Language Acquisition: Skinner vs. Chomsky

In this video I introduce language acquisition as a type of learning that isn’t explained well by the behaviorist principles we saw in the unit on learning theory. In the next few videos we’ll be looking at linguistics and language acquisition in more detail and then considering how language relates to thought. We begin with Noam Chomsky’s review of B.F. …

Memory Improvement Techniques Part 1

In this video I discuss several memory concepts which can be applied to improve recall and enhance the effectiveness of your studying. These include organizing material and creating a structure, using distributed review rather than massed practice, taking advantage of the serial position effect, testing yourself rather than simply reviewing or rereading, and overlearning material you feel you already know. …

Long-Term Potentiation (LTP)

In this video I explain the concept of long-term potentiation, which refers to the strengthening of neural connections due to repeated synchronous firing. Repeated firing leads to changes in chemical signaling between the two neurons, influencing neurotransmitter and receptor activity. Next I introduce an example of this with the possible role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (for the neurotransmitter glutamate) in …

Abstract Learning & Insight Learning

In this video I describe abstract learning and insight learning as types of learning that both require internal cognitive processing. Abstract learning demonstrates how mental concepts and categories relate to stimulus generalization while insight learning demonstrates the use of mental representations of the world rather than simple trial-and-error behavior learning and reinforcement. These types of learning, in addition to latent …

Latent Learning & Cognitive Maps

In this video I explain the concept of latent learning using two studies conducted by Edward Tolman and colleagues. Latent learning refers to learning that occurs without reinforcement and isn’t demonstrated until an opportunity arises. I also describe the idea of a cognitive map and how it supports the existence of internal mental representations. Don’t forget to subscribe to the …

Observational Learning: Bandura’s Bobo Doll Study

In this video I explain Albert Bandura’s famous “Bobo Doll” study on observational learning and aggressive behavior. In this study, adults modeled aggressive playing behaviors with a Bobo doll which were then performed by children who had simply observed the behaviors, revealing how observation can influence behavior. In later versions of the study, Bandura also demonstrated that the children’s behavior …

The Rescorla-Wagner Model

In this video I explain the basic idea behind the Rescorla-Wagner model or contingency model of classical conditioning proposed by Robert Rescorla and Allan Wagner. This model suggests that the reason Pavlov’s dogs associated the bell (rather than some other stimulus) with food was that it was salient and served as a reliable predictor of food. Don’t forget to subscribe …

The Premack Principle

In this video I describe the Premack Principle which refers to the idea that behaviors can be high or low probability which in turn means that high probability behaviors can serve as reinforcement for low probability behaviors. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d like to see covered in a future …

Chaining, Shaping, & Instinctive Drift

In this video I describe the how conditioning to be used to train more complex behaviors. This can be accomplished with chaining, which involves linking together previously conditioned behaviors, and shaping, which involves reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behavior. Next I provide examples of behaviors which cannot be conditioned due to biological constraints on learning described by Keller and …

Operant Boxes & Schedules of Reinforcement

In this video I describe the operant boxes used by Skinner (often called “Skinner boxes”) to study the relationship between different schedules of reinforcement and behavior. Then I describe 4 possible schedules of reinforcement including fixed-ratio, variable-ratio, fixed-interval, and variable-interval, as well as how random rewards created “superstitious” behaviors in pigeons. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see …