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Definition of Learning

Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior or the potential for behavior that results from experience.

Unconditioned Stimulus (US)

The process begins with a stimulus that naturally and reliably causes some response

Unconditioned Response (UR)

The response to the unconditioned stimulus

Neutral Stimulus

A neutral stimulus is a stimulus that does not naturally elicit an unconditioned response in the organism.

Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

A stimulus that elicits a conditioned response in an organism

Conditioned Response (CR)

The response elicited by a conditioned stimulus in an organism

Definition of Classical Conditioning

Learning that occurs when a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus; because of the pairing, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus with the same power as the unconditioned stimulus to elicit the response in the organism.

Classical Conditioning is based on?

Pavlov's experiment (association)

When is Classical Conditioning most effective?

When the neutral stimulus is presented just a few seconds before the unconditioned stimulus

What is Stimulus Discrimination?

Responding only to a particular stimulus

What is Taste Aversion?

A taste aversion is classical conditioning that occurs when an organism pairs the experience of nausea with a certain food and becomes conditioned to feel ill at the sight, smell, or idea of the food.

What makes Taste Aversion a unique form of Classical Conditioning?

It often occurs with only one pairing of the NS/CS and the US
The interval between the NS/CS and the US can be very long.

What is extinction?

The removal of a conditioned response

How is a Classically Conditioned Response extinguished?

A classically conditioned response can be extinguished by no longer following the CS by the UCS.

What is spontaneous recovery?

The reappearance of a conditioned response during and particularly after the extinction process.

What is operant conditioning?

Operant conditioning is learning through the consequences of behavior

What is an operant?

An operant is a behavior

What is the law of effect?

The law of effect states that random behaviors that lead to positive consequences will be strengthened and random behaviors that lead to negative consequences will be weakened.


Always used for the purpose of increasing behavior


Always used for the purpose of eliminating behavior

Positive Reinforcement

The behavior is followed by the addition of something pleasant

Negative Reinforcement

Rewarding a behavior by removing something unpleasant from the environment of the organism.

Positive Punishment

Positive punishment involves weakening a behavior by adding something unpleasant to the organism's environment

Negative Punishment

Negative punishment is the weakening of a behavior by removing something pleasant from the organism's environment

Escape and Avoidance are forms of what?

Negative Reinforcement

Escape Learning

Escape conditioning is the process of learning responses that terminates an aversive stimulus.

Avoidance Learning

Avoidance conditioning is the process of learning particular responses that avoid an aversive stimulus.

What needs to happen in order for punishment to be effective?

In order for punishment to be effective it needs to be accompanied with an explanation and reinforcement of appropriate alternative behaviors.

How does extinction occur in operant conditioning?

Extinction in operant conditioning occurs when the behavior is no longer reinforced.

Continuous Reinforcement

Continuous reinforcement is a schedule of reinforcement in which the organism is rewarded for every instance of the desired response.

Fixed Ratio

A reward is given after a fixed number of responses (this results in the highest rate of responding)

Variable Ratio

A reward is given after following a average number of responses

Fixed Interval

Fixed interval schedules provide reinforcement for the first desired response made after a fixed amount of time has passed. (faster initial response followed by a slower rate of response for a period of time after reward is presented)

Variable Interval

Variable interval schedules rewards the first response after an average amount of time has passed.

Slot Machines reward using a _______________ schedule of reinforcement.

Variable Ratio

Which types of schedule of reinforcement is most resistant to extinction?

Variable Ratio

What is Shaping?

Shaping is using operant conditioning to build a new behavior in an organism by rewarding successive approximations of the desired response.

When is Shaping used?

Shaping is used to train a new behavior

What is Social Learning?

Social learning is learning through the observation and imitation of other's behavior.

What is another name for Social Learning?

Observational Learning.

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