learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning)
a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.
the view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
unconditioned response (UR)
in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
unconditioned stimulus (US)
in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally - naturally and automatically - triggers a response.
conditioned response (CR)
in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
conditioned stimulus (CS)
in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger 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.
the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.
the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.
in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.
a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning.
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely.
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.
an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. It is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. It is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response.
a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as secondary reinforcer.
partial (intermittent) reinforcement
reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.
in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
a mental representation of the layout of one's environment. for example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it.
learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.
a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.
frontal lobe neurons that fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's actions may enable imitation, language learning and emphathy.