Personal Application Questions
39. Think about a time when you failed to notice something around you because your attention was focused elsewhere. If someone pointed it out, were you surprised that you hadn’t noticed it right away?
40. If you grew up with a family pet, then you have surely noticed that they often seem to hear things that you don’t hear. Now that you’ve read this section, you probably have some insight as to why this may be. How would you explain this to a friend who never had the opportunity to take a class like this?
41. Take a look at a few of your photos or personal works of art. Can you find examples of linear perspective as a potential depth cue?
42. If you had to choose to lose either your vision or your hearing, which would you choose and why?
43. As mentioned earlier, a food’s flavor represents an interaction of both gustatory and olfactory information. Think about the last time you were seriously congested due to a cold or the flu. What changes did you notice in the flavors of the foods that you ate during this time?
44. Have you ever listened to a song on the radio and sung along only to find out later that you have been singing the wrong lyrics? Once you found the correct lyrics, did your perception of the song change?
190 Chapter 5 | Sensation and Perception
This OpenStax book is available for free at http://cnx.org/content/col31502/1.4
Figure 6.1 Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings are born knowing how to find the ocean and how to swim. Unlike the sea turtle, humans must learn how to swim (and surf). (credit “turtle”: modification of work by Becky Skiba, USFWS; credit “surfer”: modification of work by Mike Baird)
6.1 What Is Learning?
6.2 Classical Conditioning
6.3 Operant Conditioning
6.4 Observational Learning (Modeling)
The summer sun shines brightly on a deserted stretch of beach. Suddenly, a tiny grey head emerges from the sand, then another and another. Soon the beach is teeming with loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings (Figure 6.1). Although only minutes old, the hatchlings know exactly what to do. Their flippers are not very efficient for moving across the hot sand, yet they continue onward, instinctively. Some are quickly snapped up by gulls circling overhead and others become lunch for hungry ghost crabs that dart out of their holes. Despite these dangers, the hatchlings are driven to leave the safety of their nest and find the ocean.
Not far down this same beach, Ben and his son, Julian, paddle out into the ocean on surfboards. A wave approaches. Julian crouches on his board, then jumps up and rides the wave for a few seconds before losing his balance. He emerges from the water in time to watch his father ride the face of the wave.
Unlike baby sea turtles, which know how to find the ocean and swim with no help from their parents, we are not born knowing how to swim (or surf). Yet we humans pride ourselves on our ability to learn. In fact, over thousands of years and across cultures, we have created institutions devoted entirely to learning. But have you ever asked yourself how exactly it is that we learn? What processes are at work as we come to know what we know? This chapter focuses on the primary ways in which learning occurs.
Chapter 6 | Learning 191
6.1 What Is Learning?
By the end of this section, you will be able to: • Explain how learned behaviors are different from instincts and reflexes • Define learning • Recognize and define three basic forms of learning—classical conditioning, operant
conditioning, and observational learning