research with placebo).

33
Ivan Pavlov and Animal Learning
  • Ivan Pavlov (18491936)
  • Russian physiologist studies of dog digestion
    lead to studies on animal learning
  • Classical conditioninglearning that one stimulus
    predicts another
  • Conditioned stimulus (bell) predicts
    unconditioned stimulus (food)
  • Extinctionweakening a learned response
  • Pairing bell with no food
  • Generalizationsimilar sounds produce similar
    conditioned responses

34
Pavlov and Learning Experiments
(a)The Granger Collection, New York / (b) Adapted
from Allen et al., 2002.
35
Edward Thorndike Law of Effect
  • Edward Thorndike (18741949)
  • Research on cats trial-and-error learning to
    escape puzzle box.
  • Instrumental conditioningbehavior determines
    whether consequence will occur.
  • Law of effectresponses with desirable
    consequences increase future response
  • In contrast, responses with undesirable
    consequences decrease future response.

36
1.3 Interim Summary
  • Ebbinghaus studied memorization of nonsense
    syllables.
  • Developed basic experimental techniques to study
    human memory and forgetting.
  • Pavlov classical conditioning
  • Studied how animals learn that an initially
    neutral stimulus can predict an upcoming event.

37
1.3 Interim Summary
  • Thorndike animal behavior is modified by
    consequences (reward or punishment).
  • Puzzle boxes
  • Law of effectthe probability of a behavioral
    response increases or decreases depending on the
    consequences it elicits.

38
1.4 The Reign of Behaviorism
39
1.4 The Reign of Behaviorism
  • John Watson and Behaviorism
  • Clark Hull and Mathematical Models of Learning
  • B. F. Skinner Radical Behaviorism
  • Edward Tolman Cognitive Maps

40
John Watson and Behaviorism
  • John Watson (18781958)
  • Founded behaviorismstudy is restricted to
    observable behaviors.
  • Studied maze learning in rats
  • Examined rat performance motivation eliminated
    sensory stimuli.
  • Argued that rats learned automatic motor habits
    (ability to navigate maze), independent of
    external sensory cues.

41
John Watson and Behaviorism
  • Published behaviorist manifesto in
    Psychological Review (1913)
  • Psychology is a purely objective experimental
    branch of natural science whose goal is
    prediction and control of behavior.
  • By 1920s, behaviorism dominates psychology of
    learning.

42
John Watson and Behaviorism
  • Strong empiricist emphasized experience
    (nurture) in determining behavior and
    capabilities.
  • Career ends in scandal.
  • After scandal, applied learning principles to
    advertising.

43
Clark Hull and Mathematical Models of Learning
  • Clark Hull (18841952)
  • Tried to develop a comprehensive mathematical
    model of animal learning.
  • Variables number of learning trials, frequency,
    motivation, incentive value of reward
  • Followers developed equations to describe basic
    components of learning.
  • Ideas abandoned cannot reduce all learning
    factors to a single equation.

44
B. F. Skinner Radical Behaviorism
  • B. F. Skinner (19041990)
  • Developed Skinner box.
  • Operant conditioning chamber for automated
    response learning
  • Intermittent reinforcement schedules
  • Authored Walden Two (1948) Beyond Freedom and
    Dignity (1971).
  • Later work advocates radical behaviorism
    consciousness and free will are illusions.

45
Edward Tolman Cognitive Maps
  • Edward Tolman (18861959)
  • All behavior is intrinsically motivated.
  • Rats form cognitive mapsinternal representations
    of external worlds layout.
  • Will find alternate paths to food when learned
    path blocked (find food from new start point).
  • Latent learninglearning happens in the absence
    of training or consequence.
  • Laid groundwork for cognitive studies of learning.

46
Tolmans Cognitive Maps in Rats
47
Limitation of Behaviorism
  • Behaviorism failed to explain human cognitive
    abilities
  • e.g., language, perception, reasoning, memory
  • Cognitive psychology emphasizes the role of
    higher-level human abilities
  • e.g., thinking, language, reasoning
  • Turns away from animal research.

48
1.4 Interim Summary
  • Behaviorists say psychology should be the study
    of observable behaviors.
  • Watson sensory-deprivation studies
  • Show how rats learn maze navigation.
  • Skinner radical behaviorism
  • Consciousness and free will are illusions.
  • Cognitive functions (e.g, language) are a series
    of learned stimulusresponse associations.

49
1.4 Interim Summary
  • Tolman studied how animals use goals.
  • Believed rats could form cognitive maps.
  • Some learning (i.e., latent learning) occurs
    without explicit training or observable response.

50
1.5 The Cognitive Approach
51
1.5 The Cognitive Approach
  • W. K. Estes and Mathematical Psychology
  • Gordon Bower Learning by Insight
  • George Miller and Information Theory
  • Herbert Simon and Symbol-Manipulation Models
  • David Rumelhart and Connectionist Models

52
W. K. Estes and Mathematical Psychology
  • Early work with B. F. Skinner (together they
    develop conditioned emotional response to study
    learned fear).
  • Later, found new methods to interpret learning.
  • Built on Hulls mathematical modeling approach.
  • Stimulus sampling theory explained randomness in
    learning.
  • Each stimulus has many elements only a random
    sample is associated in each trial.

53
Estes Stimulus-Response Models
54
W. K. Estes and Mathematical Psychology
  • Helped establish mathematical psychology.
  • Use of mathematical equations to describe laws of
    learning and memory.

55
Gordon Bower Learning by Insight
  • Interested in mathematical psychology and insight
    learning.
  • A solution to a problem comes to individuals on
    different trials.
  • Individual performance, not just group
    performance, is important.
  • Influential educator and mentor.

56
Bowers Learning by Insight
57
George Miller and Information Theory
  • Measured human capacity of short-term memory for
    digits.
  • Found that the human mind has a limited capacity
    for digits (digit span).
  • Magic number 7 digits, plus or minus 2
  • Information theory helps measure limits.
  • Mathematical theory of communication
  • Applies to a variety of capabilities (e.g.,
    short-term memory, range of judgments).

58
Herbert Simon and Symbol-Manipulation Models
  • Herbert Simon (19162001)
  • A founder of artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Helped develop a new computational approach to
    memory and cognition.
  • To study cognition, understand how the mind
    manipulates symbols (internal representations of
    concepts, qualities, ideas).

59
Herbert Simon and Symbol-Manipulation Models
  • Simon and Newells Symbol-manipulation models
  • Rules and procedures to manipulate, search,
    update symbols and associations models for
    learning and memory.
  • Began movement to use computer as a metaphor for
    human mind to study thinking, reasoning, memory.

60
Symbol-Manipulation Model of Memory
61
David Rumelhart and Connectionist Models
  • With James McClelland, designed connectionist
    models.
  • Explain cognition as networks of uninformed,
    unlabeled connections between nodes (simple
    processing units).
  • Distributed representations
  • Models help integrate neuroscience with
    psychology.

62
Distributed Representations
63
1.5 Interim Summary
  • Cognitive psychologists study higher mental
    processes not explained by behaviorism.
  • Bower learning is not incremental.
  • Involves all-or-none moments of sudden insight.
  • Miller studied learning and memory using
    mathematical models.
  • Magic number 7 demonstrated limits on absolute
    judgments and memory capacity.

64
1.5 Interim Summary
  • Mathematical psychology equations describe laws
    of learning and memory.
  • Hull tried to find one equation to describe all
    learning variables.
  • Followers try to develop several equations for
    the basic components of learning.
  • Estes used mathematical psychology to describe
    how randomness of perception affects memory and
    generalization.

65
1.5 Interim Summary
  • Simon and Newell used computers in studies.
  • Metaphor for brain.
  • Tool for implementing models of how mind learns
    and manipulates symbols.
  • Rumelhart and colleagues focused on connectionist
    models of memory/cognition.
  • Networks of simple processing units.
  • Information a pattern of activity across many
    nodes.
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