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Chapter 5: Learning and Memory
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- 5.1: Conditioning and Learning
- Basic principles of learning are always operating and always influencing human behavior. This module discusses the two most fundamental forms of learning -- classical (Pavlovian) and instrumental (operant) conditioning. This module describes some of the most important things you need to know about classical and instrumental conditioning, and it illustrates some of the many ways they help us understand normal and disordered behavior in humans.
- 5.2: Factors Influencing Learning
- Learning is a complex process that defies easy definition and description. This module reviews some of the philosophical issues involved with defining learning and describes in some detail the characteristics of learners and of encoding activities that seem to affect how well people can acquire new memories, knowledge, or skills. At the end, we consider a few basic principles that guide whether a particular attempt at learning will be successful or not.
- 5.3: Memory (Encoding, Storage, Retrieval)
- “Memory” is a single term that reflects a number of different abilities: holding information briefly while working with it (working memory), remembering episodes of one’s life (episodic memory), and our general knowledge of facts of the world (semantic memory), among other types. Remembering episodes involves three processes: encoding information (learning it, by perceiving it and relating it to past knowledge), storing it (maintaining it over time), and then retrieving it (accessing the informa
- 5.4: Forgetting and Amnesia
- This module explores the causes of everyday forgetting and considers pathological forgetting in the context of amnesia. Forgetting is viewed as an adaptive process that allows us to be efficient in terms of the information we retain.