Chapter 7 Learning Vocabulary

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1

Learning

a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience

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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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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, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is on the mouth

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Unconditioned Stimulus (US)

in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally – naturally and automatically – triggers a response

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Conditional Response (CR)

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

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Conditional Stimulus (CS)

in classical conditioning, a previously neutral stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response

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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

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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 begins responding to the light alone.

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Extinction

the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned 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 response

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Discrimination

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

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Respondent Behavior

behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus

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Operant Conditioning

a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforce rot dimished if followed by a punisher

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Operant Behavior

behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences

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Law of Effect

Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed consequences become more likely

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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

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Shaping

an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behaviors toward closer approximations of the desired behavior

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Reinforcer

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

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Positive Reinforcement

increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforce 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 reinforce is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (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 reinforce; also known as secondary reinforcer

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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 of extinction then 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 specific time has passed

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Variable-interval Schedule

in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals

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Punishment

an event that decreases the behavior it follows

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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. Animals, like people, can learn from experience, with or without reinforcement. After exploring a maze for 10 days, rats received food reward at the end of the maze. They quickly demonstrated their prior learning of the maze – by immediately completing it as quickly as (and even faster than) rats that had been reinforced each time they ran the maze

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Observational Learning

learning by observing others

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Modeling

the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior

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Mirror Neurons

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

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Prosocial Behavior

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