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Introduction to Psychology

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Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Lesson 22
(Also known as the cognitive Perspective or Model)
After having gone through the classical and operant conditioning approaches ask yourself:
·  Did we learn, all that we know, as a result of mere association of stimulus and response; or was it
learnt just because we were reinforced for it?????Can learning take place as a result of some other
·  Why does a soldier keep resisting the strong enemy without caring for his life even when he can
·  Why would an artist donate his paintings to a charity school and not sell them in the market when
he could have earned hundreds of thousands?
All human intellectual activities and potentials, i.e. thinking, communicating, problem solving, and learning
require mental processes and knowledge. It is more than just stimulus-response association or reward and
·  In the 1970's much of psychology returned to the study of the mind. Cognitive psychology had a
similar interest. It studied memory, information processing, decision-making, etc.Cognitive
Approach to Learning
The approach that focuses upon the thought processes underlying learning.
·  The approach that gives importance to cognition for understanding and explaining learning.
·  Cognition is defined as "the mental processes" or the " faculty of knowing".Cognitive learning
approach has roots in the cognitive perspective.
·  Cognition means "knowledge" or "the process of knowing".
·  Cognitive approach emphasizes:
o  Thoughts
o  Feelings
o  Thinking
o  Values
o  Expectations etc
·  This theory gives same importance to both the internal states of the person as well as the
environmental events.
·  Internal events are referred a s "Mediators" or "mediational processes"__ (that come in between
stimulus and response).
·  Mediators are `conceptual' but they are defined physiologically rather than conceptually.
Elements of Cognitive Model
Internal processes = essential in
Mediators = Work in a
understanding Behavior
systematic and organized way
not in terms of trial and
Emphasis of Cognitive Approach
·  Cognitive approach uses the following as its focal point:
o  Emotions
o  Social behavior
o  Behavior modification
·  Cognitive approach includes the elements of psychology, linguistics, computer science and
physiology__ thus called a `hybrid science'.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·  The roots of cognitive learning can be traced in the work of Wolfgang Kohler, and E.C.Tolman.
Wolfgang Kohler Experiments on apes by German scientist Kohler, led to the discovery of the use of
insight by animals in problem solving; "learning by insight".
·  Most famous of his experiments were conducted involving "Sultan", an ape.
·  Series of experiments was conducted in which it had to reach a banana outside its cage using a
stick. Once it could solve this problem several times, it was provided with a stick that was not long
enough to reach the banana. However, outside the cage was placed a longer stick.
The ape unsuccessfully tried several times to reach the banana with the smaller stick, till it was finally
frustrated and retreated. Then all of a sudden the ape got up, got hold of the shorter stick and used it to
reach the longer stick; that stick was then used to reach the banana.
This phenomenon, Kohler thought, could be explained neither in terms of mechanical classical or
operant conditioning, nor trial and error.
The animal had exhibited a sudden change in behavior or the way it organized the problem
situation based upon "insight".
Both Kohler and Tolman played a vital role in laying the foundation of cognitive approach.
Tolman's Concept of Latent Learning
·  Tolman talked about the `cognitive maps'; it is not necessary to have an association between
stimulus and response, a person can learn without showing any apparent response; in other words
learning and performance are not the same.
·The type of learning in which the organism does learn or acquire a particular behavior but does not readily
demonstrate it until reinforcement is provided; performance may not be the same as what one has actually
Tolman's Series of Early Experiments:
·  Tolman (1886-1959) and colleagues conducted experiments that demonstrated that only
mechanical association between the stimulus and response can not explain just every type
of learning. In order to demonstrate this experiment on maze learning was conducted
using rats that were divided into three groups.
·  Group- 1
For 17 days the rats were allowed wandering around the maze once a day without being rewarded; making
many errors they took longer in reaching the end.
·  Group- 2
Always given food at reaching the end; learned to run faster to the end and food box; made fewer errors.
·  Group- 3
For the first 10 days treated like group-1, and then given food; running time reduced. Errors declined;
performance immediately matched that of group-1.
Conclusion: Cognitive Map
·The rats who were not rewarded had learnt the layout of the maze in their initial explorations, but
demonstrated their ability/skill only after reinforcement was provided; immediately after they stared getting
food they were almost as good as group-1.
·They had developed a cognitive map of the maze that was readily available in their mind, that was used
only when reinforcement was received.
Cognitive Map
·It is a mental representation of space, locations, and directions; a mental representation of learned
relationships among stimuli.
What function do spatial cognitive maps perform???
In case of humans and animals:
·Spatial memory is used for identifying and recognizing the features of their environment e.g. cats find their
way back home.
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
·Spatial memory is used for finding important goal objects in their environment.
·Spatial memory is used for planning route through an environment.
Use of Cognitive Maps by Animals
·Birds coming back to the same place and point after a season
·Pigeons carrying messages
·Cats coming back home even after a number of days have passed
Use of cognitive maps by humans
·Cognitive maps of surroundings, primarily based on particular landmarks are developed by people too.
·In their initial encounter with a new environment, they develop cognitive maps based upon specific paths.
·As the familiarity with the environment increase, "abstract cognitive maps" are developed i.e., overall
conception of environment is developed.
·Used by interior designers for planning space and arrangements in the absence of any actual objects.
Observational Learning
Ask Yourself
·Will people be behaving the same way as they do now, if they had never seen another human being?
·How do toddlers learn to wear shoes?
·Why do small girls like to wear lipsticks?
·How does one reach for the ignition in a car when trying to drive the very first time on his own?
·How do many youngsters start smoking?
·Why do people dress up and talk like famous actors?
Defining observational Learning
Imitation is an advanced animal behavior whereby an individual observes another's behavior and replicates
·Observational learning refers to learning through observation of others' behavior; or as a result of
·According to Albert Bandura and colleagues, a major portion of our learning is based upon learning by
·It is the main component of social-learning theory in which a person makes changes in his own behavior
by watching/or imitating others i.e., a model/ a super star/favorite personality or a cartoon character.
·Effective in acquiring skills, attitudes, and beliefs simply by watching other
Observational learning may lead to learning negative as well as positive behaviors!!!!
·  Bandura (1965) and others have demonstrated that we learn from observing models but we don't
necessarily copy them. In an early study, children watched a film of an adult hitting and kicking a
large punching bag type of doll. Some of the children saw the adult rewarded for the aggressiveness,
others saw the adult punished, and still others saw no rewards or punishment afterwards.
When placed in a similar situation as the adult with the doll, the children were more
aggressive themselves if they had seen an adult rewarded for being aggressive. If they had
seen the adult punished, they were less aggressive, even though they could imitate the
adult perfectly. They had learned behavior by observing and learned to monitor and
control their behavior considering if it might lead to rewards or punishment. All parents
observe this phenomenon in their growing children.
Modeling has also been used as a form of psychological intervention or treatment. Children with a fear of
dogs (Bandura, Grusec, and Menlove, 1967) or snakes (Bandura, Blanchard, and Ritter, 1969) were shown a
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
model that was not afraid and approached and handled the animal. The children learned to be less afraid.
Although observing an effective model in a film is helpful, seeing a live model works better. Even more
effective is watching a live model first and then participating by approaching and safely handling the feared
Steps in Observational Learning
·The most critical features of another person's (model's) behavior are paid attention to and perceived.
·The behavior is remembered; stored in memory.
·The action is reproduced.
·The person is motivated to learn and practice the behavior; successes are reinforced and failures punished.
When is observational learning the best approach to learning???
·In learning those skills where shaping is not appropriate, trial and error impossible and classical
conditioning irrelevant, for example:
oFlying airplanes as a pilot
oPerforming surgery
Who is a good model???
·The one who is rewarded for his behavior
·Those punished for their behavior will not usually be copied.
·Socially significant models (e.g. actors or super models used in advertisements)
·Successful people
·Glamorous people
·Good communicators
Applications of Observational Learning in Real Life Situations
Observational learning can be, and has been, used successfully for:
·Overcoming fears in children
·Assertiveness training
·Treating fear of medical treatment and surgery
·Learning sports and athletics
·Learning new skills, like swimming
·Classroom situation: good performers and high achievers are rewarded so that they act as models for other
The following behaviors are also learned through observation of others performing the same act:
·  Learning gender roles
·  Adopting new fashions
·  Starting smoking
·  Drug abuse
·  Drinking alcohol
·  Violence and aggression learnt and displayed by children
Introduction to Psychology ­PSY101
Comparison of Different Learning Approaches
Social and
Thorndike, Pavlov,
Koffka, Kohler,
Bandura, Lave and
Maslow, Rogers
Watson, Guthrie,
Lewin, Piaget,
Wenger, Salomon
Hull, Tolman,
Ausubel, Bruner,
View of the
Change in
Internal mental
A personal act to
learning process
process (including
fulfil potential.
/observation in
insight, information
social contexts.
Movement from
the periphery to the
centre of a
community of
Locus of learning
Stimuli in external
Internal cognitive
Affective and
Learning is in
cognitive needs
between people
and environment.
Purpose in
Develop capacity
Become self-
Full participation in
behavioural change
and skills to learn
communities of
in desired direction
practice and
utilization of
Educator's role
Structures content
Works to establish
environment to
of learning activity
development of the communities of
elicit desired
whole person
practice in which
conversation and
participation can
Manifestations in
adult learning
Social participation
Competency -based
learning and
Skill development
memory as
and training
function of age
Learning how to
Table of Contents:
  1. WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGY?:Theoretical perspectives of psychology
  3. SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT:Biological Approach, Psychodynamic Approach
  4. PERSPECTIVE/MODEL/APPROACH:Narcosis, Chemotherapy
  5. THE PSYCHODYNAMIC APPROACH/ MODEL:Psychic Determinism, Preconscious
  6. BEHAVIORAL APPROACH:Behaviorist Analysis, Basic Terminology, Basic Terminology
  8. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (I):Scientific Nature of Psychology
  9. RESEARCH METHODS IN PSYCHOLOGY (II):Experimental Research
  11. COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT:Socio- Cultural Factor, The Individual and the Group
  12. NERVOUS SYSTEM (1):Biological Bases of Behavior, Terminal Buttons
  13. NERVOUS SYSTEM (2):Membranes of the Brain, Association Areas, Spinal Cord
  14. ENDOCRINE SYSTEM:Pineal Gland, Pituitary Gland, Dwarfism
  15. SENSATION:The Human Eye, Cornea, Sclera, Pupil, Iris, Lens
  16. HEARING (AUDITION) AND BALANCE:The Outer Ear, Auditory Canal
  17. PERCEPTION I:Max Wertheimer, Figure and Ground, Law of Closure
  18. PERCEPTION II:Depth Perception, Relative Height, Linear Perspective
  19. ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS:Electroencephalogram, Hypnosis
  20. LEARNING:Motor Learning, Problem Solving, Basic Terminology, Conditioning
  21. OPERANT CONDITIONING:Negative Rein forcer, Punishment, No reinforcement
  22. COGNITIVE APPROACH:Approach to Learning, Observational Learning
  23. MEMORY I:Functions of Memory, Encoding and Recoding, Retrieval
  24. MEMORY II:Long-Term Memory, Declarative Memory, Procedural Memory
  25. MEMORY III:Memory Disorders/Dysfunctions, Amnesia, Dementia
  26. SECONDARY/ LEARNT/ PSYCHOLOGICAL MOTIVES:Curiosity, Need for affiliation
  27. EMOTIONS I:Defining Emotions, Behavioral component, Cognitive component
  28. EMOTIONS II:Respiratory Changes, Pupillometrics, Glandular Responses
  29. COGNITION AND THINKING:Cognitive Psychology, Mental Images, Concepts
  31. PERSONALITY I:Definition of Personality, Theories of Personality
  32. PERSONALITY II:Surface traits, Source Traits, For learning theorists, Albert Bandura
  33. PERSONALITY III:Assessment of Personality, Interview, Behavioral Assessment
  34. INTELLIGENCE:The History of Measurement of Intelligence, Later Revisions
  35. PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:Plato, Aristotle, Asclepiades, In The Middle Ages
  36. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR I:Medical Perspective, Psychodynamic Perspective
  37. ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR II:Hypochondriasis, Conversion Disorders, Causes include
  38. PSYCHOTHERAPY I:Psychotherapeutic Orientations, Clinical Psychologists
  39. PSYCHOTHERAPY II:Behavior Modification, Shaping, Humanistic Therapies
  40. POPULAR AREAS OF PSYCHOLOGY:ABC MODEL, Factors affecting attitude change
  41. HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY:Understanding Health, Observational Learning
  42. INDUSTRIAL/ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY:‘Hard’ Criteria and ‘Soft’ Criteria
  43. CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY:Focus of Interest, Consumer Psychologist
  44. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Some Research Findings, Arousal level
  45. FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY:Origin and History of Forensic Psychology