Definition of Learning
You begin your study of learning by considering the definition. Your textbook defines learning and names some of what occurs in the learning process. However, you
are asked here to consider not only the textbook’s definition and explanation of learning but your own experiences in learning during your lifetime in order to create
a personally meaningful definition of your own.
To prepare for this assignment:
• Review the assigned pages in Chapter 1 of the course text, Learning and Behavior. Pay particular attention to the section called, “Learning: Evolved
• Think about some things that you have learned in your lifetime- the skills and knowledge that stand out for you. Reflect on what happened for you, that is,
what you did or what occurred that helped you to learn in these instances.
• Consider how you would define learning in a way that reflects what happens and is meaningful to you.
The assignment (1 page)
Write your personal definition of learning and then explain what it means.
Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference lis only for those
resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.
Application: Part II: Response Acquisition
In this course, you examine several different theories of learning. The first two theories, classical conditioning and operant conditioning, fall under the
umbrella of behavioral theories of learning. This week, you consider the first behavioral theory, classical conditioning, also referred to in your text as Pavlovian
conditioning. The assigned pages in Chapter 3 introduce the basic terms in classical conditioning: conditioned stimulus, unconditioned stimulus, conditioned response,
and unconditioned response.
In order to understand how behavioral theories of learning actually operate, beginning this Week and continuing in Weeks 2 and 3, you will develop a plan for an
experiment on the acquisition of behavior in rats. Each week, you will provide details of your plan related to the week’s topics. For this Week’s Application, you will
focus on the initial learning stage in classical conditioning, acquisition. It is in the acquisition stage that the conditioned response comes to be elicited by the
To prepare for this assignment:
• Review the assigned pages in Chapter 3 of the course text, Learning and Behavior, focusing on conditioned and unconditioned stimuli and responses.
• Review the assigned pages of Psychology, Core Concepts, paying close attention to the essentials of classical conditioning and the acquisition of a behavior.
Imagine that you are going to be conducting a classical conditioning experiment in your own laboratory on the acquisition of behavior in rats. Think of what types
of behaviors are simulated in classical conditioning as you prepare to design your experiment. Once you have determined the behavior you want to elicit in the rat,
begin developing a plan for the steps you will take to acquire that response. Be sure to consider and include what the US, CS, UR, and CR will be and how they will
contribute to your rat acquiring the target behavior. Use this week’s readings to support your steps in acquiring the target behavior in your rat experiment.
The assignment (1 page):
Write a description of your proposed classical conditioning experiment that includes the following:
• A description of the behavior you want to elicit in your rat
• A description of the steps you will take to acquire that response
• An identification of the US, CS, UR, and CR and how these contribute to your rat acquiring the target behavior
• An explanation of basic response acquisition as it relates to your proposed experiment
• Support your Application Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for
those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.
Please read and view (where applicable) the following Learning Resources before you complete this week’s assignments.
• Review Course Preview and read Course Introduction
• Course Text: Chance, P. (2014). Learning and behavior (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
o Chapter 1, “Introduction: Learning to Change” (only pp. 21–30 )
o Chapter 2, “The Study of Learning and Behavior” (only pp. 35-42 and 50-53)
o Chapter 3, “Pavlovian Conditioning” (only pp. 59– 62 and 66-75)
• Book Excerpt: Zimbardo, P. G., Johnson, R. L., & Weber, A. L. (2005). Learning. In Psychology: Core concepts (pp. 224–269). Boston: Pearson. Retrieved from
http://www.ablongman.com/samplechapter/0205424287.pdf (Read pp. 228-231 only)
• Article: Capaldi, E. (2000). Animal learning and behavior: Methods of study. In A. E. Kazdin (Ed.) , Encyclopedia of psychology, Vol. 1 (pp. 182-186).
Washington, DC New York, NY USUS: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
APA style format, No Plagiarism, must be done according to professor’s guideline and resources with references provided.
Submit your assignments (Parts I and II).