Research Project #1 Learning


Introduction to Psychology 1101


Angel Dominguez

How do babies learn?

Babies are one of the most fascinating creatures, the way they absorb information like sponges absorb water. They retain information a massive rate. Whether they perform the task as well as humans, is another story entirely. I was observing my nephew Joey the last time I was there, a couple months ago. I was throwing out the trash and he was asking why i would do that, to throw paper plates out. I could tell he thought I was doing something wrong. I told him that once you  finish eating, it becomes trash that needs to be thrown out. I had to explain this to him quite a few times until he finally started incorporating it into his to do lists. He finished eating a couple hours later, and he looked at me is he wanted me to remind him of something, so I told him to throw out his food and He asked me to accompany him to make sure he did it right. I opened the trash bin for him and he dumped it out, asking if he did it right once the food was disposed of. Every once in awhile, he won’t even ask me to go with him, he just walks up and I find him throwing away the food after he’s done.  It amazes me how awesome my nephew is, because there was a point where I got lazy after eating a lot of food, and he tells me that I have to throw away the food because it’s trash.

There was another observation I made which I believe is quite fascinating, I have a pet lizard who my nephew was scared of because it was so small. I tried to get him to put it on his hand for quite a while repeatedly telling him that he won’t hurt him and he was always scared of him. It’s crazy because, in my case at least, you don’t just get over your fears out of the blue.Last Monday, the 19th of September, I had it with me and he just walks up to me and asks if he can hold it. I say yes and he holds out his hands the way I’ve been showing him for the past few months before. It fascinate me, because I think he’s so scared of the lizard that he completely forgets what I taught him, here we are a few months later and he just does everything I’ve been showing him as if I just taught him yesterday. I tried something different the very next day, I visited him after my college class, the 20th of September. I showed him different pictures of lizards and I told him what specific type of lizards they were, I showed him bearded dragons, leopard geckos, the African fat tailed Gecko, and then I showed him a picture of my lizard, who just so happened to be a leopard gecko. He immediately said that it was my lizard and he a made  motion with his hands, as if he was recalling when he held the lizard the day before.

While the other two observations I made were based on experiments I made,this last one I tried was how babies try to lie to get out of things they don’t want to do. Every single time I sleep over at my brothers house, Joey needs to sleep at a certain time so that a pattern can be established. I was in the next room about to sleep, and Joey comes in saying that his gave him permission to sleep with me. In comes his father not long after, telling Joey that he needs to go to bed in his room. !0 minutes later, he wants milk, but while his father is preparing it for him, he sneaks off to hang out with me. He sent my brother to make milk for him, so that he could be distracted long enough to see me just a little bit more. It’s crazy how at such a young age, babies manipulate people so that they can get a desired outcome. He lied to me, saying that my brother gave him permission to sleep with me for the night, but it was a lie. He asked my brother to make him milk, only for him to sneak off and talk to me for a bit, only when my brother gave him the milk he said he wasn’t hungry. He was just trying to find any excuse to go off and talk to me more before he sleeps. Babies, learning at such a young age, that this item is hot, or that item is cold. They know they aren’t allowed to go to a certain section of the house by themselves because of the dangerous things inside it, such as kitchens and the knives inside them.  They manipulate to get what they want and they learn this as at a very young age. It amazes me how smart they can get and the information they retain when they haven’t even been enrolled in Pre-k.


Elu Saif

For everyone that knows me I’m an unofficial soccer analyst so when I am viewing a soccer match is not just a game for me. When everyone is watching to see their favorite team win I’m observing to see how the teams playing technically, tactically and strategically, so when is time to give an observation it will not be based on being biased it will be an open minded opinion with logic and reason. While I was watching the game I started to see a lot of flaws in both teams from the minute the whistle was blown from Trinidad and Tobago perspective there were a lot of miscommunication and tactical errors defensively that the Trinidadian team was making hence the reason Guatemala scored the first goal. On the other hand Guatemalans strikers were not technically good in front of goal because they did not capitalize on the errors that their opponents was making hence for all the miss opportunities the Trinidadians were able to scrape through and score to make both teams level before the first half ended. During the halftime both teams had their work cut out to come and give a better second half showing because it was a nail biting clash and who ever won was going through to the next round and the other team was being eliminated.
In the second half the Trinidadians came out fresh all hyped the team was much more composed the defenders were very tight at the back the coach made some adjustments and the communications was on point the way the team was possessing the ball because of that they were able to score and lead 2-1. Guatemalans on the other hand was baffle on the field the chemistry that the Trinidadian team was playing with because the composure in which they were playing with was flawless. Guatemalans started to play aggressively and to dirty which resulted in players getting sacked from the game because of their ridiculous challenges on the Trinidadian players. The game started to get so dirty that the Trinidadian team started to make changes with different players which affected their chemistry that they started with in the second half and the miscommunication started back again and they stared to do what the Guatemalans was doing in the first half started to create a lot of miss opportunities and therefore Guatemala got right back into it and scored a goal in the last minute when the game was near end. The game actually ended 2-2 which both teams earning a point and because Trinidad and Tobago had one point above them before the game the Trinidadian team advanced and the Guatemalans were eliminated and the move on to the next round.
 From the game I observed a lot of things from a football fan perspective when you miss a lot of opportunities the next team will make use of them and both teams had the price to pay for that. The other thing is when something is not badly broken do not fix it because when the Trinidadian team started to make changes it started to affect them and it also had an effect on the outcome of the game. Sometimes when you are confused you do not have to start playing dirty or aggressive to win it will only result in your team getting hurt more and you are hurting other people at the same time.
Meshal Muhammad
Observational learning is a form of cognitive learning in which new responses are acquired after watching others’ behavior and consequences/ out comes of their behavior. An example of this type of learning occurs is when long time prisoners come out of prison and are faced with the challenge of adapting to society. Majority of the prisoners who get out of jail end up going back or committing suicide  because they revert to their old ways and were unable to adapt to the new environment due to the gap between life; before and after they’re release. Many prisoners forget previously learnt skills such as driving and have to relearn. Technology, seems to be a big hurdle for many prisoners. Something that is now unconscious like turning on a smartphone takes focused learning for these freshly released prisoners. Prisoners also have very little contact with outside world during their sentence and as soon as they are released, bombarded with changed culture  and complex political agendas. Prisoners are forced to throw out all they know and adapt to a whole new environment to merely get by. We all learn how to adapt to society and how to be a productive member of it at an early age, making us forget how difficult and demanding it can be to relearn such a basic thing. Such in the movie Shaw shank redemption where the librarian decides to take his life because he is unable to coup with being treated like as an inferior . Minuscule tasks which would usually take very little time to perform take extra focus which can make one feel lesser than and exhausted.
Fatima Bah
Though the dog mind is way different than human mind, dogs can learn up to 10 skills a day depending on the type of dog. All dogs go through the same series of processes when learning a new behavior. Dogs have a short attention span and learn best with short, 5 minute, bouts of teaching, several times a day. Start teaching a new behavior somewhere with no distractions. When your dog is FLUENT, introduce distractions gradually, so that GENERALIZATION takes place. The quickest learning will take place when your dog can focus on you and the task in hand. I took some time out of the week to sit in a dog park near my house to observe the behaviors of a dog and how they learn. I witnessed a lady with a German shepherd training, she would throw a ball on the other side of the park and the dog will fetch coming back to a reward such as a treat. As well as picking up what you teach do a lot of learning of their own. They learn from other dogs that they see, and imitate their actions. There are more complex tasks that dogs seem to learn by observation as well. Some are of sufficient complexity that it would be difficult to design a program to train dogs to do effectively.
Ricardo Condado
Learning is to naturally apply new information. Everyone has different ways of learning. For example, in my math class during my junior year in high school, I sat at the back of the class. There was a group of friends who would always talk through the teachers lectures. Eventually, the teacher got tired of it and decided to separate them throughout the classroom. One of them sat next to me. He usually got lower than 50 out of 100 on his quizzes. But as soon as the teacher switched his seat, his grades started going up to a 70’s and 80’s.
This student didn’t focus at all in class because he was distracted in his conversation with his friends. His mind blurred out everything in his surroundings, including the teacher, and put all his focus on his friends. The mind works in a very interesting way, as it focus into what seems to be most important at the moment.
This is an example of behaviorism. Due to this students surroundings, which are his friends, he became oblivious to his teacher’s lectures. His behavior also changed in the class, as he used to be one of the loudest students in the class. But after being separated from his friends he became really quiet. Again, another sign of Behaviorism. This can also be a form of negative reinforcement, as he was taken away from his group of friends and it benefited him by having higher test scores.
There are many ways a person can learn. It would all just depend on the situation and the type of person they are.
Group 7
Angel Dominguez
Ricardo Condado
Meshal Muhammad
Fatima Bah
Elu Saif
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1 thought on “Research Project #1 Learning

  1. Dominguez: You provide a brief introduction that nonetheless manages to make some important points. If I understand one of the points you are trying to make, though, I think you should consider saying if differently. As we have talked about in class, there is a way in which it makes sense to say that humans are not born but come into being as they grown and develop, but the way you aim at this point in the third line makes it seem as though babies don’t just think differently from adults but may actually be a different species.

    In general, when talking about children and especially when talking about development you should be careful to specify the age of the child. If your nephew is three the difference in how he thinks from you is perfectly normal; if he’s fifteen it’s almost surely not.

    That said, you offer a number of examples of learning processes. Your report would be stronger if you told your reader what kinds of learning were involved. In the first example (throwing out the leftovers when done eating) it sounds like a kind of social learning, but in the second, concerning the lizard, it sounds more like an associative process and perhaps even a conditioning one. It may be impossible to be sure what is happening, given the complexities of real life, but it’s worth speculating how such learnings might happen.
    I like that you then follow up with some experiments but I am not clear what it was that you were doing to experiment. It seems like a number of different things were happening, but you haven’t made clear what it was you were doing differently to find out more about what was going on.
    In any case, you have fulfilled the assignment; I will give you 42/50.
    Saif: You provide important information in the beginning of your report to help your reader evaluate what you are about to say. I hate to quibble but the fact that you make an effort to use your Type 2 thinking and be clear about explicit about your judgements doesn’t actually prevent you from being biased, though it is certainly likely to decrease bias and allow yourself and others to follow a certain line of argument more clearly so that biases that do show up can be more readily identified and addressed.
    I appreciate the detailed report you make of the game you watched and the analysis you make of how it was played. I am not entirely clear from what you say what it is that you are identifying as learning processes, though. You draw some conclusions yourself, at the end, that may represent some things you learned yourself, but as stated it’s hard to know how to evaluate them because you don’t tell the reader enough about your understanding of such things before you watched this game. If your own thinking changed in consequence of what you saw you need to make this more clear and you also need to think about how the reader will know you’ve really learned what you say you learned. For instance, I would assume all the players you watched could recite the rules of soccer, though many did not abide by them. So being able to list something out like that is not the same as using the learnings effectively. You’ve obviously invested some real time and effort here. I’ll give you 40/50.
    Muhammed: You start by providing some background to your observation, which is always a good idea. Since this is an academic report you should cite some references when you make specific statements like telling the reader about the fate of just-released prisoners. The recidivism and suicide rates are certainly distressingly high, but I wonder if even together they come to more than 50% of released prisoners and in any case you should tell the reader where you got such numbers.
    You cite a specific example of how the difficulties affect a prisoner (from the movie The Shawshank Redemption) but you should tell the reader more about the case and not assume s/he will remember. (I saw the movie many years ago and don’t recall the specifics myself, for instance.)
    The examples you provide sound like they were inspired by watching this movie and perhaps others, too, but you have presented them as if they are just facts about ex-prisoners. The first rule of good writing is: Show the reader, don’t tell him. Don’t just provide your conclusion, tell the reader enough so the reader can decide if s/he agrees with your conclusion.
    You have fulfilled the assignment. I’ll give you 42/50.
    Bah: You approach this assignment by detailing a way to train dogs. That’s a good tack, but remember that most readers don’t do such things, so you have to take us through the process step by step. In particular, you use terms like FLUENT that I suspect are technical ones that trainers use; since I am not a trainer I don’t know what they mean and so I wouldn’t know if my dog were FLUENT or not. Tell me what to look for.
    You suggest that dogs are learning in more than one way at the same time. That’s no doubt usually the case, but since this is a psychology course you should address the different kinds of learning separately and tell the reader how they come together. For instance, it sounds like you saw the dogs being rewarded for producing the target behavior, sometimes, but also thought that they were watching other dogs and perhaps people and learning by imitation, too. Make it clear to the reader what you thought was happening and when it was going on. You have completed the assignment. I will give you 42/50.
    Condado: Since this is a psychology course I am going to start by quibbling over how you introduce your topic. I am not sure what you mean when you say that learning is ‘natural’ and since the term can refer to a good many different things before you use it here you must tell me what you mean by it. In the second sentence, though, there lurks a more important issue. It may be true that each of us has our own style of learning, but does that really mean we’re using different processes of learning? We all have different faces, but that doesn’t make us different species. In fact, psychologists have found that for all the differences in personality we have and all the differences even in what each of us learns from a given experience, the ways we take in new information and change how we operate (ie, learn)
    are actually very limited in number and very similar from one person to the next.
    In the example you give you use the term behaviorism but you don’t tell the reader what you mean by the term and I must confess I’m not sure myself, based on what you tell me, if this is really the sort of things that behaviorism can explain or not. The way you tell the story makes it sound more like a source of distraction was removed and so the student could take in information more effectively. What you tell us doesn’t make it clear, though, what it is that changed inside his head. For instance, was he better able, later in the course, to withstand the distractions his friends had caused in the beginning? You have fulfilled the task assigned but in a basic sort of way. I’ll give you 40/50.

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