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39 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
learning
A relatively permanent change in an organism's behaviour due to experience.
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).
classical conditioning
A type of learning in which an organism comes to associate stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals an unconditioned stimulus (US) begins to produce a response that anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also called Pavlovian or respondent conditioning.
behaviourism
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behaviour without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).
unconditioned response
In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth.
unconditioned stimulus
In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally- naturally and automatically- triggers a response.
conditioned response
In classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).
conditioned stimulus
In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.
acquisition
The initial stage in classical conditioning
extinction
The diminishing of a conditioned response
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 behaviour is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
respondent behaviour
Behaviour that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
operant behaviour
Behaviour that operates on the environment, producing consequences.
law of effect
Thorndike's principle that behaviours followed by favourable consequences become more likely, and that behaviours followed by unfavourable consequences become less likely.
operant chamber
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, 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 in which reinforcers guide behaviour toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behaviour.
reinforcer
In operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behaviour it follows.
positive reinforcement
Increasing behaviours by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.
negative reinforcement
Increasing behaviours by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response. (Note
primary reinforcer
An innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.
conditioned reinforcer
A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer
continuous reinforcement
Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.
partial reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time
fixed-ratio schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.
variable-ratio schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.
fixed-interval schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after specified time has elapsed.
variable-interval schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.
punishment
An event that decreases the behaviour that it follows.
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.
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 a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment.
observational learning
Learning by observing others.
modeling
The process of observing and imitating a specific behaviour.
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, language learning, and empathy.
prosocial behaviour
Positive, constructive, helpful behaviour. The opposite of antisocial behaviour.