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Flashcards in Learning Deck (49):


A relatively permanent change in behaviour, knowledge, capability, or attitude to illness, injury or maturation

Doesn’t include
1. Short term changes
2. Physical changes


Classical learning

The most simplest

Association is learned between one stimulus and another

Also called classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning


Associative learning

We associate one thing with another, a positive or negative attitude
A name, gesture, style, manner



Involuntary responses to a particular stimulus

Include both conditioned and unconditioned


Unconditioned reflex

Inborn, automatic, unlearned response to a particular stimulus

Built into our nervous system


Conditioned reflexes

Learned reflexes, as opposed to naturally occurring ones


Unconditioned response

A response that is invariably elicited by the unconditioned stimulus without prior learning


Unconditioned stimulus

A stimulus that elicits a specific response without prior learning


Conditioned stimulus

A neutral stimulus that, after repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus, becomes associated with it and elicits a conditioned response


Conditioned response

A response that comes to be elicited by a conditioned stimulus as a result of its repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus



The weakening and often eventual disappearance of a learned response

Weakened by repeated presentation of the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus


Spontaneous recovery

The reappearance of am extinguished response when an organism is exposed to the original conditioned stimulus following a rest period


Generalization (Classical learning)

The tendency to make a conditioned response to a stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus



The learned ability to distinguish between similar stimuli so that the conditioned response occurs only to the original conditioned stimulus but not to similar stimuli


Higher order conditioning

Takes place when a neutral stimulus is paired with an existing conditioned stimulus, becomes associated with it, and gains the power to elicit the same conditioned response


What are the 4 factors that effect classical conditioning

1. The number of pairings of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus

2. The intensity of the unconditioned stimulus

3. How reliably the conditioned stimulus predicts the unconditioned stimulus(must always and only follow the stimulus)

4. The temporal relationship between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus (conditioned stimulus must occur shortly before the unconditioned stimulus, half a second)


Pavlov believes:

Believed that the critical element in classical conditioning was the repeated pairing of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus


Rescorla believes:

The importance factor is whether the conditioned stimulus provides information that enables the organism to reliably predict the occurrence of the unconditioned stimulus


Biological disposition

The degree to which genes prepare animals and humans to acquire or resist acquiring classically conditioned responses, are an important factor in the conditioning process


Seligman believes:
What is taste aversion?

Most fears are related to the survival of the human species
Humans and animals associate only certain stimuli with particular consequences

Taste aversion - the intense dislike an/or avoidance of a particular food that has been associated with nausea or discomfort


Drug tolerance

The user becomes progressively less affected by the drug and must take higher and higher doses tomaintain the same effects


Operant conditioning

A voluntary response

A type of learning in which the consequences of behaviour tend to modify that behaviour in the future

Behaviour that is reinforced will be repeated, if ignored or punished, less likely to be repeated



Anything that strengthens a response or increases the probability that it will occur



Gradually moulding a desired behaviour by reinforcing responses that become progressively closer to it, reinforcing successive approximations of the desired response


Skinner box

Invented by b.f. skinner for conducting experiments in operant conditioning

A sound proof chamber with a device for delivering food and either a bar for rats to press or for pidgeons to peck


Successive approximations

A series of gradual training steps, with each step becoming more like the final desired response


Generalization (operant learning)

The tendency to make the learned response to a stimulus that is similar to the one for which it was originally reinforced


Superstitious behaviour in operant learning

Occurs when an individual believes that a connection exists between an act and its consequences, with no relationship between the two


Discrimitive stimulus

The stimulus that signals whether a certain response or behaviour is likely to be rewarded, ignored, or punished

Emotions, people



Any event that increases the probability of the response that it follows


Positive reinforcement

Any positive consequences that if applied after a response increases the probability of that response

Working hard for a promotion, bonus, good grades


Negative reinforcement

Involves learning a behaviour in order to make something unpleasant go away

Turning off, getting rid


Primary reinforcer

Fulfills a basic physical need for survival and does not depend on learning

Food, sleep, termination of pain


Secondary reinforcer

Acquired through learned by association with other reinforcers.
Can be exchanged at a later time for other reinforcers

Money, praise, grades, signals of approval, attention


Continuous reinforcement

Reinforcement that is administered after every desired or correct response

the most effective method of conditioning a new response


Partial reinforcement

A pattern of reinforcement in which some portion, rather than 100%, of the correct responses


Schedules of reinforcement

Systematic programs for administering reinforcement that have a predictable effect on behaviour


Fixed-ratio schedule

A schedule in which a reinforcer is administered after a fixed number of non reinforced correct responses

Number of units needed in order to be paid


Variable ratio schedule

A schedule in which a reinforcer is administered on the basis of an average ratio after a varying number of non-reinforced correct responses

Maintains behaviour against extinction



Fixed interval schedule

A specific time interval must pass before a response is reinforced

Does not depend on the number of responses made, only on the one correct response made after the time interval has passed

Has a decline in responding immediately after each reinforcement, rapid acceleration in responding before the next reinforcement

Last minute studying


Variable interval schedule

Eliminate the pause after reinforcement, from fixed interval schedule

A reinforcer is administered on the basis of an average time after the first correct response following a varying time of non-reinforced responses

Low response rate since not directly tied to the number of responses made


form reinforcement, strongest to lowest

1. Fixed ratio
2. Variable-ratio
3. Fixed -interval


Partial reinforcement

The greater resistance to extinction that occurs when a portion, rather than 100%, of the correct responses have been removed

The lower the percentage of responses that are reinforced, the longer extinction will take when reinforcement is withheld


The 3 factors that influence operant conditioning

1. The magnitude of reinforcement
- magnitude of reinforcement increases, the rate of responding is higher, and resistance to extinction is higher

2. Immediacy of reinforcement
- responses are conditioned more effectively when reinforcement is immediate

3. Level of motivation of the learner
- more motivated=learn faster



Lowers the probability of a response by the addition of an unpleasant stimulus or removal of a pleasant stimulus

Doesn’t extinguish undesirable behaviour, it suppressed the behaviour when the punishing agent is present

Indicates unacceptable behaviour, doesn’t help develop appropriate behaviours

Usually leads to aggression


What increases the effect of punishment

1. Punishment is most effective when it is applied during the misbehaviour or as soon afterwards as possible

2. Punishment should be last resort

3. Punishment should be consistent

4. Should not be administered in anger


Learned helplessness

A passive resignation to aversive conditions learned by repeated exposure to aversive events that are inescapable and unavoidable


Observational learning


Learning that results when we observe the behaviour of others and the consequences of that behaviour

Stronger when several sessions of observation precedes attempts to perform the behaviour and are then repeated in the early stages of practicing it

We use it to acquire new responses or to strengthen/weaken existing ones

Useful when we find ourselves in unusual situations

Fears, agression(ban Duran doll), emotions are all observable



The person who demonstrates a behaviour or whose behaviour is imitated

Effectiveness of a model is related to their status, competence, and power, age, sex, attractiveness, ethnicity