Unit 6- Learning (7-9%) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Unit 6- Learning (7-9%) Deck (55):

Operant conditioning

Type of learning that strengthens with reinforcement or weakens with punishment


Law of effect

Thorndike's principle that rewarded behavior is likely to continue with favorable consequences


Negative punishment

Removing something you like


Positive punishment

Adding something you don't like


Learned helplessness

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


Primary reinforcer

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


Skinner box (operant chamber)

A chamber containing a bar an animal can manipulate in order to get food or water


B.F. Skinner

Pioneer of operant conditioning: everything we do is determined by rewards and punishment. He also created the Skinner box


Edward Thorndike

Proposed Law of Effect. Experiment when he placed cat in a puzzle box; keep putting cat in same box, the quicker cat will be able to escape


Higher-order conditioning

Procedure where conditioned stimulus is paired with neutral stimulus, creating a second (weaker) conditioned stimulus



a procedure in which reinforcers, such as food, gradually guide an animal’s actions toward a desired behavior.


Secondary or Conditioned Reinforcers

These get their power through learned association with primary reinforcers. (Ex. Skinner's rat wants food. It work to turn on the light because it is associated with food.)


Mirror neurons

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


Little Albert

He was conditioned. When he was presented at a white rat he would reach to touch and then a hammer would strike a steel bar just behind his head. He then associated then loud noise with the rat. So every time time he saw a rat he would burst into tears.



Diminishing of conditioned response. Occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a conditioned stimulus


Spontaneous recovery

Reappearance after a pause of extinguished conditioned response.



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



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


Watson and Rayner

Pioneer in behaviorism and showed how you could condition fear into Little Albert


Classical Conditioning

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


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)


Unconditioned Response (UR)

In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, such as salivation when food is in the mouth.


Unconditioned stimulus (US)

In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally-naturally and automatically-triggers a response


Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response



A relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior due to experience


Latent Learning

Learning that becomes apparent only when there is some incentive to demonstrate it. Children, too, may learn from watching a parent but demonstrate the learning only much later, as needed. The point to remember: There is more to learning than associating a response with a consequence; there is also cognition.


Insight Learning

Some learning occurs after little or no systematic interaction with our environment. For example, we may puzzle over a problem, and suddenly, the pieces fall together as we perceive the solution in a sudden flash of insight. "Ah ha moment"


Observational Learning

learn without direct experience, through observational learning, also called social learning, because we learn by observing and imitating others. A child who sees his sister burn her fingers on a hot stove learns not to touch it. And a monkey watching another selecting certain pictures to gain treats learns to imitate that behavior. "Monkey see Monkey do"


Albert Bandura

The pioneering researcher of observational learning.


Bobo Doll Experiments

As the child watches, the adult gets up and for nearly 10 minutes pounds, kicks, and throws around the room a large inflated Bobo doll, yelling, “Sock him in the nose. . . . Hit him down. . . . Kick him.” Then children went in a beat up the Bobo doll.


Edward (E.C.) Tolman

He demonstrated that rats use latent learning when attempting to find their way through a maze. They can do it just as fast as a rat with a reward at the end.



reinforcing individual responses occurring in a sequence to form a complex behavior.


Continuous Reinforcement

Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.


Negative Reinforcement

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


Positive Reinforcement

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


Conditioned Taste Aversions

When you get sick after eating food and blame it on the food and don't want to eat that food anymore


Long-term potentiation

An increase in a synapse's firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.


Respondent behavior

Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus.


Operant behavior

Behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.


Fixed Interval Schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a set time has passed


Variable Ratio Schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses


Partial/Intermittent Reinforcement

responses are sometimes reinforced, sometimes not. Although initial learning is slower, _______ produces greater resistance to extinction than is found with continuous reinforcement


Fixed Ratio Schedule

reinforces behavior after a set number of responses. (Ex. Buy five, get one free.)


Variable Interval Schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals


Superstitious behavior

Type of the reaction to certain situations/impulses that is brought on by a coincidence and gets so embedded in individual's course of action that he repeats it continuously.



psychologists that believe in studying behavior while disregarding mental processes


Cognitive processes

thoughts, perceptions, and expectations


Conditioned Response

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


Neutral Stimulus

a stimulus that does not produce an automatic response. In classical conditioning, a neutral stimulus turns into a conditioned stimulus. ex)a tone before it turns into CS (produces no salivation on response) in Pavlov's experiment.



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


Ivan Pavlov

Did an experiment with a dog: presented neutral stimulus(a tone) just before an unconditioned stimulus(food in mouth). The neutral stimulus then became a conditioned stimulus, producing a conditioned response. He explored classical conditioning.



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.


Delayed Reinforcers

Unlike animals, humans respond to delayed reinforcers: the paycheck at the end of the week, the good grade at the end of the term, the trophy at the end of the season.


Partial Reinforcement

Reinforcing only part of the time; slower acquisition but much more resistant to extinction


Fixed-Ratio Schedule

Reinforce behavior after a set number of responses. Free drink after every 10 cups of coffee.