PSYCH101: Introduction to Psychology
Unit 4: Learning and Memory
Psychologists are concerned with how people learn and create memories of their experiences. For example, early psychologists such as Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner performed experiments that explained human action by measuring changes in behavior. These experiments informed our understanding of the process of learning and marked the beginning of the field of behaviorism. In this chapter, we will draw from behaviorism, cognitive psychology, and neuropsychology to learn the basic principles of learning and memory.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- discuss research conducted by notable scholars such as John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner, and Ivan Pavlov;
- describe major learning theories, including operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and observational learning;
- understand real-world applications of learning theories, including reinforcement and reinforcement schedules, punishment, and shaping;
- understand how memory functions, memory processes, and the parts of the brain involved in memory processing;
- differentiate among the various types of memory, including semantic, episodic, sensory, short-term, long-term, declarative (explicit), procedural, and implicit; and
- explain how the various types of memory work together, the causes of memory problems, and methods to improve memory.
Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 6, which covers important topics related to learning in psychology. After you read, you should understand the concepts associated with different theories of learning, including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and modeling.
Watch this lecture to learn more about the various theories of learning.
Read this article on conditioning and how it relates to learning.
Watch this video on classical conditioning, which is important as both a behavioral phenomenon and as a method to study simple associative learning.
Read the Introduction and four sections of Chapter 8, which discusses memory. Afterwards, think about memory in relation to the concept of thinking, and be sure you can explain the sensing process, memory, and the medium.
Watch this video to learn about human information processing.
Watch this lecture on memory.
Read this article and think about the following questions: What do you encode? How do you get information into memory? How do you distinguish between visual encoding, acoustic encoding and semantic encoding? Why is encoding such an important step? What happens if you encode incorrectly?
Watch this lecture on amnesia and memory problems.
Read this article and focus specifically on misinformation. Why do you think young adults are often susceptible to misinformation, but children and older adults tend to be more susceptible, even without an intention to deceive?
Read this selection to learn about forgetting and amnesia that can occur as a result of brain injuries.
Take this assessment to check your understanding of the materials presented in this unit.
- There is no minimum required score to pass this assessment, and your score on this assessment will not factor into your overall course grade.
- This assessment is designed to prepare you for the Final Exam that will determine your course grade. Upon submission of your assessment you will be provided with the correct answers and/or other feedback meant to help in your understanding of the topics being assessed.
- You may attempt this assessment as many times as needed, whenever you would like.