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Learning

The modification through experience of pre-existing behavior and understanding.

1

Habituation

The process of adapting to stimuli that don't change.

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Classical Conditioning

A procedure in which a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that elicits a reflex or other response until the neutral stimulus alone come to elicit similar response.

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Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)

A stimulus that elicits a response without conditioning.

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Unconditioned Response (UCR)

The automatic or unlearned reaction to a stimulus.

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Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

The original neutral stimulus that, through pairing with the unconditioned stimulus, comes to elicit a conditioned response.

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Conditioned Response (CR)

The response that the conditioned stimulus elicits.

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Extinction

The gradual disappearance of a conditioned response due to elimination of the association between conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

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Reconditioning

The quick relearning of a conditioned response following extinction.

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Spontaneous Recovery

The reappearance of the conditioned response after extinction and without further pairings of the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli.

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Stimulus Generalization

A phenomenon in which a conditioned response is elicited by stimuli that are similar but not identical to the conditioned stimulus.

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Stimulus Discrimination

A process through which individuals learn to differentiate among similar stimuli and respond appropriately to each one.

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Second-order Conditioning

A phenomenon in which a conditioned stimulus acts like a an unconditioned stimulus, creating conditioned stimuli out of events associated with it.

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Law of Effect

A law stating that if a response made in the presence of a particular stimulus is followed by a reward, that response is more likely the next time the stimulus is encountered.

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Instrumental Conditioning

A process through which responses are learned that produce some rewarding effect.

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Operant Conditioning

A process through which an organism learns to respond to the environment in a way that produces positive consequences.

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Operant

A response that has some effect on the world.

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Reinforcer

A stimulus event that increases the possibility that the response that immediately preceded it will occur again.

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Positive Reinforces

Stimuli that strengthen a response if they follow that response.

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Negative Reinforcers

The removal of unpleasant stimuli, such a pain.

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Escape conditioning

A type of learning in which an organism learns to make a particular response in order to terminate an aversive stimulus.

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Avoidance Conditioning

A type of learning in which an organism responds to a signal on a way that avoids exposure to an aversive stimulus.

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Discriminative Stimuli

Stimuli that signals whether reinforcement is available of a certain response is made.

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Shaping

The process of reinforcing responses that come successively closer to the desired response.

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Primary Reinforcers

Reinforcers that meet an organism's basic needs.

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Secondary Reinforcers

A reward that people or animals learn to like.

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Continuous Reinforcement Schedule

A pattern in which a reinforcer is delivered every time a particular response occurs.

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Partial reinforcement Schedule

A pattern in which a reinforcer is only administered some of the time a particular response occurs.

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Fixed-Ratio (FR) Schedule

A partial reinforcement schedule that provides reinforcement following a fixed number of responses.

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Variable-Ratio (VR) Schedule

A PR schedule that provides reinforcement after a varying number of responses.

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Fixed-Interval (FI) Schedule

A PR schedule that provides reinforcement for the first response that occurs after some fixed time has passed since the last reward.

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Variable-Interval (VI) Schedule

A PR schedule that provides reinforcement for the first response after some varying interval of time.

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Partial Reinforcement Extinction Effect

A phenomenon in which behaviors learned under PR schedule are more difficult to extinguish than those behaviors learned on a continuous reinforcement schedule.

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Punishment

Presentation of an aversive stimulus or the removal of a pleasant stimulus.

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Learned Helpless

A failure to try to exert control over the environment when an organism has, or believes that it has, no control.

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Latent Learning

Learning that is not demonstrated at the time occurs.

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Cognitive Map

A mental representation, or picture, of the environment.

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Insight

A sudden understanding about what is required to solve a problem.

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Observational Learning

Learning how to preform new behaviors by watching others.

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Vicarious Conditioning

Learning conditioned responses by watching what happens to others.