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Learning And Behavior

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  • Author(s)Bouton, Mark E.
  • Edition2
  • Published4th December 2017
  • PublisherOxford University Press USA
  • ISBN
  • University course code
Research on fundamental learning processes continues to tell an important and interesting story. In the second edition of Learning and Behavior: A Contemporary Synthesis, Mark Bouton recounts that story, providing an in-depth but highly readable review of modern learning and behaviour theory that is informed by the history of the field. The text reflects the author's conviction that the study of animal learning has a central place in psychology, and that understanding its principles and theories is important for students, psychologists, and scientists in related disciplines (e.g., behavioural neuroscience and clinical psychology).Almost all of the chapters are organised to illustrate how knowledge is accumulated through the systematic development of theory and research. The book opens with a brief history that connects the modern issues with their philosophical and biological roots. Chapter 2 addresses the idea that basic learning processes are designed to help an organism adapt to a changing world; in the process, it introduces the reader to a wide range of interesting examples of learning. After analysing some fundamental phenomena in Pavlovian learning, the book then provides a very clear and readable review of modern conditioning theories since the Rescorla-Wagner model, discusses memory retrieval and behaviour-system processes that govern performance, and addresses the question of whether the laws of learning and behaviour uncovered in the laboratory maze and Skinner box have generality-by studying learning in honey bees and categorisation and causal judgements and proposition learning in humans. Instrumental learning is then discussed from various perspectives in chapters on behaviour and its consequences (research in behaviour analysis and behavioural economics), how stimuli guide instrumental action (a survey of the field of animal cognition), and how motivation influences instrumental action. The final chapter reviews and integrates the major themes of the book, describing avoidance learning, learned helplessness, and related examples of learning before reviewing the modern cognitive and synthetic perspective on instrumental action.Lively and current, Learning and Behavior: A Contemporary Synthesis, Second Edition, engages students while illustrating the interconnectedness of topics within the field and the excitement of modern research.New to This Edition:Over fifty new chapter-end Discussion Questions engage the student in reviewing and integrating the chapter materialIn addition to new figures, all of the art has been digitally enhanced and updated to full colourNew and expanded coverage of topics such as metacognition in animals, behavioural economics, hybrid attention theory, consolidation and reconsolidation, the motivational control of instrumental behaviour, and action and habit learningMore illustrative studies that focus on human participantsAll material has been thoroughly updated, with 279 new references cited
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