Learning Objectives

Define and explain the nature of nonassociative learning.

  • Explain what fixed action patterns are, and identify some examples.
  • Relate some examples of fixed action patterns, and discuss whether humans display them.
  • Define habituation, and explain how it is relevant to human behavior.

Explain what Pavlov learned from his experiments with salivating dogs.

  • Describe how Pavlov’s work on classical conditioning influenced how we understand learning.
  • Describe how classical conditioning works and its relevance to human behavior.
  • Discuss whether it is possible to condition new fears or preferences and whether bodily functions can be conditioned similarly.

Distinguish between operant conditioning and classical conditioning.

  • Describe the principles of operant conditioning and how this type of conditioning is applied today.
  • Explain the principles of reinforcement and punishment and distinguish between the two.
  • Discuss how behaviorists explain the persistence of maladaptive behaviors like gambling.
  • Identify the biological and cognitive perspectives on operant conditioning.

Summarize the process of observational learning and how this type of learning is applied today.

  • Define observational learning.
  • Discuss whether learning by imitation is a uniquely human form of learning.
  • Identify the kinds of behaviors that are learned by observation, and explain how the process works.