Current research on learning reflects three themes: a methodological behavioral theme that focuses on how certain experiences lead to changes in behavior, a cognitive theme that focuses on how experiences are represented in memory, and an evolutionary/adaptive behavior theme that focuses on the various kinds of learning as adaptive specializations that evolved through the mechanism of natural selection. Frieman and Reilly interweave these themes to present an integrated and coherent account of the current state of knowledge within the study of learning. The evolutionary/adaptive behavior theme is the central theme within which the cognitive and behavioral themes are developed. The authors tell a story rather than providing only a survey of research and theoretical controversies. Experimental designs, the implications of what we learn from laboratory research for understanding human behavior, and the relationship between learning and other psychological constructs like motivation, perception, and memory are discussed where appropriate and not consigned to separate chapters.
Likewise, the historical development of ideas and procedures is woven into the narrative and not confined to a single chapter. The authors' overriding goal is to show those students who may never take another course in learning that this topic is interesting and important for their understanding of both human and non-human animal behavior.
Jerome Frieman earned his PhD from Kent State University in Ohio. He has been at Kansas State University since 1968. Over the course of his career, he engaged in research on operant conditioning in pigeons, rats, and dwarf hamsters; Pavlovian conditioning in rats; social learning in dwarf hamsters; and extraordinary memory in a human participant. He is the author of Learning and Adaptive Behavior and co-author of Memory Search by a Memorist. Steve Reilly obtained his D.Phil. from the University of York, England, for research concerning the neural basis of learning and memory. He has held positions in England, Canada and the United States, and is now in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research focuses on the neural mechanisms and functional neuroanatomy of conditioned taste aversion learning and incentive learning. Dr. Reilly is the editor of two books (Conditioned Taste Aversion: Behavioral and Neural Processes and Associative Learning and Conditioning Theory: Human and Non-Human Applications) and is currently on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience.
Chapter 1: Where Learning Fits Into the Big Picture What Is Knowledge? How Can We Study Something We Cannot See? Defining Various Kinds of Learning by Procedures and Phenomena The Evolution of Learning Learning Is an Adaptive Specialization Learning Is Part of an Integrated System of Psychological Processes Part I: Learning to Predict Important Events Chapter 2: The Procedure and Phenomena We Call Pavlovian Conditioning Procedures, Phenomena, and Processes Why We Call It Pavlovian Conditioning Conditioned Emotional Responses Conditioned Drug Reactions Conditioned Food Aversions Sign-Tracking (Autoshaping) Chapter 3: Pavlovian Conditioning Is an Inference Task The Elements of Causal Inference The Effects of CS-US Consistency in Pavlovian Conditioning The Effects of Temporal and Spatial Contiguity on Pavlovian Conditioning The Effects of Temporal Precedence on Pavlovian Conditioning Chapter 4: Identifying the Predictors of Significant Events The Salience of Stimuli Salience and Prior Experience With Potential Conditioned Stimuli Relative Validity in Pavlovian Conditioning Surprise and Pavlovian Conditioning A Mathematical Model of Pavlovian Conditioning Based on Both Salience and Surprise Overshadowing, Relative Validty, and Blocking: Learning About the Other Stimulus Chapter 5: The Representations of Knowledge in Pavlovian Conditioning CS-US Associations: The Representation of Relationships in Pavlovian Conditioning Transitive Inference and the Linking of Associations in Second-Order Conditioning Conditioned Inhibition: Learning to Predict the Absence of the Unconditioned Stimulus The Role of the Environmental Context in Pavlovian Conditioning Representing the Temporal Relationships Between Events Extinction Revisited Chapter 6: From Knowledge to Behavior: The Forms and Functions of Conditioned Responses Conditioned Responses: Deciding What to Measure The Relationship Between Conditioned and Unconditioned Responses Behavior Systems and Pavlovian Conditioning The Functions of Pavlovian Conditioned Responses Pavlovian Conditioning as an Adaptive Specialization Part II: Learning About the Consequences of One's Behavior Chapter 7: The Procedures and Phenomena We Call Operant Conditioning Procedures, Phenomena, and Processes B. F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning The Various Events That Can Serve as Reinforcers The Various Events That Can Serve as Reinforcers The Four Varieties of Operant Conditioning Behavior Modification The Differences Between Pavlovian Conditioning and Operant Conditioning Chapter 8: How Individuals Adjust Their Behavior to Meet the Demands of the Situation Operant Conditioning From Two Different Perspectives The Functions of Reinforcers in Operant Conditioning Adaptive Behavior by Hill-Climbing Identifying the Operant in Operant Conditioning Chapter 9: Adjusting to Schedules of Partial Reinforcement Classifying Schedules of Reinforcement Ratio Schedules Interval Schedules Explaining the Differences in Performance on Ratio and Interval Schedules of Reinforcement The Effects of Prior Experience on How Individuals Adjust to Schedules of Reinforcement Behavioral Persistence Chapter 10: Life Is About Making Choices Choice and the Empirical Matching Law The Generalized Theoretical Matching Law Why Matching Occurs The Significance of the Matching Laws Chapter 11: Inference and the Representations of Knowledge in Operant Conditioning Operant Conditioning Is Also an Inference Task The Representations of Knowledge in Operant Conditioning The Role of the Stimulus in Operant Conditioning Operant Behavior as Procedural Knowledge Extinction Revisited Chapter 12: The Similarities Between Operant Conditioning and Natural Selection Sources of Behavioral Variation The Mechanism of Selection in Operant Conditioning Operant Conditioning as an Adaptive Specialization Part III: The Social Transmission of Knowledge Chapter 13: Social Learning Learning Food Preferences From Others Learning What to Fear Through Observational Conditioning Learning What to Do by Observing Others Transmission of Information About What to Do Through Directed Instruction The Effects of Verbal Instructions on Human Behavior
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