69 terms

Learning and Memory

the process by which experience or practice results in a relatively permanent change in behavior or potential behavior
the acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence of well-defined stimuli
Classical or Pavlovian conditioning
type of learning in which a response naturally elicited by one stimulus comes to be elicited by a different, neutral stimulus
Operant or instrumental conditioning
type of learning in which behaviors are emitted to earn rewards to avoid punishments
Unconditioned stimulus US
stimulus that invariably causes an organism to respond in a specific way
Unconditioned response (UR)
response that takes place in an organism whenever an unconditioned stimulus occurs
Conditioned stimulus
originally neutral stimulus that is paired with an unconditioned stimulus and eventually produces the desired response in an organism when presented alone
Conditioned response
after conditioning, the response an organism produces when only a conditioned stimulus is presented
Desensitization therapy
conditioning technique designed to gradually reduce anxiety about a particular object or situation
Taste aversion
conditioned avoidance of poisonous food
Operant behavior
behavior designed to operate on the environment in a way that will gain something desired or avoid something unpleasant
a stimulus that follows a behavior and increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated
a stimulus that follows a behavior and decreases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated
Law of effect
Thorndike's theory that behavior consistently rewarded will be 'stamped in' as learned behavior
Positive reinforcer
Any event whose presence increases the likelihood that ongoing behavior will recur
Negative reinforcer
Any event whose reduction or termination increases the likelihood that ongoing behavior will recur
Avoidance training
Learning a desirable behavior to prevent an unpleasant condition such as punishment from occurring
Response acquisition
'building phase' of the conditioning during which the likelihood or strength of the desired response increases
Intermittent pairing
pairing the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus on only a portion of the learning trials
Skinner box
box that is often used in operant conditioning of animals. It limits the available responses and thus increases the likelihood that the desired response will occur
reinforcing successive approximations of a desired behavior
decrease in the strength or frequency of a learned response due to failure to continue pairing the US and CS or the withholding of reinforcement
Spontaneous recovery
the reappearance of an extinguished response after the passage of time
Stimulus generalization
transfer of a learned response to different but similar stimuli
Stimulus discrimination
learning to respond to only one stimulus and to inhibit the response to all other stimuli
Response generalization
giving a response that is somewhat different from the response originally learned to that stimulus
Primary reinforcer
reinforcer that is rewarding in itself, such as food, water, and sex
Secondary reinforcer
reinforcer whose value is learned through association with other primary or secondary reinforcers
a reliable 'if-then' relationship between two events such as a CS and US
prior conditioning prevents conditioning to a second stimulus even when the two stimuli are presented simultaneously
Schedule of reinforcement
in partial reinforcement, the rule for determining when and how often reinforcers will be delivered
Fixed-interval schedule
reinforcement schedule that calls for reinforcement of a correct response after a fixed length of time
Variable-interval schedule
reinforcement schedule in which a correct response is reinforced after varying lengths of time after the last reinforcement
Fixed-ratio schedule
reinforcement schedule in which the correct response is reinforced after a fixed number of correct responses
Variable-ratio schedule
reinforcement schedule in which a varying number of correct responses must occur before reinforcement is presented
Cognitive learning
learning that depends on mental processes that are not directly observable
Latent learning
learning that is not immediately reflected in a behavior change
Cognitive map
a learned mental image of a spatial environment that may be called on to solve problems when stimuli in the environment change
Learning set
ability to become increasingly more effective in solving problems as more problems are solved
Social learning theory
view of learning that emphasizes the ability to learn by observing a model or receiving instructions, without firsthand experience by the learner
Observational learning
learning by observing other people's behavior
Vicarious reinforcement/punishment
performance of behaviors learned through observation that is modified by watching others who are reinforced or punished for their behavior
Token economy
a behavioral technique in which rewards for desired acts are accumulated through tokens, which represent a form of money
Cognitive map
a mental image of where one is located in space
Cognitive approach
a way of learning based on abstract mental processes and previous knowledge
Learning curve
gradual upward slope representing increased retention of material as the result of learning
State-dependent learning
the fact that material learned in one chemical state is best reproduced when the same state occurs again
Transfer of training
a learning process in which learning is moved from one task to another based on similarities between the tasks
Positive transfer
a transfer of learning that results from similarities between two tasks
Negative transfer
an interference with learning due to differences between two otherwise similar tasks
Information processing
the methods by which we take in, analyze, store, and retrieve material
an organized and systematic approach to answering questions or solving problems
the process of attaching a maximum number of associations to a basic concept or other material to be learned so that it can be retrieved more easily
Mnemonic devices
unusual associations made to material to aid memory
Principle learning
a method of learning in which an overall view (principle) of the material to be learned is developed so that the material is better organized
putting things into clusters or 'chunks' so that items learned are in groups, rather than separate
an increase in errors when trying to bring material back from memory
the process of learning something beyond one perfect recitation so that the forgetting curve will have no effect; the development of perfect retention.
Forgetting curve
graphic representation of speed and amount of forgetting that occurs
the ability to bring back and integrate many specific learned details
the ability to pick the correct object or event from a list of choices
Interference theory
the belief that we forget because new and old material conflict with one another
the blocking of older memories and/or the loss of new ones
Short-term memory
the memory system that retains information for a few seconds to a few minutes
Long-term memory
the memory system that retains information for hours, days, weeks, months, decades
Sensory memory system
direct receivers of information from the environment - for example, iconic, acoustic
Iconic memory
a very brief visual memory that can be sent to the STM
Acoustic memory
a very brief sound memory that can be sent to the STM
Eidetic imagery
an iconic memory lasting a minute or so that keeps images 'in front of the person' so objects can be counted or analyzed, also called 'photographic memory'