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Flashcards in Learning Theory Deck (14):

What is classical conditioning?

A process that creates an association between a naturally existing stimulus and a previous neutral one


Define the following:
a. Unconditioned Stimulus
b. Conditioned Stimulus
c. Unconditioned Response
d. Conditioned Response

a. Unconditioned Stimulus
A stimulus that elicits a reflexive or innate response (UCR) without prior learning
b. Conditioned Stimulus
A stimulus that, through association with a UCS, comes to elicit a conditioned response similar to the original UCR
c. Unconditioned Response
A reflexive or innate response that is elicited by a stimulus (UCS) without prior learning
d. Conditioned Response
A response elicited by a conditioned stimulus


What is stimulus generalisation?

A tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar, but not identical, to a conditioned stimulus – it will elicit a conditioned response but in a weaker form


What is stimulus discrimination?

The ability to respond differently to various stimul


What is extinction?

A process in which the CS is presented repeatedly in the absence of the UCS, causing the CR to weaken and eventually disappear


Give brief descriptions of two iconic studies into classical conditioning.

Pavlov’s Dogs – dogs would start salivating (UCR) when they were brought food (UCS). Then a bell was rung every time before the foodwas brought to them. Then they started salivating (CR) every time the bell was rung (CS).


What is observational learning?

Occurs by watching and imitating actions of another person or by noting the consequences of another person’s actions
Occurs before direct practice is allowed and to be successful it requires attention, retention, production and motivation


Name and describe an experiment that demonstrated observational learning?

Bobo Doll Experiment – children watched their parents beat up the doll and then they went on to do the same thing


What is operant conditioning?

A process in which behaviour is learned and maintained by its consequence


Define the following:
a. Reinforcement
b. Reinforcer
c. Punishment
d. Punisher

a. Reinforcement
A responses is strengthened by an outcome that follows
b. Reinforcer
The outcome (a stimulus or event) that increases the frequency of a response
c. Punishment
A response that is weakened by an outcome that follows
d. Punisher
A consequence that weakens (decreases) the frequency of a response


What is operant extinction?

The weakening and eventual disappearance of a response because it is no longer reinforced


What are the two types of reinforcement?

Positive Reinforcement – occurs when a response is strengthened by the subsequent presentation of a reinforcer
Negative Reinforcement – occurs when a response is strengthened by the removal (or avoidance) of an aversive stimulus (e.g. if you do well in your exams you don’t have to get a summer job)


What are the four schedules of partial reinforcement?

Fixed interval schedule – reinforcement occurs after a fixed time interval
Variable interval schedule – the time interval varies at random around an average
Fixed ratio schedule – reinforcement is given after a fixed number of responses
Variable ratio – reinforcement is given after a variable number of responses, all centred around an average


What is continuous reinforcement?

Every instance of behaviour is reinforced
This is learnt more rapidly than partial reinforcement because theassociation is easier to understand
It also means that it extinguishes more rapidly than partial reinforcement because the shift to no reinforcement is sudden and easier to understand