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chapter 5-8

behavioral learning theories

explanations of learning that emphasize observable changes in behavior.

cognitive learning theories

explanations of learning that focus on mental processes.


a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience


environment conditions that activate the senses

unconditioned stimulus

a stimulus that naturally evokes a paricular response

unconditioned response

a behavior that is prompted automatically by a stimulus

neutral stimuli

stumuli that have no effect on a particular response

conditioned stimulus

a priviously neutral stimulus that evokes a particular response after having been paiered with an unconditioned response

classical conditioning

the process of repeatedly associating a previously neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus in order to evoke a conditioned response

Law of effect

thorndikes' law stating that an act that is followed by a favorable effect is more likely to be repeated in similar situations

operant conditioning

the use of pleasant or unpleasant consequences to control the occurance of behavior

skinner box

an apparatus develped by BF Skinner for observing animal behavior in experiments is operant conditioning


pleasant or unpleasant conditions that follow behaviors and affect the frequency of future behaviors


a pleasurable consequence that maintains or increases a behavior

primary reinforcer

food, water, or other consequence that satisfy a primary need

secondary reinforcer

a consequence that people learn to value through its association with a primary reinforcer

positive reinforcer

pleasurable consequence given to strengthen behavior

negative reinforcer

release from an unpleasant situation, give to stregthen behavior

premack principle

rule stating that enjoyable activities can be used to rienforce participaiton in less enjoyable activites

intrinsic reinforcers

behavior that a person enjoys engaging in for their own sake, without any other reward

extrinsic reinforcers

praise or rewards given to motivate people to engage in behavior that they might not engage in without them


unpleasent consequences used to weaken behavior

presentation punsishment

an adverse stimulus following a behavior, used to decrease the chances that the behavior will occur again

aversive stimulus

an unpleasant consequence that a person tries to avoid or escape

removal punishment

withdrawl of a pleasant consequence that is reinforcing a behavior, designed to decrease the chance that the behavior will recur

time out

procedure of removing a student from a situation in which misbehavior was being reinforced


the teaching of a new skill or behavior by means of reinforcement for small steps toward the desired goal


the weakening and eventural elimination of a learned behavior as reinforcement is withdrawn

extinction burst

the increase in levels of a behavior in the early stages of extinction

fixed ratio (FR) schedule

rienforcement schedule in which desired behavior is rewarded following a fixed number of behaviors

variable ratio (VR) schedule

reinforcement schedule in which desired behavior is rewarded following a constant amount of time

variable interval schedule

reinforcement schedule in which desired behavior is rewarded following an unpredictable amount of time


continuation (of behavior)

antecedent stimuli

events that precede behaviors


signals as to what behavior(s) will be reinforced or punished


perception of and response to differenced in stimuli


carry over of behaviors, skills, or concepts from on setting or task to another

social learning theory

learning theory that emphasizes not only reinforcement but also the effects of cues of thought and of thought on action


imitation of others' behaviors

observational learning

learning by observation and imitation

vicarious learning

learning based on observation of the consequences of other's behavior

self-regulated learning

rewarding or punishing one's own behavior

cognitive behavior modification

procedures based on bothe behavioral and cognitive principles for changing one's own behavior by means of self-talk and self-instruction

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