Ch. 7 Flashcards Preview

PSYC 1115 > Ch. 7 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ch. 7 Deck (129):

define learning

the process of acquiring through experience new information or behaviors


When we learn things the information or behavior is _____



learning to repeat acts that bring rewards and avoid acts that bring unwanted results is what kind of conditioning?

operant conditioning


learning to expect and prepare for significant events such as food or pain is what kind of conditioning?

classical conditioning


learning new behaviors by observing events and watching others, and through language, learning things we have neither experienced nor observed is what kind of conditioning?

cognitive conditioning


behaviors can become associated with a context, so experiencing the context then evokes our ____ ____

habitual response


On average, daily behaviors become habitual after about ___ days according to one British study



on average it takes about 66 days to form a habit. Exercise habits however take _____



define 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)


the process of learning associations is called ______



define stimulus

any event or situation that evokes a response


define respondent behavior

behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus


In _____ conditioning, we learn to associate two stimuli and thus to anticipate events



In _____ conditioning, we learn to associate a response (our behavior) and its consequence



_____ conditioning allows us to learn to repeat acts followed by good results and avoid acts followed by bad results



define operant behavior

behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences


classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two types of _____ learning



define cognitive learning

the acquisition of mental information, whether by observing events, by watching others, or through language


name one type of cognitive learning

observational learning


Why are habits, such as having something sweet with that cup of coffee, so hard to break?

Habits form when we repeat behaviors in a given context and, as a result, learn associations—often without our awareness. For example, we may have eaten a sweet pastry with a cup of coffee often enough to associate the flavor of the coffee with the treat, so that the cup of coffee alone just doesn’t seem right anymore!


define classical conditioning

a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events


Who "discovered" classical conditioning?

Ivan Pavlov


define unconditioned response (UR)

in classical conditioning, an unlearned, naturally occurring response (such as salivation) to an unconditioned stimulus (US) (such as food in the mouth)


define unconditioned stimuli (US)

in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally—naturally and automatically—triggers an unconditioned response (UR)


define conditioned response (CR)

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


define conditioned stimulus (CS)

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


An experimenter sounds a tone just before delivering an air puff to your blinking eye. After several repetitions, you blink to the tone alone. What is the NS? The US? The UR? The CS? The CR?

NS = tone before conditioning; US = air puff; UR = blink to air puff; CS = tone after conditioning; CR = blink to tone.


define neutral stimulus

in classical conditioning, a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning


define acquisition

in classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response


How much time should elapse between presenting the NS (the tone, the light, the touch) and the US (the food)?

about half a second


What do you suppose would happen if the food (US) appeared before the tone (NS) rather than after? Would conditioning occur?

not likely


____ conditioning is biologically adaptive because it helps humans and other animals prepare for good or bad events



____ helps an animal survive and reproduce—by responding to cues that help it gain food, avoid dangers, locate mates, and produce offspring



define higher-order conditioning

a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus. For example, an animal that has learned that a tone predicts food might then learn that a light predicts the tone and begin responding to the light alone. (Also called second-order conditioning.)


If the aroma of a baking cake sets your mouth to watering, what is the US? The CS? The CR?

The cake (and its taste) are the US. The associated aroma is the CS. Salivation to the aroma is the CR.


define 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


define spontaneous recovery

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


The first step of classical conditioning, when an NS becomes a CS, is called ______________. When a US no longer follows the CS, and the CR becomes weakened, this is called ______________.

acquisition, extinction


define generalization

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


Generalized anxiety reactions have been demonstrated in laboratory studies comparing abused with nonabused children. When an angry face appears on a computer screen, abused children’s brain-wave responses are dramatically _____ and _____ ____ than nonabused children

longer lasting


define discrimination

in classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.


In slasher movies, sexually arousing images of women are sometimes paired with violence against women. Based on classical conditioning principles, what might be an effect of this pairing?

If viewing an attractive nude or seminude woman (a US) elicits sexual arousal (a UR), then pairing the US with a new stimulus (violence) could turn the violence into a conditioned stimulus (CS) that also becomes sexually arousing, a conditioned response (CR).


In Watson and Rayner’s experiments, “Little Albert” learned to fear a white rat after repeatedly experiencing a loud noise as the rat was presented. In this experiment, what was the US? The UR? The NS? The CS? The CR?

The US was the loud noise; the UR was the fear response to the noise; the NS was the rat before it was paired with the noise; the CS was the rat after pairing; the CR was fear of the rat.


What is learning?

Learning is the process of acquiring through experience new information or behaviors


What are some basic forms of learning? (name 2)

associative learning (operant and classical conditioning)
cognitive learning


In associative learning, we learn that...?

certain events occur together.


In classical conditioning, we learn to...?

associate two or more stimuli


a _____ is any event or situation that evokes a response)



in classical conditioning, we associate stimuli that we do not control, and we respond ____. This is called _____ _____.

respondent behavior


In operant conditioning, we learn to...?

associate a response and its consequences.


In operant conditioning, these associations produce ___ ____

operant behaviors


Through ____ ____, we acquire mental information that guides our behavior. For example, in observational learning, we learn new behaviors by observing events and watching others.

cognitive learning


What was behaviorism’s view of learning?

The behaviorists believed that the basic laws of learning are the same for all species, including humans.


Who was Pavlov?

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, created novel experiments on learning. His early twentieth-century research over the last three decades of his life demonstrated that classical conditioning is a basic form of learning.


what are the basic components of classical conditioning?

Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. In classical conditioning, an NS is a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning. A UR is an event that occurs naturally (such as salivation), in response to some stimulus. A US is something that naturally and automatically (without learning) triggers the unlearned response (as food in the mouth triggers salivation). A CS is a previously neutral stimulus (such as a tone) that, after association with a US (such as food) comes to trigger a CR. A CR is the learned response (salivating) to the originally neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus.


In classical conditioning, what is the process of acquisition?

acquisition is associating an NS with the US so that the NS begins triggering the CR. Acquisition occurs most readily when the NS is presented just before (ideally, about a half-second before) a US, preparing the organism for the upcoming event. This finding supports the view that classical conditioning is biologically adaptive. Through higher-order conditioning, a new NS can become a new CS.


In classical conditioning, what is the process extinction?

Extinction is diminished responding when the CS no longer signals an impending US.


In classical conditioning, what is the process spontaneous recovery?

Spontaneous recovery is the appearance of a formerly extinguished response, following a rest period


In classical conditioning, what is the process generalization?

Generalization is the tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar to a CS.


In classical conditioning, what is the process discrimination?

Discrimination is the learned ability to distinguish between a CS and other irrelevant stimuli.


Why does Pavlov’s work remain so important?

Pavlov taught us that significant psychological phenomena can be studied objectively, and that classical conditioning is a basic form of learning that applies to all species.


What have been some applications of Pavlov’s work to human health and well-being?

Classical conditioning techniques are used to improve human health and well-being in many areas, including behavioral therapy for some types of psychological disorders. The body’s immune system may also respond to classical conditioning.


How did Watson apply Pavlovs principles to learned fears?

Pavlov’s work also provided a basis for Watson’s idea that human emotions and behaviors, though biologically influenced, are mainly a bundle of conditioned responses. Watson applied classical conditioning principles in his studies of “Little Albert” to demonstrate how specific fears might be conditioned.


define operate conditioning

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


With ______________ conditioning, we learn associations between events we do not control. With ______________ conditioning, we learn associations between our behavior and resulting events.



define 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.


define operant chmaber

in operant conditioning research, 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; attached devices record the animal’s rate of bar pressing or key pecking.


define reinforcement

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


define shaping

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


With this method of _____ _____, you reward responses that are ever closer to the final desired behavior, and you ignore all other responses

successive approximations


____ can help us understand what nonverbal organisms perceive



define positive reinforcement

increasing behaviors by presenting positive reinforcers. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response


define negative reinforcement

increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note: Negative reinforcement is not punishment.)


_____ is any consequence that strengthens behavior



define primary reinforcer

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


primary reinforcers are ____



define conditioned reinforcer

a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer


do rats respond to delayed reinforcers?

no. if more than 30 seconds passes before reinforcement then the desired activity will not be reinforced


do humans respond to delayed reinforcers?



define reinforcement schedules

a pattern that defines how often a desired response will be reinforced


define continuous reinforcement

reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs


define 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


for partial (intermittent) reinforcement schedules Learning is ___ to appear, but resistance to extinction is ___ than with continuous reinforcement



define fixed-ratio schedules

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


define variable-ratio schedule

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


define fixed-interval schedule

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


_____-______ schedules result in a choppy stop-start pattern rather than a steady rate of response because the subject repeats the operant more frequently as the reinforcement approaches



define variable-interval schedule

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


____-______ schedules tend to produce slow, steady responding



In general, response rates are higher when reinforcement is linked to _____ (a(n) ___ schedule) rather than to ____ (a(n) ____ schedule)

the number of responses


responding is more ___ when reinforcement is unpredictable (a ____ schedule) than when it is predictable (a ____ schedule)



Telemarketers are reinforced by which schedule?

variable-ratio schedule


People checking the oven to see if the cookies are done are on which schedule?

fixed-interval schedule


Airline frequent-flyer programs that offer a free flight after every 25,000 miles of travel are using which reinforcement schedule?

fixed-ratio schedule


define punishment

an event that tends to decrease the behavior that it follows


_____ increases a behavior; ____ does the opposite



Salivating in response to a tone paired with food is a(n) ______________ behavior; pressing a bar to obtain food is a(n) ______________ be



What is operant conditioning?

In operant conditioning, behaviors followed by reinforcers increase; those followed by punishers often decrease.


Who was Skinner?

B. F. Skinner was a college English major and aspiring writer who later entered psychology graduate school. He became modern behaviorism’s most influential and controversial figure.


how is operant behavior reinforced and shaped?

Expanding on Edward Thorndike’s law of effect, Skinner and others found that the behavior of rats or pigeons placed in an operant chamber (Skinner box) can be shaped by using reinforcers to guide closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.


How do positive and negative reinforcement differ?

Reinforcement is any consequence that strengthens behavior. Positive reinforcement adds a desirable stimulus to increase the frequency of a behavior. Negative reinforcement removes an aversive stimulus to increase the frequency of a behavior.


what are the basic types of reinforcers?

Primary reinforcers (such as receiving food when hungry or having nausea end during an illness) are innately satisfying—no learning is required. Conditioned (or secondary) reinforcers (such as cash) are satisfying because we have learned to associate them with more basic rewards (such as the food or medicine we buy with them). Immediate reinforcers (such as a purchased treat) offer immediate payback; delayed reinforcers (such as a weekly paycheck) require the ability to delay gratification.


How do different reinforcement schedules affect behavior?

A reinforcement schedule defines how often a response will be reinforced. In continuous reinforcement (reinforcing desired responses every time they occur), learning is rapid, but so is extinction if rewards cease. In partial (intermittent) reinforcement (reinforcing responses only sometimes), initial learning is slower, but the behavior is much more resistant to extinction. Fixed-ratio schedules reinforce behaviors after a set number of responses; variable-ratio schedules, after an unpredictable number. Fixed-interval schedules reinforce behaviors after set time periods; variable-interval schedules, after unpredictable time periods.


How does punishment differ from negative reinforcement?

Punishment administers an undesirable consequence (such as spanking) or withdraws something desirable (such as taking away a favorite toy) in an attempt to decrease the frequency of a behavior (a child’s disobedience). Negative reinforcement (taking an aspirin) removes an aversive stimulus (a headache). This desired consequence (freedom from pain) increases the likelihood that the behavior (taking aspirin to end pain) will be repeated.


how does punishment affect behavior?

Punishment can have undesirable side effects, such as suppressing rather than changing unwanted behaviors; teaching aggression; creating fear; encouraging discrimination (so that the undesirable behavior appears when the punisher is not present); and fostering depression and feelings of helplessness.


Why did Skinner’s ideas provoke controversy?

Critics of Skinner’s principles believed the approach dehumanized people by neglecting their personal freedom and seeking to control their actions. Skinner replied that people’s actions are already controlled by external consequences, and that reinforcement is more humane than punishment as a means for controlling behavior.


how might Skinners operant conditioning principles be applied at school, in sports, at work, and at home?

At school, teachers can use shaping techniques to guide students’ behaviors, and they can use interactive software and websites to provide immediate feedback. In sports, coaches can build players’ skills and self-confidence by rewarding small improvements. At work, managers can boost productivity and morale by rewarding well-defined and achievable behaviors. At home, parents can reward desired behaviors but not undesirable ones. We can shape our own behaviors by stating our goals, monitoring the frequency of desired behaviors, reinforcing desired behaviors, and gradually reducing rewards as behaviors become habitual.


How does operant conditioning differ from classical conditioning?

In operant conditioning, an organism learns associations between its own behavior and resulting events; this form of conditioning involves operant behavior (behavior that operates on the environment, producing rewarding or punishing consequences). In classical conditioning, the organism forms associations between stimuli—events it does not control; this form of conditioning involves respondent behavior (automatic responses to some stimulus).


More than the early behaviorists realized, an animal’s capacity for conditioning is constrained by its _____



if sickened after sampling a new food, they thereafter avoid it. what is this called?

taste aversion


We most easily learn and retain behaviors that reflect our ____ predispositions



Biological constraints predispose organisms to learn associations that are naturally ____



an ______ _____ occurs as animals revert to their biologically predisposed patterns.

instinctive drift


_____ is an awareness of how likely it is that the US will occur. can animals learn this?



define cognitive map

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


define latent learning

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


define intrinsic motivation

a desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake


Excessive rewards can destroy ____ _____

intrinsic motivation


define extrinsic motivation

a desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment


define observational learning

learning by observing others


define modeling

the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior


We are especially likely to learn from people we perceive as ____ to ourselves



define mirror neurons

frontal lobe neurons that some scientists believe fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain’s mirroring of another’s action may enable imitation and empathy


define prosocial behavior

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


How do biological constraints affect classical and operant conditioning?

Classical conditioning principles, we now know, are constrained by biological predispositions, so that learning some associations is easier than learning others. Learning is adaptive: Each species learns behaviors that aid its survival. Biological constraints also place limits on operant conditioning. Training that attempts to override biological constraints will probably not endure because animals will revert to predisposed patterns.


How do cognitive processes affect classical and operant conditioning?

In classical conditioning, animals may learn when to expect a US and may be aware of the link between stimuli and responses. In operant conditioning, cognitive mapping and latent learning research demonstrate the importance of cognitive processes in learning. Other research shows that excessive rewards (driving extrinsic motivation) can undermine intrinsic motivation.


How does observational learning differ from associative learning?

In observational learning, as we observe and imitate others we learn to anticipate a behavior’s consequences because we experience vicarious reinforcement or vicarious punishment. In associative learning, we merely learn associations between different events.


How may observational learning be enabled by mirror neurons?

Our brain’s frontal lobes have a demonstrated ability to mirror the activity of another’s brain. Some psychologists believe mirror neurons enable this process. The same areas fire when we perform certain actions (such as responding to pain or moving our mouth to form words) as when we observe someone else performing those actions.


What is the impact of prosocial modeling and of antisocial modeling?

Children tend to imitate what a model does and says, whether the behavior being modeled is prosocial (positive, constructive, and helpful) or antisocial. If a model’s actions and words are inconsistent, children may imitate the hypocrisy they observe.