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Flashcards in Learning Theory & Behavior Therapy 1 Deck (28):

Define learning.

A relatively permanent change in behavior as the result of experience. It requires active participation and is not due to maturation, disease, injury, fatigue, adaptation, or drugs.


Who coined the term "trial-and-error learning"?

Edward Thorndike. The idea is modeled on Darwin's notion of adaptive selection, in which random occurrences are selected by effectiveness of outcome.


Name Thorndike's three laws.

Law of Effect
Law of Exercise
Law of Readiness


Describe Thorndike's Law of Effect.

Responses accompanied or followed by pleasant consequences is more likely to be repeated. Those with unpleasant consequences are less likely. This is a precursor to Skinner's principle of reinforcement.


Describe Thorndike's Law of Exercise.

Stimulus-response associations are strengthened through repetition.


Describe Thorndike's Law of Readiness.

An organism must be ready to perform an act before doing so is reinforcing (satisfying). Similarly, being allowed not to act when not ready can be reinforcing. Conversely, being forced to act when not ready or being prevented when ready is aversive (annoying).


Define Thorndike's Law of Spread of Effect.

The pleasure of reinforced acts becomes associated with other acts occurring at the same time.


Discuss research on transfer of training (getting better at a second thing because of study of a first)?

Transfer of training is due to similarity of concepts and techniques, not to development of intellectual or memory faculties. Transfer is specific, not general, depending on the extent to which the area of transfer contains identical elements (sic) with the first. Psychological similarity is more important than physical similarity.


Name some important aspects of John Watson.

He coined the term "behaviorism" in reaction to the introspection of his contemporaries. Insisted that all behavior can be accounted for by differences in experience and classical conditioning based on inborn reflexes, including thought (covert speech) and emotion (glandular activity). This view is now described as "radical behaviorism."


Name the four basic sequences of classical conditioning.

Simultaneous, delayed, trace, and backward.


Define simultaneous conditioning.

Conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus are presented at the same time.


Define delayed conditioning.

Conditioned stimulus precedes but overlaps unconditioned stimulus. (most effective)


Define trace conditioning.

Conditioned stimulus precedes and is terminated prior to unconditioned stimulus.


Define backwards conditioning.

Unconditioned stimulus precedes conditioned stimulus. (ineffective)


Compare meanings of the term "reinforcement" in classical vs. operant conditioning.

In classical conditioning, it means the conditioned stimulus has been confirmed by being followed by the unconditioned stimulus. In operant conditioning, it means a response that increases the likelihood of voluntary behavior.


What is spontaneous recovery in classical conditioning?

When an extinguished conditioned stimulus produces a conditioned response if it is readministered.


What is overshadowing in classical conditioning?

A more salient conditioned stimulus produces a stronger conditioning than a less salient one. Can occur when two stimuli are paired with an unconditioned stimulus.


What is cue deflation effect in classical conditioning?

When the extinction of an overshadowing (more salient) conditioned stimulus leads to an increased response to a less salient conditioned stimulus.


Where does the term "conditioned phobia" come from?

Little Albert's stimulus generalization from white rats to white rabbits was called a conditioned phobia.


Describe a mediated generalization in classical conditioning.

This is a kind of chaining of conditioning. US1 and CS1 are paired to produce UR/CR1. Then US1 (now paired with CS1) and CS2 are paired to produce UR/CR2. Because both CS1 and CS2 were paired with US1, CS1 comes to produce CR2 (via CR1). In other words, CS1 -> CR1 -> CR2.


What is stimulus discrimination in classical conditioning?

Conditioning to differentiate between stimuli, e.g., salivating in response to a bell, but not a chime.


What is experimental neurosis in classical conditioning?

When discrimination between two stimuli is too difficult, e.g., differentiating between a circle and an ellipse, a respondent may become confused and anxious.


What is higher-order conditioning in classical conditioning?

A kind of behavioral chaining in classical conditioning. US1 and CS1 are paired to produce a UR/CR. Then CS1 and CS2 are paired to produce the same CR, i.e., CS1 becomes the US for CS2.


What is sensory preconditioning in classical conditioning?

CS1 and CS2 are paired prior pairing one with a US. Later, US1 is paired with CS1 to produce a UR/CR. Later, when CS2 is presented, it will produce the same UR/CR.


Distinguish between mediated generalization, higher-order conditioning, and sensory preconditioning in classical conditioning.

Higher-order and sensory preconditioning each use CS1 to link CS2 to a CR, the former in sequence, the latter simultaneously. Mediate generalization uses a CS/US pair to produce a second CR.


What is blocking in classical conditioning?

US1 and CS1 are paired to produce a UR/CR. US1 is then paired again with CS1 and now CS2 to produce the same UR/CR. CS2 alone will not elicit CR because it was "blocked" by CS1 (even though CS1 and CS2 together do produce the CR).


What is backward blocking in classical conditioning?

When two CSs are paired with a US to produce a UR/CR and then only one of the CSs is continued to be paired with the US. When the dropped CS is tested with the CR, its associative strength is reduced, leading to a weakening of the strength of the other CS.


What is pseudoconditioning in classical conditioning?

When the conditioned stimulus is the context for the conditioning, rather than the intended CS, e.g., the room in which conditioning occurs produces the CR. The intended CS, when presented outside the usual context, does not produce the CR. Especially common when conditioning fear responses.