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Flashcards in Unit 6 Deck (55):
1

Learning

The process of acquiring new and relatively enduring information or behaviors.

2

Habituation

An organism's decreasing response to a stimulus with repeated exposure to it.

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Associative learning

Learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response and its consequences (as in operant conditioning).

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Stimulus

Any event or situation that evokes a response.

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Cognitive learning

The acquisition of mental information, whether by observing events, by watching others, or through language.

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Classical conditioning

A type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events.

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Behaviorism

The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).

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Neutral stimulus (NS)

In classical conditioning, a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning.

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Unconditioned response (UR)

In classical conditioning, an unlearned, naturally occurring response (such as salivation) to an unconditioned stimulus (US) (such as food in the mouth).

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Unconditioned stimulus (US)

In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally-naturally and automatically-triggers a response (UR).

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Conditioned response (CR)

In classical conditioning, a learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).

12

Conditioned stimulus (CS)

In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response (CR).

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Acquisition

In classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.

14

Higher-order conditioning

A procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus. For example, an animal that has learned that a tone predicts food might then learn that a light predicts the tone and begin responding to the light alone. (Also called second-order conditioning).

15

Extinction

The diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditional stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer reinforced.

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Spontaneous recovery

The reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response.

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Generalization

The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.

18

Discrimination

In classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.

19

Operant conditioning

A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.

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Law of effect

Thorndike's principal that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely.

21

Operant chamber

In operant conditioning research, a chamber (also known as a Skinner box) containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water reinforcer; attached devices record the animal's rate of bar pressing or key pecking.

22

Reinforcement

In operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.

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Shaping

An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.

24

Discriminative stimulus

In operant conditioning, a stimulus that elicits a response after association with reinforcement (in contrast to related stimuli not associated with reinforcement).

25

Positive reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by presenting positive reinforcers. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.

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Negative reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note: Negative reinforcement is not punishment.)

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Primary reinforcer

An innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.

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Conditioned reinforcer

A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as secondary reinforcer.

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Reinforcement schedule

A pattern that defines how often a desired response will be reinforced.

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Continuous reinforcement

Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.

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Partial (intermittent) reinforcement

Reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.

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Fixed-ratio schedule

In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.

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Variable-ratio schedule

In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.

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Fixed-interval schedule

In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.

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Variable-interval schedule

In operant condition, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.

36

Punishment

An event that tends to decrease the behavior that it follows.

37

Biofeedback

A system for electronically recording, amplifying, and feeding back information regarding a subtle physiological state, such as blood pressure or muscle tension.

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Respondent behavior

Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus.

39

Operant behavior

Behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.

40

Cognitive map

A mental representation of the layout of one's environment. For example, after exploring a maze, rats act as if they have learned a cognitive map of it.

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Latent learning

Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.

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Insight

A sudden realization of a problem's solution.

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Intrinsic motivation

A desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake.

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Extrinsic motivation

A desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment.

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Coping

Alleviating stress using emotional, cognitive, or behavioral methods.

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Problem-focused coping

Attempting to alleviate stress directly-by changing the stressor or the way we interact with that stressor.

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Emotion-focused coping

Attempting to alleviate stress by avoiding or ignoring a stressor and attending to emotional needs related to one's stress reaction.

48

Learned helplessness

The hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.

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External locus of control

The perception that chance or outside forces beyond our personal control determine our fate.

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Internal locus of control

The perception that you control your own fate.

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Self-control

The ability to control impulses and delay short-term gratification for greater long-term rewards.

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Observational learning

Learning by observing others. Also called social learning.

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Modeling

The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.

54

Mirror neurons

Frontal lobe neurons that some scientists believe fire when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so. The brain's mirroring of another's action may enable imitation and empathy.

55

Prosocial behavior

Positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The opposite of antisocial behavior.