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Psychology 100 Exam 2


Relatively permenant change in an organism behavior due to experience.

3 Types of Learning

1. Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning
2. Operant (Instrumental) Conditioning
3. Observational (Social) Leaning

Ivan Pavlov

1.First to describe classical conditioning.
2.Russian Physiologist
3.Interested in saliva's role in digestion
4.Ran experiments with dogs
5.Won a nobel prize in 1904

Unconditioned Stimulus

Stimulus that elicits a particular response (reflexive, involuntary reactions) without the necessity of learning.

Unconditioned Response

Involuntary, automatic response that occurs to a stimulus without the necessity of learning

Conditioned Stimulus

Stimulus that does not elicit a particular response initially but comes to do so as a result of becoming associated with an unconditioned stimulus.

Conditioned Response

Response that comes to be made to the conditioned stimulus as a result of classical conditioning.

Classical Conditioning (Pavlovian)

The process in which an organism learns to associate stimuli, and thus anticipate events. Simple, occurs across species.


Conditioned Stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus, Conditioned stimulus begins to elicit the Conditioned response


Unconditioned stimulus no longer follows the conditioned stimulus, conditioned response eventually disappears.

5 Major Conditioning Processes

3.Spontaneous Recovery

Spontaneous Recovery

If the conditioned stimulus is presented again to the subject after a period of rest, the conditioned response reappears.


The tendency to respond to stimuli resembling the conditioned stimulus.


Responding occurs in the presence of one stimulus, but not in the presence of another.

Edward Thorndike

Ran Experiments with cats in puzzle boxes, First studied operant conditioning. Proposed Law of Effect.

Law of Effect

If a response in a presence of a stimulus is followed by a satisfying event, the association between the stimulus and the response will be strenghened. if the response is followed by an annoying event, the association will be weakened.

B.F. Skinner

Studied operant conditioning with rats. Devised Skinner's Box.

Operant Conditioning

The process whereby an organism learns to associate a response and its consequences and thus to repeat acts followed by rewards and avoid acts followed by punishment. occurs across species.


Stimuli that increase the probability of behavior.

Primary Reinforcers

Events that are innately reinforcing (food, water, things with biological significance)

Secondary Reinforcers

Require learning. (Money, Praise etc.)

Positive Reinforcement

Presentaton of a desirable stimulus increases the probablility of behavior.

Negative Reinforcement

Nothing to do with punishment. Removal of an aversive stimulus increases the probablity of behavior.


Stimuli that decrease the probablility of behavior.

Positive Punishment

Presentation of an aversive stimulus decreases the probablility of behavior.

Negative Punishment

Removal of a desirable stimulus decreases the probabliltiy of behavior.


1.Method of successive approximations.
2. Reward responses that are ever-closer to the final desired behavior.
3.Must ignore all previous or unrelated behavior.

Albert Bandura

Proposed the Social Learning Theory. Experimented with children and observationally learned behaviors.

Social Learning Theory

Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling.

Social Learning

Learning by observing others.


Process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.

Advantages of Social Learning

1. Economy-Usually saves time
2. Less dangerous than trial and error
3. Allows for flexible behavior
4. Transmission of knowledge

When do we start imitating?

1.Facial expressions can be imitated by infants as young as 2 or 3 weeks old.
2. 9 month old infants can imitate a novel play behaviour.
3. 14 month olds can imitate acts modeled on television.

Aspects that determine the likelihood of imitation in children

1. Outcome of modeled behavior
2. Similarity between observer and model.
3. Status of model

Bandura, Ross, and Ross, 1961

Experiment with children and bobo dolls. Studied if agression could be learned.


The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information.

Information Processing Model

Assumes the processing of information for memory storage is similar to the way a computer processes memory.

3 Stages of Information Processing Model

1. Encoding
2. Storage
3. Retrieval

Automatic Encoding

Information is stored with very little effort. Examples: Knowledge of event frequency, time and location.

Effortful Encoding

Effort to encode and remember information is required. Examples: Concepts for an exam.

Herman Ebbinghaus

1. 1850-1909
2. First to consistently study memory.
3. Considered the father of memory.
4. Used nonsense syllables to find that the amount remembered depends on the time spent learning and the benefits of over learning.

Spacing Effects

Tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice.

Semantic Encoding

Encoding the meaning of terms.

Visual Encoding

Making "Mental Pictures"


Organizing items into familiar, manageable units.


Second stage of information processing model. Described by the Stage Model

Stage Model

1. Described by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968.
2. Says the human memory system is composed of 3 stages of memory system which information must pass.
3. 3 stages are Sensory memory, short term memory, and long term memory.

Sensory Memory

1.First stage of information processing.
2.Sensory receptors are stimulated by external energy.
3.Two types: Iconic Memory and Echoic Memory.
4. Sensory memory can only be maintained for a short amount of time.

Iconic Memory

Visual information, doesn't last very long

Echoic Memory

Auditory information, Lasts a little longer than iconic memory. Usually 2-4 seconds.

Short Term Memory

Has a limited storage capacity. Holds memory for only a limited period, unless rehearsal is used. Then is transferred to Long Term Memory.

Digit Span Test

Used to test short term memory capacity by George A. Miller. Says that memory can hold approximatively 5 to 9 items short term.

George A. Miller

1. (1956)
2. Used digit span test.
3. Found that the short term memory can only hold around 7 items at a time.

Long Term Memory

Permanent and limitless reservoir of information.

Episodic Memory

Portion of long term memory that stores personally experienced events.

Procedural Memory

Portion of long term memory that stores information related to skills and habits.

Semantic Memory

Portion of long term memory that stores general facts and information.

Updates to Stage Model

1. Some information can go straight to long term memory, without conscious awareness.
2. Working memory vs. short term memory. Associates new and old information and solves problems. Information that is important or novel that we focus our attention on.


2 Kinds: Recall and Recognition


Measure of memory in which a person must retrieve information learned earlier.


Measure of memory in which a person must identify items.

False Positive

Error of recognition in which people think that they recognize some stimulus that is not actually in memory.

Retrieval Cues

A stimulus for remembering


The loss of encoded or stored information.

Encoding Failure

Some information never enters long term memory.

Storage Decay

Fading of the physical memory trace.

Retrieval Failure

Difficulty in retrieving information that was previously stored.

Proactive Interference

Prior learning interferes with recall of new information.

Retroactive Interference

New learning interferes with recall of old information

Childhood Amnesia

inability to retrieve memories from much before age 3.


Severe deficit in remembering events caused by problems in the functioning of the memory areas of the brain. Causes: Alzheimer's disease, strokes, chronic alcoholism, brain damage.

Frontal Lobe In Memory

Houses Short term memories: semantic, and episodic

Cerebellum in Memory

Houses procedural memories

Hippocampus in Memory

Houses the formation of new semantic and episodic memories.


A strategy or trick for aiding memory


The forming of mental pictures of the items, people, words, or activities you want to remember.

Elaborate Rehearsal

Linking of new information in short term memory to material stored in long term memory.

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