210: STUDY QUESTIONS 2012 - 2013
NOTE: Subject to additions or deletions. Questions in red have been added during the
course of the year
- Why study Learning? What are the various roles
learning plays in Psychology?
- What are the characteristics of a good theory?
- What is a paradigm? How do paradigms change?
- What were the contributions of
Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and Wundt to modern Psychology?
- What are the implications of Hebb's
theories for the empiricist approach (see chapter 15)
- Describe the main features of empiricism and
rationalism. What is the basis of learning in each of these schools? Cite
supporting data in each case.
- What five factors contribute to strength of associations ? Cite supporting evidence.
- What is meant by reductionism? What problems might
we encounter with this approach to psychology?
- Define Learning. What is the difference between
learning and performance? What difficulties might we encounter with
- Why is it necessary to make certain exclusions to
our definition of learning?
- How do we identify and test for native response
- Distinguish between maturation and learning. Cite
original examples to illustrate this distinction.
- Review instances of behaviors that are
maturationally driven but draw upon experience for expression
- Describe a number of possible effects of repeated
- Distinguish between fatigue, habituation and learning.
- What is the difference between short term and long
- Describe a number of ways in which dishabituation
may be achieved
- Contrast the "state system" view of
sensitization with "S-R system" view of habituation.
- How can we account for the results of the Davis (1974) study
whereby different background noises can produce different types of change
in responsiveness to repeated stimulation by a constant stimulus.
- Discuss in detail Sokolov's neuronal model
indicating how it accounts for:
- What are the issues on which learning theories
divide into SS and SR schools?
- Name other issues in learning not confined to
divisions between theoretical schools.
- Compare two views of extinction.
- Name and describe the three major laws associated
with Thorndike's Connectionism.
- Name and fully describe the subordinate laws of Thorndikes theory. Give original examples in each
- Thorndike's concept of associative shifting appears
in contemporary literature with
"new" names. Discuss.
- Describe stimulus generalization and the peak shift
- Describe discrimination learning.
- Describe errorless discrimination learning and its
- What is the difference between errorless
discrimination learning and normal discrimination learning?
- What is the significance of Thorndike's "line
experiment?" Design a further experiment to test the finding
suggested by the line experiment.
- Why did Thorndike have to change his law of effect?
What does this reveal?
- Describe the concept of equipotentiality.
- What is the significance of the concept of
"belongingness?" Describe contemporary approaches to this
issue, referring to specific experimental findings.
- Name and describe a number of other response
constraints on learning.
- What is "spread of effect?" Design an
original demonstration of this phenomenon.
- What are the essential features of a classical
- Show that you are familiar with the expressions;
"generalization of excitation" and "just noticeable
difference." What is the difference between generalization and
- Classical Conditioning has been used to assist in
the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease as well as Autism and OCD. Describe
work by Solomon and Woodruff-Pak which reveals the relationship.
- Demonstrate your familiarity with the various time
relationships between CS and UCS. Are there any applications which arise
- What are the different forms of inhibition
associated with Pavlovian (classical) conditioning?
- Describe four measures of the strength of
- Describe the factors that contribute to strength iof conditioning.
- Describe an experiment which demonstrates
adaptation. How is adaptation different from habituation?
- What is pseudoconditioning? Describe an experiment
illustrating this phenomenon.
- What is the significance of the Wickens
and Wickens experiment ?
- Describe interoceptive
conditioning, conditioned fear, the conditioned emotional response and
- Describe an experiment to sensitize an animal to a
- What is higher order conditioning? How do S-R
theorists rely on this as an explanation of anticipatory behavior?
- What is the significance of the finding that the CR
is not like the UCR? Apply this to the behavior modification of addiction
of abused drugs, e.g., cocaine.
- What are the phenomena of overshadowing and
blocking? How are these different ?
- Describe and discuss the significance of Rescorla's
- What is Kamin's surprisingness mechanism? what is the Kamin - Wagner theory of classical conditioning?
- How is the CER different from conditioned inhibition
or external inhibition ?
- Design a therapeutic procedure, using classical
conditioning procedures, to cure to patient of fear of height. Specify CS,
- Design a therapeutic procedure to cure a patient of
an undue attraction to certain foods which may be harmful to that
individual. Specify CS, UCS, etc.
- Describe the phenomenon of learned helplessness.
- Describe MacIntosh's
theory of classical conditioning. What evidence supports this view rather
than the Resorla-Wagner position.
- How can MacIntosh's
approach account for the fact that partially reinforced subjects may learn
more about a complex stimulus then continuously reinforced subjects.
- How does MacKintosh
account for the behavioral persistence of partially reinforced animals.
- Summarize evidence supporting contingency learning
in Classical Conditioning.
- Describe Bolles cognitive
view of classical conditioning. How is this similar/different from
- What is the basis for Watson's Behaviorism? What are
- What are Watson's views of thinking, instinct,
- What is the relationship between Watson's work and
- What are the basic assumptions of Guthrie's theory?
- What is the pairing hypothesis. Provide evidence in
support of it.
- How would Guthrie explain the following results.
leads to better learning
leads to extinction
- How may habits be broken, according to Guthrie ?
Describe in detail.
- What is sidetracking?
- What is the significance of the Fowler and Miller,
(1963) experiment for Guthrie's theory?
- What is state-dependent learning?
- What are the main tenets of Tolman's sign learning?
- Describe a number of experiments illustrating the
difference between place learning and response learning. What experimental
results complicate conclusions we may draw in this regard?
- What difficulties do the place learning and latent
learning experiments present for other theories we have considered?
- What is "learning of probabilistic
expectations?" Does this present difficulties to other theories?
- What is the Humphrey effect (now called the
PREE)and how can it be accounted for (Discrimination Theory).
- Experiments on the Generalized Partial Reinforcement
Effect (GPRE) provide difficulties for Discrimination Theory and
Mackintosh's Theory. Discuss the work on simultaneous and succession GPRE
- What do GPRE experiments reveal about behavioral
persistence in general.
- Elaborate on Amsel's
frustration hypothesis. What is the IPE?
- What are the necessary conditions for learning in
- Show that you are familiar with the terms of the
following equation: SER = SHR x D x V x K - (IR + SIR) - SOR
- Discuss the significance of the following
elation and depression experiment
and Roby experiment
- What are the concepts of the "fractional
antedating goal response", and the "habit family
- Describe in detail the procedures you would employ
to shape an organism to respond on a CRF schedule, and subsequently on a
PRF schedule. Use appropriate techniques and vocabulary.
- Demonstrate your familiarity with "Skinnerian
vocabulary" (reinforcement, generalized reinforcers, backward
- Discuss the 6 side effects of extinction
- Review the factors which contribute to resistance to
- What are concurrent schedules of reinforcement.
- What are Skinners views on punishment?
- Show that you are familiar with ten schedules of
- Discuss some applications of reinforcement schedules
as behavior management tools (e.g., concurrent schedules) and as
diagnostic tools (e.g. DRL schedules).
- What are the essential features of programmed
learning? Do you feel this is a useful technique? Why/why not?
- What are Skinners views on the control and
prediction of behavior in society? Do you agree/disagree? Explain in
- What are Skinner's views on: creativity, freedom,
- What objections can be raised against Skinner denial
of purpose, intention, will, etc. Alternately, support Skinners
- Discuss a number of empirical criticisms levelled against radical behaviorism.
- How does Skinner account for the "choice"
behavior we might see illustrated in the Kahnmen
& Tversky study.
- Cite 3 major criticisms of token economies, with
- What is the Premack
Principal? What are the implications of this?
- What is the significance of the Breland
& Breland work?
- What are the Gestalt Laws, subsidiary laws, and
principles? Give examples.
- Discuss how Gestalt theory, S-R theory, and ratio
theory account for the phenomenon of transposition.
- The phenomenon of behavioral persistence has been
addressed by discrimination theory, S-R theory, Gestalt theory, and MacKintosh's analyser
theory. Describe in detail each of these accounts of persistence behavior.
- What are the similarities and differences between
classical and instrumental conditioning.
- Learning through modelling
has been conceptualized in different ways by different theorists. Discuss
three such views, citing the strengths and/or weaknesses in each case.