AP Psych - Chapter 6: Learning

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AP Psychology textbook vocabulary for Chapter 6: Learning.

Learning

A lasting change in behavior or mental processes that results from experience.

Habituation

Learning not to respond to the repeated presentation of a stimulus.

Mere exposure effect

A learned preference for stimuli to which we have been previously exposed - whether we were aware of the stimulus or not.

Behavioral learning

Forms of learning, such as classical conditioning and operant conditioning, that can be described in terms of stimuli and responses.

Classical conditioning

A form of behavioral learning in which a previously neutral stimulus acquires the power to elicit the same innate reflex produced by another stimulus.

Neutral stimulus

Any stimulus that produces no conditioned response prior to learning. When it is brought into a conditioning experiment, the researcher will call it a conditioned stimulus (CS).

Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)

In classical conditioning, the stimulus that elicits and unconditioned response.

Unconditioned response (UCR)

In classical conditioning, the response elicited by an unconditioned stimulus without prior learning.

Acquisition

The initial learning stage in classical conditioning, during which the conditioned response comes to be elicited by the conditioned stimulus.

Conditioned stimulus (CS)

In classical conditioning, a previously neutral stimulus that comes to elicit the conditioned response. Customarily, in a conditioning experiment, the neutral stimulus is called a conditioned stimulus when it is first paired with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS).

Conditioned response (CR)

In classical conditioning, a response elicited by a previously neutral stimulus that has become associated with the unconditioned stimulus.

Extinction (in classical conditioning)

The weakening of a conditioned response in the absence of an unconditioned stimulus.

Spontaneous recovery

The reappearance of an extinguished conditioned response after a time delay.

Stimulus generalization

The extension of a learned response to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus.

Stimulus discrimination

A change in responses to one stimulus but not to stimuli that are similar.

Experimental neurosis

A pattern of erratic behavior resulting from a demanding discrimination task, particularly one that involves aversive stimuli.

Taste-aversion learning

A biological tendency in which an organism learns, after a single experience, to avoid a food with a certain taste, if eating it is followed by illness.

Operant

An observable, voluntary behavior that an organism emits to "operate" on, or have an effect on, the environment.

Operant conditioning

A form of behavioral learning in which the probability of a response is changed by its consequences - that is, by the stimuli that follow the response.

Law of effect

The idea that responses that produced desirable results would be learned, or "stamped" into the organism.

Reinforcer

A condition (involving either the presentation or removal of a stimulus) that occurs after a response and strengthens that response.

Positive reinforcement

A stimulus presented after a response and increasing the probability of that response happening again.

Negative reinforcement

The removal of an unpleasant or aversive stimulus, contingent on a particular behavior.

Operant chamber

A boxlike apparatus that can be programmed to deliver reinforcers and punishers contingent on an animal's behavior; often called a "Skinner box."

Reinforcement contingencies

Relationships between a response and the changes in stimulation that follow the response.

Continuous reinforcement

A type of reinforcement schedule by which all correct responses are reinforced; the best strategy for teaching and learning new behaviors.

Shaping

An operant learning technique in which a new behavior is produced by reinforcing responses that are similar to the desired response.

Intermittent reinforcement

A type of reinforcement schedule by which some, but not all, correct responses are reinforced; the most efficient way to maintain behaviors that have already been learned.

Extinction (in operant conditioning)

A process by which a response that has been learned is weakened by the absence or removal of reinforcement.

Schedules of reinforcement

Programs specifying the frequency and timing of reinforcements.

Ratio schedule

A program by which reinforcement depends on the number of correct responses.

Interval schedule

A program by which reinforcement depends on the time interval elapsed since the last reinforcement.

Fixed ratio (FR) schedule

Programs by which reinforcement is contingent on a certain, unvarying number of responses.

Variable ratio (VR) schedules

Reinforcement programs by which the number of responses required for a reinforcement varies from trial to trial.

Fixed interval (FI) schedule

Programs by which reinforcement is contingent on a certain, fixed time period.

Variable interval (VI) schedules

Programs by which the time period between reinforcements varies from trial to trial.

Primary reinforcers

Reinforcers, such as food and water, that have an innate basis because of their biological value to an organism.

Conditioned/secondary reinforcers

Stimuli, such as money or tokens, that acquire their reinforcing power by a learned association with primary reinforcers.

Token economy

A therapeutic method, based on operant conditioning, by which individuals are rewarded with tokens, which act as secondary reinforcers. The tokens can be redeemed for a variety of rewards and privileges.

Premack principle

The concept, developed by David Premack, that a more-preferred activity can be used to reinforce a less-preferred activity.

Punishment

An aversive stimulus which, occurring after a response, diminishes the strength of that response.

Positive punishment

The application of an aversive stimulus after a response.

Omission training/negative punishment

The removal of an appetitive stimulus after a response, leading to a decrease in behavior.

Insight learning

A form of cognitive learning, originally described by the Gestalt psychologists, in which problem solving occurs by means of a sudden reorganization of perceptions.

Cognitive map

A mental representation of physical space.

Observational learning

A form of cognitive learning in which new responses are acquired after watching others' behavior and the consequence of their behavior.

Long-term potentiation

A biological process, involving physical changes that strengthen the synapses in groups of nerve cells, which is believed to be the neural basis of learning.

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