Questions

  1. Answer the following questions:
    1. Define learning.
    2. Explain classical conditioning. In your explanation include: the unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response. Provide an example of classical conditioning.
    3. Explain the application of classical conditioning in the research done with “Little Albert.”
    4. Provide examples of extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
    5. Describe the process of operant conditioning.
    6. Distinguish between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment. Provide examples. Include an example of shaping.
    7. What are the major problems or objections in using punishment to decrease the occurrence of undesirable behavior?
    8. Distinguish between continuous and partial schedules of reinforcement. Explain which is most effective for conditioning behavior initially, versus which is most useful for maintaining behavior that is resistant to extinction.
    9. Explain Counterconditioning, Flooding and Systematic Desensitization.
    10. Explain Bandura’s observational learning.
    11. Explain the effects of media violence on behavior.
    12. Define cognition and identify the building blocks of cognition.
    13. Explain the tools/problems utilized in cognition such as algorithms, heuristics, mental sets and overgeneralization.
    14. Explain how language develops and include the various theories of language.
    15. Explain the key theories of intelligence including Factors Theory, Spearman and Multiple Intelligences.
    16. Explain the relationship between creativity and intelligence.
    17. Explain some major measurements of intelligence including the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, The Weschler Scales, and Group tests.
    18. How do genetic and environmental influences affect a person’s intelligence?

Answer:

  1. Define learning: Learning is the process through which individuals acquire new knowledge, skills, behaviors, or attitudes, resulting from experience, instruction, or observation. It involves the acquisition, retention, and utilization of information to adapt to one’s environment and improve performance.
  2. Explain classical conditioning: Classical conditioning is a form of learning in which a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and elicits a response similar to that produced by the meaningful stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus (US) naturally triggers an unconditioned response (UR). When a neutral stimulus (conditioned stimulus, CS) is repeatedly paired with the unconditioned stimulus, it eventually triggers a conditioned response (CR) similar to the unconditioned response. For example, in Pavlov’s famous experiment, a dog’s salivation (UR) in response to food (US) became associated with the ringing of a bell (CS), leading to salivation (CR) in response to the bell alone.
  3. Application of classical conditioning in “Little Albert” research: In John B. Watson’s “Little Albert” experiment, classical conditioning was used to induce fear in an infant named Albert. A white rat (CS) was repeatedly paired with a loud, startling noise (US) that naturally elicited fear (UR) in the child. Eventually, the rat alone came to evoke fear (CR) in Little Albert, demonstrating how classical conditioning can influence emotional responses.
  4. Examples of extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination:
    • Extinction: Gradual weakening and eventual disappearance of a conditioned response when the conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned stimulus.
    • Spontaneous recovery: Reappearance of a previously extinguished conditioned response after a period of rest or absence of the conditioned stimulus.
    • Generalization: Tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus with the same conditioned response.
    • Discrimination: Ability to distinguish between the conditioned stimulus and similar stimuli that do not signal the unconditioned stimulus.
  5. Describe the process of operant conditioning: Operant conditioning is a form of learning in which behavior is influenced by its consequences. Behaviors that are reinforced (strengthened) are more likely to be repeated, while behaviors that are punished (weakened) are less likely to occur in the future.
  6. Distinguish between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment:
    • Positive reinforcement: Adding a pleasant stimulus to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring again (e.g., giving a treat for completing chores).
    • Negative reinforcement: Removing an aversive stimulus to increase the likelihood of a behavior occurring again (e.g., taking pain medication to alleviate discomfort).
    • Punishment: Adding an aversive stimulus or removing a pleasant stimulus to decrease the likelihood of a behavior occurring again (e.g., scolding a child for misbehaving).
  7. Major problems or objections in using punishment: Some major problems with using punishment include the potential for increased aggression, fear, and avoidance behaviors, as well as the risk of unintended negative consequences such as resentment, learned helplessness, and decreased motivation.
  8. Distinguish between continuous and partial schedules of reinforcement:
    • Continuous reinforcement: Providing reinforcement for every instance of the desired behavior. It is effective for initially conditioning behavior.
    • Partial reinforcement: Providing reinforcement intermittently, based on a predetermined schedule. It is useful for maintaining behavior that is resistant to extinction.
  9. Explain Counterconditioning, Flooding, and Systematic Desensitization:
    • Counterconditioning: Replacing an undesirable response to a stimulus with a desirable response through the use of conditioning techniques.
    • Flooding: Exposing an individual to an anxiety-provoking stimulus at full intensity until the anxiety response diminishes.
    • Systematic desensitization: Gradual exposure to anxiety-inducing stimuli while teaching relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety responses.
  10. Explain Bandura’s observational learning: Bandura’s observational learning theory posits that individuals learn by observing others’ behavior, modeling it, and imitating it. Observational learning involves attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation processes.
  11. Explain the effects of media violence on behavior: Research suggests that exposure to media violence can desensitize individuals to violence, increase aggression, and lead to imitative behavior, especially among children and adolescents.
  12. Define cognition and identify the building blocks of cognition: Cognition refers to mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision-making. The building blocks of cognition include schemas, concepts, language, and mental representations.
  13. Explain the tools/problems utilized in cognition such as algorithms, heuristics, mental sets, and overgeneralization:
    • Algorithms: Step-by-step procedures for solving problems that guarantee a correct solution but may be time-consuming.
    • Heuristics: Mental shortcuts or rules of thumb that simplify problem-solving but may lead to errors.
    • Mental sets: Tendencies to approach problems in familiar ways, even when alternative solutions are available.
    • Overgeneralization: Applying a rule or concept too broadly, leading to errors in judgment or interpretation.
  14. Explain how language develops and include various theories of language: Language development involves acquiring the ability to understand and produce speech, including vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Theories of language development include behaviorist, nativist, interactionist, and social learning perspectives.
  15. Explain the key theories of intelligence including Factors Theory, Spearman, and Multiple Intelligences:
    • Factors Theory: Intelligence is composed of multiple distinct abilities or factors.
    • Spearman’s Two-Factor Theory: Intelligence consists of a general factor (g) that influences performance on all cognitive tasks and specific factors (s) that influence performance on individual tasks.
    • Multiple Intelligences Theory: Intelligence is comprised of multiple independent intelligences, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic intelligences.
  16. Explain the relationship between creativity and intelligence: While creativity and intelligence are related, they are not synonymous. Intelligence involves cognitive abilities such as problem-solving and reasoning, while creativity involves the generation of novel and useful ideas or solutions.
  17. Explain some major measurements of intelligence including the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, The Weschler Scales, and Group tests. Major Measurements of Intelligence:
    • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: This is a widely used intelligence test that assesses cognitive abilities in individuals aged 2 to adulthood. It provides a measure of overall intelligence quotient (IQ) as well as various cognitive abilities such as verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and abstract/visual reasoning.
    • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC): The WAIS and WISC are intelligence tests designed for adults and children, respectively. They assess various cognitive abilities including verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. These scales also provide an overall IQ score.
    • Group Tests: Group intelligence tests are administered to multiple individuals simultaneously, making them efficient for large-scale assessment, such as in educational or employment settings. Examples include the Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test and the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test.

18. How do genetic and environmental influences affect a person’s intelligence?

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence:

  • Genetic Influences: Research suggests that genetic factors play a significant role in shaping individual differences in intelligence. Studies of twins, adoption, and family heritability estimates indicate that genetic factors contribute to around 50-80% of the variability in intelligence scores. Specific genes associated with intelligence have been identified, although their effects are typically small and influenced by interactions with environmental factors.
  • Environmental Influences: Environmental factors also play a crucial role in the development of intelligence. Early childhood experiences, including prenatal care, nutrition, exposure to toxins, and early stimulation, can have long-lasting effects on cognitive development. Socioeconomic status (SES) is strongly correlated with intelligence, with individuals from higher SES backgrounds typically scoring higher on intelligence tests. Access to quality education, supportive family environments, and enriching experiences can also contribute to intellectual development.
  • Gene-Environment Interaction: There is evidence for gene-environment interactions, where genetic predispositions interact with environmental factors to influence intelligence. For example, children with a genetic predisposition for high intelligence may benefit more from educational opportunities and enrichment programs, leading to further increases in intelligence. Conversely, genetic vulnerabilities combined with adverse environmental conditions may result in lower intelligence scores.
  • Gene-Environment Correlation: Additionally, genetic factors may influence exposure to certain environmental conditions, a phenomenon known as gene-environment correlation. For example, parents’ intelligence may influence the quality of the home environment and educational opportunities provided to their children, indirectly affecting their cognitive development.

 

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