Psych Exam 2
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Identify the 3 basic hardware components that allow animals to respond to their environments and explain what they are
- 1. Sensation
- 2. Reflex
- 3. Habituation
What is sensation?
ability to discriminate stimuli, sense changes in the environment
What is a reflex?
hard-wired stimulus-response circuits, things our bodes do in response to stimuli that we don't have to learn to do
Learn associations (and example)
make simple predictions
ex: rat associate sound of bell with cat coming
Learn sloppily (and example)
generalization- ability to take what you learn and apply it to broader situations
ex: rat associated sound of bell to other cats as well
Generalization gone too far (and example)
ex: little albert- scared of all furry things after the incident
Learn sparingly (and example)
blocking, only learning one pattern of relationships
ex: rat salivated in response to pair of light and music, but not to music alone because he already formed association with light and cheese
Learn slowly (and example)
latent inhibition, learn somewhat cautiously because what we see once won't always happen again
ex: light flashes for really long time, no cheese, the light flashes right before cheese but rat doesn't salivate b/c ability to associate is inhibited
Unlearn slowly (and example)
extinction, decay of response to stimulus
ex: eventually stops associating light with cheese, but takes 5-6 trials to do so -- once learned, we are slow at giving something up
Relearn quickly (and example)
ex: after 20 min rest, condition will reappear on 7th trial
unlearned, things that elicit reflexes
ex: cheese (makes rat salivate)
stimulus that elicits response following learning
ex: light (makes rat salivate)
ex: salivating (in response to cheese)
response that occurs after association is made through learning, same as unconditioned response
ex: salivating (in response to light flashing)
organism learns to associate two events, occurs whenever neutral stimuli are associated with a significant event
occurs when a behavior is associated with the occurrence of a significant event
operates on the environment, usually the behavior
ex: rat pressing lever
strengthens the response
ex: food pellets that are produced by pressing lever
Main difference between classical and operant conditioning?
Classical deals with a stimulus while operant deals with a behavior
Examples of operant conditioning (two)
1. BF Skinner's Box- rat learns to press a lever in the box when lever-pressing produces pellets
2. Skinner's dancing pigeon
Why is operant conditioning important?
provides a method for studying how consequences influence voluntary behavior
The law of effect
if the response to a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event, the association is strengthened
if the response to a stimulus is followed by an annoying event, the association is weakened
rewarded every time something happens
Fixed Ratio reinforcement
not rewarded every time, but rewarded every certain amount
ex: every 5 times
Fixed Interval reinforcement
doesn't depend on actions, relies on time passing
ex: pension- nothing can make check come faster, will come every month at the same time
Variable Ratio reinforcement
still rewarded on average every few times but not an exact amount every time
ex: gambling machines, not rewarded every 5 times, but 5 times on average
Variable Interval reinforcement
giving away a few times a day but don't know exactly when during the day
ex: radio show giveaways
What is meant by radical behaviorism
means that all behavior is a result of its reinforcement history
anybody can be anything- if people are products of their environments, the environment is what limits them, not genetics or status
Blank Slate Hypothesis
children are like empty blackboards, that anything can be written on them
Examples of phenomena not explained by behaviorism
Babies are born knowing things they couldn't have possible learned
ex: staring longer at faces that are more visually pleasing
ex: being scared of spiders (biological preparedness hypothesis)
What are the three types of memory?
- 1. Sensory- short term memory, aids in sensory processing
- 2. Working- things we are actively working on in our minds right now
- 3. Long Term- stored in brain permanently
What are the two types of sensory memory?
- 1. Iconic (visual)- lets you keep some visual representation of one side of a room long enough to form impression of the whole scene
- 2. Echoic (auditory)- lets you keep last few seconds of auditory input in order to make sense of a long sentence
What are the two types of long term memory?
What are the two types of implicit memory?
- 1. Semantic- basic knowledge of world, including words and their meanings
- 2. Episodic- ability to remember episodes of your life, such as past events
What are the two types of explicit memory?
- 1. Priming- once part of a distributed representation is already activated, it is easier to activate memories that overlap with that distributed representation
- 2. Procedural- where our motor programs are stored, guides the processes we perform
The purpose of iconic/echoic memory
Lets us hold impressions/echoes long enough to make meaning
Distributed representation (+ example)
all of our memories form unique patterns of neurons that fire but overlap with other memories
Lexical Decision Task
faster/easier response if recently fired neurons are accessed again
ex: people respond faster to scalpel if it comes after doctor compared to professor
How does distributed representation work in encoding and retrieval for episodic memory?
- encoding- making new distributed patterns of representations
What are retrieval cues & how do they work?
Little piece of a memory that helps you remember the rest of the memory
The 3 consequences of distributed representations?
- 1. Levels of processing
- 2. Encoding specificity
- 3. Context dependence
Levels of Processing (+ example)
deep vs shallow processing
ex: memory assignment in recitation, easier to remember words for people who analyzed them deeply vs people who rhymed them with other words
memory is better when retrieval cue overlaps with those available during encoding
ex: task #1- rhyme, task #2- associate, if retrieval occurs through task 1, memory will be better for items encoded through that task
- aspects of environment we have learned in allow
- us to better retrieve the information
Function of the hippocampus
serves as a convergence zone for the formation of new explicit memories
Patient HM - what happened & why is it so important to research
He underwent surgery to have his hippocampus removed because of his seizures, because of this he was never able to form new memories but could remember everything up until his surgery
Deficits and abilities of patient HM
deficits- terrible at recalling/recognizing new words
abilities- good at remembering names of people that were famous before his surgery, intact procedural memory even though he couldn't remember where/why he learned those motor skills,
How does the case of Patient HM provide evidence for the distinction between implicit and explicit memory?
he had no problem in retrieval, only had problems with encoding events into his memory
couldn't access new semantic/episodic memory but was his procedural memory was still intact
Patient S- his condition
a journalist who remembered everything word for word
could remember everything but couldn't control flood of memories into his mind -- led to lack of inner peace so he shut himself in
What did the case of Patient S illustrate?
shows us that the ability to forget irrelevant things is actually very helpful
What are the 7 sins of memory?
- 1. Absent-mindedness
- 2. Transience
- 3. Blocking
- 4. Bias
- 5. Misattribution
- 6. Suggestibility
- 7. Persistance
Of the 7 sins of memory, which are the sins of omission?
- 1. absent-mindedness
- 2. transcience
- 3. blocking
Of the 7 sins of memory, which are the sins of distortion?
distortion= fasle representation
- 1. bias
- 2. misattribution
- 3. suggestibility
failure of attention, information never gets past the sensory memory stage
paid attention to the thing but got distracted before rehearsing/elaborating on it, led to forgetting it
in long-term memory, but unable to retrieve memory when it is needed, basically access to info is blocked
"tip of the tongue" phenomenon
prevents us from getting flooded with memories like Patient S did
info is stored or retrieved imperfectly, pre-frontal cortex may fill in information that wasn't there or distort info based on our goals/desires
when the source of real memories are misattributed in a way that makes them seem false
remembering things that never happened at all
suggestions/questions people ask can influence retrieval process or lead us to imagine things that happening to us when they never did
ex: getting lost in mall, riding a hot air balloon
failure of blocking, can't get something out of your head
Difference between errors of omission and errors of commission?
omission- mind does do what it needs to do in order to remember something
commission- mind actively does something to remember incorrectly
What is meant by the term prospecting?
the ability to thing about far-future events
Expected value = ???
Odds of gain x Value of gain
if EC of doing something is lower than EC of not doing, it would not be rational to do that thing
What are the 5 possible errors of odds?
- 1. Sample size neglect
- 2. Gambler's fallacy
- 3. Conjunction fallacy
- 4. Availability bias
- 5. Planning Fallacy
Sample Size Neglect
the larger the sample size, the less likely it is to show deviations
ex: percent of baby boys in one hospital vs another, will be closer to 50% in the hospital with larger sample
belief that likelihood of a chance is influence by the nature of the events preceding it
ex: gambling machines, people think that since the last 10 tries didn't work, the next one will be it
probability of one thing happening is always greater than two things happening together
people usually think two things happening together is more likely
things that are easier to come to mind, we assume they happen more often
ex: plane crashes don't happen more often but we think so because when they happen, they are all over the news
we are bad at predicting how long something will take, usually underestimate the amount of time needed to complete a project
What are the 4 possible errors of valuation?
- 1. Presentism
- 2. Comparing to the past
- 3. Prospect Theory
- 4. Temporal Discounting
using current/present state to predict how much you will value something in the future
ex: going grocery shopping while hungry will lead you to end up buying everything because you think you will want all those things later too
Comparing to the Past
people tend to compare to the past too much when making judgements about the future, even though in the future you might care about someone else
explains how we determine value while accounting for biases
forfeiting future benefits for a benefit that can be received right now
Prospect theory- steeper for losses than for gains
small change in objective value feels like huge change in subjective value
Prospect theory- Asymptotes of the curve
curve flattens out as we go into bigger values
how much people think something is worth depends on whether they own it or not and if they are in the position of selling it or not
What are the 5 stages of sleep?
- 1- half awake/half asleep, debatable whether actually asleep or not
- 2- light sleep, irregularity in brain waves
- 3/4- deep sleep
- REM- where dreaming occurs, go into & out of this stage all night
Properties of Dolphin Sleep
one of the few mammals that don't have REM sleep, because REM sleep paralyzes body which is dangerous for dolphins because they need to come up for air every so often
the two hemisphere of their brains take turns sleeping and they basically swim in circles during that time
The role of thalamus in nonREM/REM sleep
known as a relay station for sensory information, transmits that info to other regions in the brain
takes whats coming in & decides who needs it
during non-REM sleep, it acts like a gate be keeping sensory info from going further into the brain by raising the threshold needed to pass along info to the brain
The role of Pons in REM sleep
helps keep regular time
every 90 min it sends signals to the thalamus, telling it to send random signals to various areas of the brain
signal from pons helps block motor activity coming from the brain, basically paralyzing the rest of our bodies
Loss of REM-Related Atonia
acting out dreams
ex: cat acting out its dreams while it is asleep
going from awake directly into REM sleep, no sign of going into deep sleep
Evidence that sleep enhances procedural memory
people are better at motor tasks after sleeping
ex: people asked to do motor task with non-dominant hand, the group that trained at night, slept, and was tested in the morning did better than the group that trained morning & night but did not sleep & was tested
Evidence that sleep enhances episodic memory
people were very bad at learning new list of words when sleep-deprived, even if they were allows to sleep after learning they will still not remember the words as well
Evidence that sleep enhances insight
people were more likely to figure out complicated pattern in a logic problem after they had slept
Consequences of sleep deprivation
Slower brain processing & response time
rapid decrease of weight, increase of food intake, appearance of hallucinations, difficulty concentrating
Freud's theory of dreams
Dreams are the guardians of sleep
Dreaming is very important because it helps work out the conflicts in our minds, we need that balance between conscious & unconscious mind
Hobson's Activation-Synthesis model of dreams
thalamus turns on different activations in the brain and since very weak signals are sent to the frontal cortex, we are usually unable to make sense of our dreams
What are the features of dreams according to Hobson?
- visual hallucinations
- motor behavior
- emotional content
- reduction in logical reasoning
- poor memory
- loss of directed thought/self-reflection
The Parsing Problem & its solution
hard for us to distinguish the spaces between different words in an unfamiliar language
by unconsciously tracking the statistical properties of that language
The Reference Problem
How do you figure out which thing a word refers to?
What are the four ways the reference problem can be solved?
- 1. Social Referencing- paying attention to what the speaker is paying attention to
- 2. Novelty Matching- since we assume that each thing only refers to one word, a new word is assumed to go with the unknown thing in the group of known things
- 3. Intentionality- paying attention to whether an action is done on purpose vs. by accident can help u decide if the verb refers to that action or not
- 4. Category Assumption- preference for assuming that words refer to the basic level of categories
2 ways that human language is unique from the communication systems of other animals?
there is no limit to what we can express or the variety of what we can express
we can use the words we already know/have to describe a new idea
Function of cooing
vowel sound practice
Function of babbling
warm up for consonants
Why is syntax a critical property of language?
lets us use the words we have to convey new ideas
word order is very important, can combine words in different ways to convey different ideas
Evidence that grammar and meaning are separable in the brain
Each is controlled by different areas of the brain
meaning depends on language you speak, and we don't have to learn grammar because we have a natural predisposition for it
problem with syntax, not meaning
Patient has an idea to convey but unable to string words together in order to convey that idea
trouble with meaning, not syntax
can string words together, but they just don't make any sense
Which area of the brain supports grammar/syntax?
Which area of the brain supports meaning?
Three proposals to how children learn syntax & why they are wrong
- 1. Instruction- kids still end up saying what they want even if they are taught something several times
- 2. Imitation- make a lot of errors, try to use grammar in their own way
- 3. Reinforcement- parents tend to correct children on the content of their speech, not the grammar
Evidence supporting the idea that there is a sensitive period for acquiring syntax
The Case of Genie
neglected by parents & left in basement, never talked to, even after she was rescued, she never learned how to string words together
Example of an implicature
"I was wondering if you would be able to drive me to the airport tomorrow morning.."
asked if he/she was able to do so, not willing but he/she assumes that this is a request for ride to airport
Two ways chimpanzee language is different from human language
1. Acquired much more slowly & laboriously whereas language in children booms day by day
2. Human children start combining words at a young age to form new idea, but chimps don't do that
What is a concept?
the mental representation we form of a category
Ex: category=trucks, we have a concept of trucks in our minds
Why are concepts important?
allow us to extend what we have learning about a limited number of objects to a potentially infinite set of entities while also allowing us to know what to do in new situations with new objects but familiar concepts
Ex: new classroom, but we know what to expect because we are familiar with concept of a classroom/school
What is meant by typicality?
among members that are clearly in a group, some seem to be better members than others
the most typical category member
Family Resemblance Theory
items are likely to be typical if they:
- 1. have the features that are frequent in that category
- 2. do not have features that are frequent in other categories
Basic level of organization
what comes to mind when shows an object/picture
not too small, nor too big, just right level
The physical stance
deals with chemistry/physics of situations, forces behind objects
describes purpose/function of that thing
Data on Social-Brain evolution
As group size expands, the number of social relationships we have to remember expands as well
Pain of social exclusion (specifically, what area of brain activates during physical pain & social exclusion?)
The anterior cingulate cortex is activated both times, suggesting that social exclusion can be felt as physical pain
How does distributed know-how show a positive consequence of living in groups?
We all benefit from each others knowledge, by living together in a structured social group we don't have to know how to do everything, can rely on knowledge of other people
What is meant by the ratchet of culture
Allows us to make use of the tools and technology made by people in the past, don't have to reinvent something if we want to use/learn it
Norm of fairness
People are willing to lose something just to punish other people in order to teach them a lesson
Ex: give $10 to one person, asked to split with another person, second person can accept or reject deal & if they reject it, both will get nothing
Culture of Honor
some norms make living in communities better but may create tension when people from outside communities come in
Ex: comparing southerners vs. northerners
conflict within our own group
Evidence that we have a specialized mechanism for "cheater detection"
Easier to detect cheaters when there is some sort of social meaning behind the rules
Ex: drinking underage example vs. Q/P rule
Asch Experiment- what kind of conformity does it show?
Going along with the crowd
participant agreed with confederates giving wrong answer even though he knew it was wrong
Milgram Experiment- what kind of conformity does it show?
Obedient to authority
almost 70% of the people actually administered the strongest fatal shock only because they were being told to do so by person in white lab coat
Stanford Prison Experiment- what kind of conformity does it show?
Conformity to expected roles
Students forgot they were part of an experiment and actually started taking their roles seriously as guards & prisoners
Diffusion of Responsibility (and example)
Case of Kitty Genovese- "I assumed somebody else would help"
sometimes when you're in a group, you feel that somebody else will take the responsibility for ending the problem
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