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Flashcards in Cognitive Psychology Deck (46):

Explain what Acquisition, Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery is in relation to Classical Conditioning

- magnitude of the CR USA function of the number of pairings between UCS and CS

- magnitude of the CS gradually decreases with the number of trials in which no US occurs

Spontaneous Recovery
- if after series of extinction trial, the CS is presented some time later without the US, the CR shows some spontaneous recovery


Explain what Temporal Ordering, Generalisation, Discrimination and Second-Order Conditioning is in relation to CC

Temporal Ordering:
- conditioning is strongest if CS precedes US and fails to occur if US precedes CS

- after CC with one CS, other similar stimuli will elicit CRs

- If after CC with one CS and Generalisation to similar stimuli the latter are not followed by UCS, the organism learns to discriminate

- a CS1 That has previously been conditioned is now used to condition another CS2


What is the correct order of the important principle of CC?

1) Acquisition
2) Extinction
3) Spontaneous Recovery
4) Temporal Ordering
5) Generalisation
6) Discrimination
7) Second-Order Conditioning


Describe forward, simultaneous and backward Conditioning

- the CS precedes the UCS

- The CS And UCS are presented simultaneously

- the UCS precedes the CS


Explain Temporal order and contiguity

Contiguity refers to the temporal closeness of UCS and CS
Interstimulus interval can be:
positive : forward (CS precedes UCS)
Negative : backward ( UCS precedes CS)
Zero : simultaneous (UCS and CS at same time)

Forward is more effective


Explain Contiguity vs Contingency

Pavlov: contiguity is essential for CC

Rescorla: contingency is important


Explain Conditioned inhibition

Refers to a type of conditioning where CS becomes associated with the absence of UCS

Effects are demonstrated using two CSs:
- CS positively associated with UCS
- CS negatively associated with UCS


Explain the Rescorla-Wagner Theory in seven steps

1) learning occurs if what happens on trial doesn’t match the expectation of the organism

2) expectation on any given trial is based on the predictive value of the stimulus present


Explain instrumental conditioning in reference to Thorndike’s learning by trial and error and the law of effect



Explain Skinner’s paradigm of operant conditioning

An animal


Which of the following does not involve learning?

A) habituation
B) reflexes
C) classical conditioning
D) instrumental



According to Behaviourism which of the following is not a determinant of behaviour?

A) insight
B) stimuli
C) responses
D) learning

A) insight


Under which condition is CC most likely to occur?

A) if the CS is followed by the UCS
B) if the UCS is followed by CS
C) if the UCS and the CS are presented at the same time
D) if the time interval between the CS and the UCS is fixed

A) if the CS is followed by the UCS


Learning to associate the CS with the absence of the UCS is known as

A) conditioned inhibition
B) blocking
C) second-order conditioning
D) backward conditioning

A) conditioned inhibition


The Rescorla-Wagner theory provides an explanation for

A) the shape of the learning curve
B) conditioned inhibition
C) blocking
D) all of the above

D) all of the above


According to Thorndike, learning occurs by:

A) trial and error
B) habituation
C) insight
D) observation

A) trial and error


An activity that has a higher probability of occurrence (i.e, a higher preference) will reinforce a lower probability activity. This is known as

A) partial reinforcement
B) the Premack principle
C) shaping
D) drive reduction

B) the Premack principle


In instrumental conditioning, positive reinforcement is

A) the removal of an aversive stimulus contingent on a behaviour worth the goal of increasing the likelihood of the behaviour

B) the giving of an aversive stimulus contingent on a behaviour worth the goal of increasing the likelihood of the behaviour

C) the giving of a desirable stimulus contingent on behaviour with the goal of increasing the likelihood of the behaviour

C) the giving of a desirable stimulus contingent on behaviour with the goal of increasing the likelihood of the behaviour


In Watson&Rayner’s(1920) study, little Albert was conditioned to fear a rat by pairing the exposure to the rat with an unexpected banging on a steel bar with a hammer. This result has been seen as evidence for an explanation of phobias in terms of CC. Which of the following points is particularly problematic for this explanation?

A) the ethical concerns surrounding the conduct of the little Albert experiment

B) the fact that little Albert was not afraid of rats before the experiment

C) the fact that little Albert became anxious if rats after just a few stimulus pairings

D) the fact that the little Albert’s fear of rats decreased between sessions

Answer = D


Which of the following is NOT a component of systematic desensitisation therapy when treating phobias?

A) the use of counter-conditioning
B) the use of anxiety hierarchy
C) the use of drugs
D) the use of extinction

C) the use of drugs


Olton(1978) put rats into the centre of a radial max where food was placed at the end of each of the eight arms. Rats depleted the food in the eight arms:

A) in random order i.e., they visited the arms regardless whether they had been there before

B) in quasi random order, i.e. they avoided to revisit an arm where they had been before

C) systematically from left to right, i.e. by visiting the eight arms in clockwise order

D) systematically from eight to left, i.e. by visiting the eight arms in anti-clockwise order

B) in quasi random order, i.e. they avoided to revisit an arm where they had been before


Procedural knowledge typically is

A) implicit and non verbalise
B) implicit and verbalise
C) explicit and verbalise
D) explicit and non verbalise

A) implicit and non verbalise


If we learn a new skill, learning progress is:

A) unpredictable
B) slow all the time
C) slow initially, but then gets faster
D) fast initially but then slows down

D) fast initially but then slows down


According to Anderson(1982) the acquisition of skills proceeds through three stage. Which one is the correct stage?

A) Cognitive, Associative, Autonomous
B) Associative, Cognitive, Autonomous
C) Autonomous, Cognitive, Associative
D) Autonomous, Associative, Cognitive

A) Cognitive, Associative, Autonomous


What is the correct order for the hierarchy of adaptive behaviour

A) Reflexes, Fixed action patterns, Classical/ Instrumental conditioning, Habituation

B) Habituation, Reflexes, Fixed action patterns, Classical/Instrumental conditioning

C) Reflexes, Fixed action patterns, Habituation, Classical/ Instrumental conditioning

D) Classical/ Instrumental conditioning, Reflexes, Fixed action patterns, Habituation

C) Reflexes, Fixed action patterns, Habituation, Classical/ Instrumental conditioning


What is the correct definition of memory

A) the process by which relatively long-lasting changes occur in behavioural potential as a result of experience

B) the relatively permanent record of the experience but underlies learning



Which psychologists did research on learning?

A) Pavlov and Thorndike
B) Thorndike And Ebbinghaus
C) Ebbinghaus and Pavlov
D) Skinner and Pavlov

A) Pavlov and Thorndike


Explain CC as quickly as you can in steps

1) Prerequisites: UCS (food) + an innate response to environment (salivating) UCR (not learnt, so not conditioned)

2) UCS is paired with CS (e.g bell) and organism learns to associate bell with UCS

3) After a number of pairings CS evokes response by itself without UCS present

4) UCR is now CR as the dog salivates when it hears the bell without presence of CS


What is a phobia?

Is an excessive and intense fear of specific objects and situations e.g. spiders or heights


Explain Pavlov conditioning

Idea: NS becomes phobic because it has been paired with an aversive stimulus e.g something traumatic (fear conditioning training)


List 3 criticisms of Watson and Rayner’s experiment

1) Albert’s fear of rats decreased between sessions, so he had to be reconditioned. So real phobias do not extinguish

2) Attempts to replicate the study e.g. using toys failed

3) Traumatic experiences do not necessarily lead to phobias


Explain the treatment of addiction aka Aversion Therapy in 3 steps

1) based on idea to condition an association between some behaviour and a noxious outcome

2) involves both classical and instrumental conditioning principles:

3) Classical conditioning is used to form an association between a target stimulus eg alcohol and an aversive stimulus eg nausea


Latent learning: Tolman and Hoznik: list the correct groups of rats running a maze with 14 choice points

Group 1: Always had food reward after 17 days

Group 2: never got any food reward 17 days

Group 3: no rewards for 10 days, then from 11th days got a food reward


Explain Tolman’s Cognitive maps

Group 1 always found food in the maze by turning right and learned a constant response although location of food changed


Explain what the Cognitive, Associative And Autonomous stages mean in the stages of skill acquisition

Cognitive : task is dependent on mental processing

Associative: patterns of associations among actions are being learnt. Actions of patterns becomes more fluent, Cognitive involvement decreases

Autonomous: skill becomes rapid and performance no longer depends on cognitive resources


Describe contiguity and contingency in relation to CC

Contiguity : Temporal closeness of UCS and CS

Contingency: p


What is memory?

The capacity to form, retain, and recall info and experiences


What is iconic memory?

A visual sensory memory that briefly holds visual representation of a scene that has just been perceived.


What is echoic memory?

Auditory variant of iconic memory
as it stores auditory information for a brief period of time. If attended it enters STM.


What is STM?

Our ability to remember what we have perceived and attended to and to think about this in terms of what we already know (LTM)

It is immediate memory
- limited capacity as only limited info can be stored
- limited duration as contents of stm can be held for limited time
- either be transferred to LTM or forgotten


Explain episodic memory

- autobiographical info
- Self- referential as info is encoded in relation to the observer

- info is embedded
- Godden and Baddeley: deep sea divers recall words better under water when they studied there

- external state: physical location
- internal state: mood


Explain implicit memory

- how we use LTM memory without awareness

Types of implicit memory
- priming: response to previous stimulus determines your response to current stimulus
- info can be primed through repetition and semantic meaning
- procedural
- implicit learning aka CC


How is semantic knowledge organised?

- an hierarchal model
- schemas of knowledge


What does Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve show?

- forgetting is rapid at first, but gradually slows down

- resembling a logarithmic relationship between time and forgetting.


What are some theories of forgetting?

- memory traces consolidate over time
- older memory traces are less sensitive to forgetting than recent ones

Decay and interference
- decay: forgetting occurs inevitably with the passing of time.
- interference: events that occur during a time interval that determine whether forgetting occurs
- proactive and retroactive interference


What is unforgettable memories?

Flashbulb memories
- memory of a highly dramatic and surprising event
- contain info about the informant, place where it was heard, ongoing event, emotional state, consequence

Self reference effect