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61 terms


a relatively permanent change in behavior acquired through experience; must be enduring, adaptive, helps organisms to meet the demands of the environment; adaptive
3 theories of learning
1. classical conditioning
2. operant conditioning
3. observational learning (cognitive)
associative learning
learning that events occur together; the events may be 2 stimuli (classical conditioning) or a response and its consequence (operant)
law of association
Aristotle; we naturally connect events that occur in sequence
process of learning associations
operant conditioning
associate a response (our behavior) and its consequence
observational learning
learn through others experiences
Russian psychologist; classical conditioning; discovered it while studying the digestive process in dogs
classical conditioning
process in which an originally neutral stimulus, by repeated pairing with a stimulus that normally elicits a response, comes to elicit a similar or even identical response; Pavlov; conditioning; one stimuli goes with another; learning to associate a response with a consequence; operant conditioning
Pavlov's experiment
during conditioning, the NS (tone) and the US (food) are paired, resulting in salvation (UR); after conditioning, the NS which is now the CS, elicits salvation (which is now the CR)
unconditioned response
an unlearned response to a stiumulus
neutral stimulus
a stimulus before conditioning does not produce a particular response
conditioned stimulus
a previously neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response after it has been "paired" with an unconditioned stimulus
conditioned response
an acquired or learned response to a conditioned stimulus; the strength of it increases with the pairings of it and the US
when the US doesn't follow the tone, CR begins to decrease and eventually stops; the diminishing of a conditioned response
spontaneous recovery
the reappearance, after a rest period, of an extinguished conditioned response; it can extinguish again
unconditioned stimulus
a stimulant that elicits an unlearned response
unconditioned response
an unlearned response to a stimulus
the process of relearning a conditioned response following extinction; the relearning may occur much more quickly than originally, occuring within one or two trials
stimulus generalization
the tendency for stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit a conditioned response
stimulus discrimination
tendency to differentiate among stimuli so that stimuli that are related to the original conditioned stimulus, but not identical to it, fail to elicit a conditioned response
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
higher order conditioning
a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus; also called second order conditioning
the more often the CS is paired with the US, the stronger and more reliable the CR will be
the strongest CR occurs when the CS is presented first and remains present throughout the administration of the US
Intensity of the US
a stronger US will lead to faster conditioning
reflex learning
below the level of consciousness? spinal reflexes? nothing there to think there's cognition involved
an involuntary response and nearly instantaneous movement in response to stimulus
innate behavior
behavior determined by the "hand-writing" of the nervous system; it is usually inflexible, a given stimulus triggering a given response (flex of foot in response to the touch of the heel)
learned behavior
behavior that is more or less permanently altered at a result of the experience of the individual organism (ex. learning to play baseball well)
Little Albert
11 month old boy involved in an experiment run by John Watson (behaviorism); learned to fear a small furry white rat after pairing with a loud bang behind his head; his fear response generalized to other furry stimuli, such as dogs and cats
conditioned emotional response
an emotional response that has been linked to a previously nonemotional stimulus by classical conditioning
excessive fears of particular objects or situations
drug cravings as conditioned responses
drug cravings may be conditioned responses elicited by exposure to cues associated with drug-using behavior; former crack cocaine users should avoid cues associated with previous drug use; through classical conditioning, a drug that affects the immune response may cause the taste of the drug to invoke the immune response
respondent behavior
occurs as an automatic response to a certain stiumulus
operant behavior
behavior that operates on the environment, producing rewards of punishing stiumuli
operant conditioning
type of learning in which the frequency of a behavior depends on the consequence that follows that behavior
classical conditioning
associations between stimuli; law of effect
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that responses that have satisfying effects are more likely to occur, while those that have unpleasant effects are less likely to occur... the tendency for a response to occur depends on the effects it has on the environment
BF Skinner
harvard; built on thorndike; empirical measurement of behavior on a new level; developed operant conditioning and radical behaviorism
radical behaviorism
philosophical position that free will is an illusion or myth and that human and animal behavior is completely determined by environmental and genetic influences
operant chamber
a chamber also known as a Skinner box, containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer, with attached devices to record the animal's rate of bar pressing or key pecking. Used in operant conditioning research
in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
primary reinforcers
reinforcers, such as food or sexual stimulation, that are naturally rewarding because they satisfy basic biological needs or drives
secondary reinforcers
learned reinforcers, such as money, that develop their reinforcing properties because of their association with primary reinforcers
immediate reinforcer
A reinforcer that occurs instantly after a behavior. A rat gets a food pellet for pressing a bar.
delayed reinforcer
A reinforcer that is delayed in time for a certain behavior. A paycheck that comes at the end of a week.
positive reinforcement
Reinforcement that occurs when a response is strengthened because it is followed by the presentation of a rewarding stimulus.
negative reinforcement
increasing the strength of a given response by removing or preventing a painful stimulus when the response occurs
schedules of reinforcement
plans for timing of the delivery of the reinforcements
continuous reinforcement
every response is reinforced
partial reinforcement
only a portion of the responses are reinforced
fixed-ratio schedule
reinforcement is giver after a specified number or correct responses
variable-ratio schedule
the number of correct responses needed before reinforcement varies around some average number
fixed-interval schedule
reinforcement given only for a correct response made after a fixed amount of time has elapsed since the last reinforcement
variable-interval schedule
the amount of time that must elapse before a reinforcement can be given is variable rather than fixed
escape learning
the acquisition of behaviors that allow and organism to escape an aversive stimulus; ex. pressing a bar to turn off electric shock
avoidance learning
learning to perform a response to avoid unpleasant stimulus
the introduction of an aversive stimulus or the removal of a reinforcing stimulus or the removal after a response occurs, acts to decrease the behavior that it follows; don't confuse with negative reinforcement
types of punishment
presentation of an unpleasant stiumulus;
removal of reinforcing stiumulus
used a "puzzle box" and animal models to study learning; operant conditioning; law of effect