AP Psychology Unit 6 Learning

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Learning

a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience

Associative Learning

learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning)

Behaviorism

the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).

Classical Conditioning

a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.

Unconditioned Response (UCR)

an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning

Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)

in classical condidtioning, a stimulus that unconditionally naturally and automatically triggers a response

Conditioned Response (CR)

in classical conditioing the learned response to a preveiously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (cs)

Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

in classical conditioning an originaly irrevlevant stimulus that after association with an underconditioned stimulus (US) comes to trigger a conditioned response

Acquisition

The initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.

Extinction

the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.

Spontaneous Recovery

the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response

Generalization

the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses

Discrimination

in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus

Higher-order Conditioning

a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in ne conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus.

Primary Reinforcer

an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need

Conditioned Reinforcer

A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as secondary reinforcer.

Continuous Reinforcement

reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs

Partial Reinforcement

reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement

Fixed-ratio Schedule

in operant conditioning, a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.

Variable-ratio Schedule

in operant conditioning, a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.

Law of Effect

Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely

Skinner Box (Operant Chamber)

a chamber containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer.

Fixed-interval Schedule

in operant conditioning, a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.

Variable-interval Schedule

in operant conditioning, a schedule of reinforcement that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.

Punishment

An event that decreases the behavior that it follows.

Operant Behavior

behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences

Operant Conditioning

a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher

Respondent Behavior

behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning.

Shaping

an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.

Reinforcer

in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.

Cognitive Map

a mental representation of the layout of one's environment.

Latent Learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.

Overjustification Effect

the effect of promising a reward for doing what one already likes to do. The person may now see the reward, rather than intrinsic interest, as the motivation for performing the task.

Modeling

the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.

Observational Learning

learning by observing others.

Prosocial Behavior

positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.

Intrinsic Motivation

A desire to perform a behavior for its own sake.

Extrinsic Motivation

a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.

Mirror Neurons

frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation, language learning, and empathy.

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