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A type of learning that involved stimulus-response connections

Classical Conditioning

A simple form of learning in which one stimulus calls forth the response that is usually called forth by another stimulus

Unconditioned Stimulus

A stimulus that causes a response that is automatic, not learned

Unconditioned Response

Automatic response

Conditioned Response

Learned response to a stimulus that was previously neutral, or meaningless

Conditioned Stimulus

Learned stimulus

Taste Aversion

Learned avoidance of a particular food


When a conditioned stimulus is no longer followed by an unconditioned stimulus, it loses its ability to bring about a conditioned resopnse

Spontaneous Recovery

Organisms sometimes display responses that were extinguished earlier


Responding in the same way to stimuli that seem to be similar


The act of responding differently to stimuli that are not similar to each other


A person is exposed to the harmless stimulus until fear responses to that stimulus are extinguisehed

Systematic Desensitization

People are taught relaxation techniques and then, when they are relaxed, they are exposed gradually to the stimulus they fear


A pleasant stimulus is paired repeatedly with a fearful one, counteracting the fear

Operant Conditioning

People and animals learn to do certain things and not to do others because of the results of what they do


The process by which a stimulus increases the chances that the preceding behavior will occur again

Primary Reinforcers

Reinforcers that function due to the biological makeup of an organism; examples: food, water, and adequate warmth

Secondary Reinforcers

Must be learned; acquire their value through being paired with established reinforcers; examples: money, attention, and social approval

Positive Reinforcers

Increase the frequency of the behavior that follow when they are applied

Negative Reinforcers

Increase the frequency of the behavior that follows when they are removed

Schedule of Reinforcement

When and how often the reinforcement occurs

Continuous Reinforcement

The reinforcement of a behavior every time the behavior occurs

Partial Reinforcement

A behavior is not reinforced every time it occurs; last longer


A way of teaching complex behaviors in which one first reinforces small steps in the total activity


Each step of a sequence must be learned and must lead to the next until the final action is achieved

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