Chapter 8: Learning (Psychology)

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Learning

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Learning

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

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Associative learning

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)

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behaviorism

the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes

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classical 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.

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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

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unconditioned stimulus (US)

in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally - naturally and automatically - triggers a response

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conditioned response (CR)

in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus

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conditioned stimulus (CS)

in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response

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acquisition

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.

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extinction

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.

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spontaneous recovery

the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response

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generalization

the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses

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discrimination

unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members

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operant conditioning

a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.

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respondent behavior

behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner's term for behavior learned through classical conditioning

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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

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operant behavior

behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences

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shaping

an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior

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reinforcer

in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows

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positive reinforcement

increasing behaviors by presenting postive stimuli, such as food; when presented after a response, it strengthens response

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negative reinforcement

increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock; it is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response

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primary reinforcer

innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need

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conditioned reinforcer (secondary reinforcer)

a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer

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continuous reinforcement

Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs

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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

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fixed-ratio schedule

in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses

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variable-ratio schedule

in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses

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fixed-interval schedule

in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed

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variable-interval schedule

in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals

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punishment

an event that decreases the behavior that it follows

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cognitive map

a mental representation of the layout of one's environment

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latent learning

learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it

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intrinsic motivation

A desire to perform a behavior for its own sake

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extrinsic motivation

a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment

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observational learning

learning by observing others

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modeling

The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior

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mirror neurons

Frontal lobe neuron that fires when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so; may enable imitations, language learning, and empathy

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prosocial behavior

positive, constructive, helpful behavior. the opposite of antisocial behavior

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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.

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