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Pg 347, Chapter 8 Vocabulary

• Learning- A relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to

• Associative learning- It is when an organism learns by linking two events
that occur close together. The animals learn to predict the immediate
• Classical Conditioning- A form of learning in which we associate two
stimuli and thus to anticipate events.
• Behaviorism- The school of thought that stresses the need for psychology
to be an objective science. This perspective was first suggested and
propagated by John Watson in 1913, who wanted psychology to study
only observable behaviors and get away from the study of the conscious
mind completely. Watson's primary rationale was that only observable
events are verifiable and thus, are the only events that can be proven
• Unconditioned Response (UR)- In classical conditioning, the unlearned,
naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus(US).
• Unconditioned stimulus- In classical conditioning, an unconditioned
stimulus (US or UCS) is any stimulus that can evoke a response without
the organism going through any previous learning; the response to the US
(the unconditioned response) occurs naturally.
• Conditioned Response- the conditioned response (CR) is the learned
response (reflexive behavior) to a conditioned stimulus (CS). This
response is almost identical to the Unconditioned Stimulus except that
now the reflexive behavior occurs in response to a conditioned stimulus as
opposed to an unconditioned stimulus.
• Conditioned stimulus- a formerly neutral stimulus that, after association
with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to produce a conditioned
• Acquisition- Initial learning of the stimulus-response relationship. In
operant conditioning, the strengthening of reinforced responses.
• Extinction- the diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical
conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus does not follow a
conditioned stimulus; occurs in operant conditioning when a response is
no longer reinforced.
• Spontaneous recovery- The reappearance after a pause, of an
extinguished conditioned response.
• Generalization- The tendency, once a response has been conditioned for
stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.
• Discrimination- In classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish
between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an
unconditioned stimulus.
• Operant conditioning- a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened
if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
• Respondent behavior- Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to
some stimulus; Skinner’s term for behavior learned through classical
• Operant behavior- behavior that operates on the environment, producing
• Law of effect- Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable
consequences become more likely and that behaviors followed by
unfavorable consequences become less likely
• Operant chamber- A chamber also known as a skinner boxy, containing a
bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a food or water
reinforcement, with attached devices to record the animal’s rate of bar
pressing or key pecking. Used in operant conditioning research.
• Shaping- An operant conditioning procedure which reinforcers guide
behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.
• Reinforcer- in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the
behavior it follows.
• Positive reinforcement- A stimulus which increases the frequency of a
particular behavior using pleasant rewards.
• Negative reinforcement- With negative reinforcement the occurrence of a
behavior is increased by removing an unpleasant stimulus.
• Primary reinforcer- used in conditioning, and it refers to anything that
provides reinforcement without the need for learning to an organism.
• Conditioned reinforcer- A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through
its association with a primary reinforcer. It is also known as secondary
• Continuous reinforcement- This is an operant conditioning principle in
which an organism is reinforced every single time that organism provides
the appropriate operant response.
• Partial (intermittent) reinforcement- Reinforcing a response only part of the
time. This results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater
resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement.
• Fixed ratio schedule- In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule
that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.
• Variable ratio schedule- A variable ratio schedule (VR) is a type of operant
conditioning reinforcement schedule in which reinforcement is given after
an unpredictable (variable) number of responses are made by the
• Fixed interval schedule- With this type of operant conditioning
reinforcement schedule, an organism must wait for a specific amount of
time and then make the operant response in order to receive
• Variable-interval schedule- In operant conditioning, a reinforcement
schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
• Punishment- an even that decreases the behavior that it follows.
• Cognitive map- A cognitive map is a mental representation of the layout of
one's environment.
• Latent learning- learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an
incentive to demonstrate it.
• Intrinsic motivation- A desire to perform a behavior for its own sake.
• Extrinsic motivation- a desire to perform threats of punishment.
• Observational learning- learning by observing others.
• Modeling- the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
• 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 my enable imitation, language learning and empathy.
• Prosocial behavior- the positive, constructive, helpful behavior. The
opposite of antisocial behavior.

I. Learning
a. A relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience.. but
not die to maturation/ drugs
b. Forerunner- Thorndike: “law of effect”- any behavior that leads to a
satisfying an outcome will be repeated
c. Study of…rooted in philosophy and psychology
d. Conditioning= process of learning association
i. Classical- involuntary
ii. Operant- voluntary
1. schedules of reinforcement
e. acquisition- 1st phase of learning
II. classical conditioning
a. learning which involves reflex responses
b. Pavlov’s dog
c. Unconditioned stimulus (US)—(UR) reflective action
i. Stimulus which produces a reflexive action, introduction of
food stimulus to pair with US CS---CR (same action)
ii. The CS must occur a second or so before the UCS for
optimum results; if presented after- no learning occurs
d. everyday examples of classical conditioning
i. bell  stomach growls
e. generalization
i. the tendency to produce a CR to both the original CS and to
the stimuli which are similar to it in some way
f. discrimination
i. the ability to distinguish between two stimuli
1. requires training- otherwise generalizations will occur
g. extinction- used to know how o do something
h. spontaneous recovery- comes back to you
III. operant conditioning
a. Learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by
reinforcement or diminished if followed by punishment
b. types of reinforces
i. primary- those needed for survival (food, shelter, love)
ii. secondary- those that help us get primary (money)
c. shaping- reinforcing a series of behaviors until the desired goal is
i. ex- training animals, rehab
ii. known as successive approximations
d. Schedules of reinforcement
i. two basic kinds; 4 total types
1. # of responses = ratios
2. time dependent = intervals
ii. –fixed ratio (continuous reinforcement is a fixed ratio of 1-
rarely happens in everyday life)
1. i.e.) every fifth time- piece work

iii. -variable ratio- # of responses required to get a reinforcer to

1. i.e.) slot machine, salesman *seems to be the best
schedule in maintaining behavior

iv. -fixed interval (exact time)

1. i.e.) exact time- medications every 4 hrs

v. -variable interval-
1. time varies as to when the reinforces occur- tends to
produce slow but steady response rates
2. partial reinforcement rates tend to produce more work
for reinforcer given then continuous reinforcement
and seems less susceptible to extinction
vi. Discriminative stimuli (when behavior is adjusted knowing
that punishment or reinforcement varies with the
1. i.e.) people who adjust behavior class to class
2. Non-contingent reinforcement- a ritual in behavior that
people develop thinking it brings some kind of
3. i.e.) using a favorite or “lucky” pen to take tests
IV. Behavior Modification
a. Contemporary application of conditioning techniques to alter human
i. --positive reinforcement works better than negative
b. negative enforcement
i. both positive and negative tell us what to do
ii. known as negative because something “bad” is taken away
iii. ex:
1. running to relieve stress
2. aspirin  headache
V. Updating
a. Some learning is latent
b. Over justification effect: an activity you already like is rewarded-
sometimes lose interest in the pure joy of doing the task
c. There are critical periods in development
i. Learning is best at certain times
d. very difficult to train a new behavior that is biologically weird
e. most industries, schools, parents try to employ operant conditioning
techniques- rewards need to be given immediately and given for
well defined achievable goals
f. being used today with biofeedback to control ADD, blood pressure,
etc. through relaxation techniques aka: classical conditioning
VI. interrelationship of classical (reflex) and operant (voluntary)
a. many times occurs together as in escape/avoidance learning
VII. Preparedness
a. Concept developed by Schigma
i. States- psychological structures influence the ability to
perform certain behavior
ii. Some, we seem easily prepared for but others are
impossible to learn
VIII. observational learning
a. learning occurs not just through conditioning, but now we observe/
imitate others= modeling
b. Bandura- leader in observational learning (social-learning theory)
i. The Bobo Doll