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


suggested law of association

associative learning

learning to associate a response with a consequence

classical conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, John Watson, before conditioning food (unconditioned stimulus, US) produces salivation (unconditioned response, UR) however the tone (neural stimulus) does not; During conditioning (learning), neural stimulus (tone) and the US (food) are paired, resulting in salivation (UR). After conditioning, the neutral stimulus (now Conditioned Stimulus, CS) elicits salivation (now conditional response, CR)


the initial learning state in classical conditioning in which an association between a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus takes place


when the US (food) does not follow the CS (tone), CR (salivation) begins to decrease and eventually causes ________

spontaneous recovery

after a rest period, an extinguished CR (salivation) spontaneously recovers, but is the CS (tone) persists alone, the CR becomes extinct again

stimulus generalization

tendency to respond to stimuli similar to the CS is called generalization, Pavlov conditioned the dog's salivation by using miniature vibrators on the thigh, when he subsequently stimulated other parts of the dog's body, salivation dropped

stimulus discrimination

the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and other stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus


his experiments extend Thorndike's thinking, especially his law of effect. This law states that rewarded behavior is likely to occur again

operant chamber

Skinner developed a box, comes with a bar or key that an animal manipulates to obtain a reinforce


the operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior towards the desired target behavior through successive approximations


any event that strengthens the behavior it follows, a heat lamp positively reinforces a meerkat's behavior in the cold

fixed ratio

reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses

variable ratio

reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses, this is hard to extinguish because of the unpredictability

fixed interval

reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed (preparing for an exam only when the exam draws close)

variable interval

reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals, which produces slow, steady responses (eg pop quiz)


an aversive event that decreases the behavior it follows


Bobo doll study indicated that individuals learn through imitating others who receive rewards and punishments

positive observational learning

prosocial models may have prosocial effects

neutral stimulus

In most cases, for conditioning to occur, the _______ needs to come before the unconditioned stimulus

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