Learning: A Behavioral, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Synthesis provides an integrated account of the psychological processes involved in learning and conditioning and their influence on human behavior. With a skillful blend of behavioral, cognitive, and evolutionary themes, the text explores various types of learning as adaptive specialization that evolved through natural selection. Robust pedagogy and relevant examples bring concepts to life in this unique and accessible approach to the field.
Up to this point, we have focused on how individuals learn about the relationships between events through Pavlovian conditioning and about the relationship between their behavior and certain outcomes through operant conditioning, but a great deal of what we humans know we learned from other people either by observing what they did, listening to what they told us, or reading what they wrote. The ability to pass information from one member of a species to another confers an obvious adaptive advantage to the members of that species because individuals can profit from others’ experiences and thus short-cut the discovery process. This is especially advantageous for obtaining information about dangerous situations, the locations of food, what is edible and inedible, and how ...