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Flashcards in Psychology Deck (27):

Classical Conditioning

The principle: "Unconditioned" or “unconditional” stimuli (US) (e.g., food, loud noises) elicit certain unconditioned or unconditional or automatic responses (UR) (e.g., salivation, startle response,
respectively). After repeatedly presenting or “pairing” an originally neutral stimulus (e.g., soft sound) with a “US,” the neutral stimulus becomes a “conditioned” or “conditional” stimulus (CS). Eventually this CS elicits a response (“conditioned” or “conditional” response [CR]) that is identical or indistinguishable from the UR associated with the paired US.


Operant Conditioning or Instrumental Learning; Law of Effect

Behaviors that are followed by positive consequences (“positive reinforcement”) or by the removal of negative consequences (“negative reinforcement”) are likely to be repeated. Behaviors that are followed by negative consequences (“positive punishment”) or by the removal of positive consequences (“negative punishment”) are likely to diminish or stop.


Social Facilitation

In the presence of other people and especially when those other people are perceived as evaluators (e.g., supervisors, experts, judgmental or competitive peers), "dominant" (well-learned
or well-practiced) responses are exaggerated and “subordinate” (new behaviors or knowledge, difficult skills) are suppressed.


Group Dynamics

Individual persons’ attitudes and behaviors are greatly influenced by other individuals and groups. A social group influences an individual's perception so that individuals are likely to change their judgment to align with the group. The presence of one other perceived colleague/compatriot/ally has a powerful influence to help an individual maintain his/her perspective and views, rather than be swayed by a group’s opinion. When instructed by an authority figure, people are likely to conform with demands that would otherwise be considered inappropriate or unethical. Other work highlighted how behaviors are influenced by group norms.


Informal Social Communication

People are most influenced by and become associated with other people with whom they interact and communicate frequently. Further, physical layout or "functional space" affects social interactions. There are “pressures to uniformity” within the group; that is, there are social pressures to hold similar beliefs, opinions, and attitudes, and to act in similar ways.


Social Comparison

In the absence of objective physical standards, people compare themselves with similar others in order to appraise and to alter their attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and abilities. People use "upward" social comparison (e.g., comparing themselves to someone who is more capable or accomplished) to set goals. People use "downward" social comparison (e.g., comparing themselves to someone who is less capable or otherwise in a worse position) to look at themselves in a relatively more positive light.



There is an innate need to affiliate (i.e., to be with others of the same species). Ambiguous situations and arousal (e.g., from anxiety or hunger) increase the tendency for people to affiliate.


Deindividuation and Individuation

Within groups, people have innate needs for individuation (i.e., to stand out and be recognized) and for
deindividuation (i.e., to be part of or “lost” in a group to allow for various behaviors that might be difficult or uncomfortable as an individual). When individuation and deindividuation operate, the group becomes particularly attractive and cohesive.


Social Learning Theory

The Law of Effect and Instrumental Learning applied to social reinforcers. That is, a valued person’s smile or pat on the back acts as a reinforcer. A scowl, nasty remark, or social rejection acts as a punisher. Further, watching other people’s behaviors being reinforced or punished also serves as an effective mode of learning.


Cognitive Dissonance; Cognitive Consistency

The principle: People prefer “cognitive consistency” (i.e., when opinions, thoughts, and perceptions of behavior do not contradict each other) and cognitive inconsistencies (“cognitive dissonance”) is
an uncomfortable psychological state. Therefore, people change their attitudes, beliefs, opinions, or behaviors to achieve perceived cognitive consistency. Greater commitment and conviction to a
particular cognition or behavior amplifies pressures for cognitive consistency. People change the cognition or behavior that is easiest to change to reduce the cognitive dissonance.


Social Loafing; Bystander Intervention

When people are acting in a group, individual responsibility is minimized which causes group members to take fewer risks to contribute or to help other people.


Attribution and Misattribution

People try to determine the cause of their own and others’ behaviors, especially with regard to the individual or environment. The fundamental attribution error is the tendency to underestimate the role of the situation (or environment) to determine a cognition or behavior. People tend to attribute their successes to individual factors (i.e. give credit to themselves for their success) and attribute their failures to external, situational factors. When judging the behavior of others, people tend to do the reverse (i.e. attribute others’ successes to situational factors and blame others’ failures on individual factors). Misattribution is an erroneous causal explanation for a cognition or behavior.


4C's of Leadership



Medical Psychology

Study of behavior, cognition, and motivation as it relates to physical and mental health


Health Psychology

How health can be influenced by behaviors and attitudes


Behavioral Medicine

Application of psychological principles and techniques to the practice of medicine


Psychiatry vs. Behavioral Health

Psychiatry is a medical specialty focused on studying, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders. Behavioral Health refers to how psychology contributes to physical, mental, and spiritual health


Tom hates when he sees cats because he is allergic to them.

What conditioning is this?

Classic, he associates cats (Unconditioned Stimulus) with allergic reactions (Unconditioned Response) so now every time he sees a cat (Conditioned Stimulus) he gets nervous or irritated (Conditioned response)


Positive Reinforcement

Positive consequence for a behavior


Negative Reinforcement

Removal of negative consequences for a behavior


Positive Punishment

Negative Consequence due to a behavior


Negative Punishment

Removal of positive consequence due to a behavior


Most successful punishments/reinforcements to have desired behaviors repeated?

Positive and Negative reinforcements


Spanking your child after they do something bad is what kind of operant conditioning?

Positive punishment
- Something added (positive)
- Negative thing added (punishment)


After your son mows the lawn you tell him he doesn't have to do the dishes. What time of operant conditioning is this?

Negative Reinforcement
- Something taken away (negative) but its a bad consequence (reinforcement)


You give your dog a treat for taking a poop outside instead of on your carpet. What kind of operant conditioning is this?

Positive reinforcement.
- Something given/added (positive)
- Want to repeat the behavior (reinforcement)


Your nephew throws a baseball through a window and doesn't own up. You take away video games for a month. What kind of operant conditioning is this?

Negative Punishment
- Action against a certain behavior (punishment) and your removing something he likes (Negative)

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