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44 Cards in this Set

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Aversive Conditioning
"Aversive conditioning" is a technique based on the principles of classical conditioning that involves pairing the target behavior (or stimuli associated with it) with a stimulus that
naturally evokes an unpleasant response. Eventually, as the result of such pairing, the maladaptive behavior becomes associated with the unpleasant response and is avoided. Therapies based on aversive conditioning include:
1. IN-VIVO AVERSIVE CONDITIONING: Involves repeatedly pairing the target behavior with an aversive stimulus in order to reduce the attractiveness of the behavior. In-vivo
aversive conditioning is often used to treat addictive behaviors, abnormal sexual behaviors and self-injurious behaviors. Pairing alcohol consumption with electric shock in order to reduce alcohol use is an example of in-vivo aversive conditioning. ("In vivo
exposure" is exposure in a "real-life" situation, as opposed to imaginal).
2. COVERT SENSITIZATION: A type of aversive conditioning in which the client imagines engaging in the target behavior while simultaneously imagining (rather than actually
confronting) an aversive stimulus.
Avoidance and Escape Conditioning
1. AVOIDANCE CONDITIONING: In operant conditioning, the type of learning in which the
organism learns to make a particular response in the presence of a cue discriminative
stimulus) in order to avoid an unpleasant stimulus. Avoidance conditioning is a type of negative reinforcement.
2. ESCAPE CONDITIONING: In operant conditioning, the type of learning in which the
organism makes a response in order to escape from (terminate) an unpleasant stimulus. Escape conditioning is a type of negative reinforcement.
Back up and Generlized Reinforcers
1. BACK-UP REINFORCERS: Items, activities and other primary (unconditioned)
reinforcers that can be "purchased" with a token or other generalized conditioned reinforcer.
2. GENERALIZED CONDITIONED REINFORCER: A stimulus that acquires reinforcing
value because it can be "traded" for a variety of unconditioned (back-up) reinforcers. Money and tokens are examples of generalized conditioned reinforcers.
Backwards Conditioning
A type of classical conditioning in which the unconditioned stimulus (US) is presented before the conditioned stimulus (CS). Backwards conditioning ordinarily is ineffective in establishing a conditioned response (CR).
Beck's Cognitive Therapy
Beck's cognitive therapy" (a.k.a. cognitive restructuring therapy) is a type of cognitive-behavior therapy that views dysfunctional behavior as the result of cognitive errors and emphasizes the empirical evaluation of treatment principles and techniques. A primary goal of CT is to help a client become aware of his/her logical errors and irrational, "automatic" thinking and to label events more accurately. This is accomplished using a
variety of structured techniques, such as keeping a "daily log" of dysfunctional automatic
thoughts; activity schedule making, in which the therapist and client compile a list of activities that will help elevate the client's mood; and graded task assignments that require the client to perform a series of graded tasks designed to improve his/her sense of
mastery. Beck's CT is less confrontive than RET, and relies more on encouraging the client to engage in activities that will either confirm or disconfirm his/her irrational
cognitions. CT has been found more effective than drugs for treating depression.
Behavior and Cognitive Therapies
1. BEHAVIOR THERAPIES: (a) Emphasize current behaviors; reject the premise that
maladaptive behavior is symptomatic of underlying pathology and regard the maladaptive behavior itself as the psychological disorder. The elimination of the current dysfunctional
behavior is the primary goal of treatment. (b) Use a scientific approach. For example, empirical methods are used to assess the effects of behavioral techniques; e.g., case and
analogue studies. The process of therapy also reflects the use of a scientific approach;
i.e., the steps of behavior therapy parallel the steps of a scientific research study.
2. COGNITIVE-BEHAVIOR THERAPIES: Combine techniques of behavior therapy with cognitive psychology and emphasize "the individual's perception and interpretation of
external events rather than the direct influence of the surroundings themselves" (Kazdin, 1978). The cognitive-behavior therapies all share two assumptions: Cognitive processes
influence behavior and restructuring an individual's cognitions can alter his/her behavior.
A type of learning that combines classical and operant conditioning. Chaining is used by
Skinner and other proponents of operant conditioning as the explanation for the
establishment of complex behaviors (e.g., driving a car, learning to play the piano).
Classical and Operant Conditioning
1. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: A type of learning in which a neutral (conditioned)
stimulus is repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus alone eventually elicits the response naturally elicited by the unconditioned stimulus.
Classical conditioning is associated with behaviors (reflexes) that are automatically elicited by certain stimuli. A behavior that is elicited by a particular stimulus is a
respondent behavior.
2. OPERANT CONDITIONING: A type of learning in which behaviors are increased or
decreased as the result of the consequences that follow them. Operant behaviors are
voluntarily emitted as a result of the way they "operate" on the environment. Skinner
believed that all complex behaviors are operant behaviors.
Classical Extinction Therapies and 2-Factor Theory of Learning
The therapies based on
classical extinction are based on the TWO-FACTOR THEORY OF LEARNING. This theory proposes that an individual develops an anxiety reaction to a neutral stimulus (the CS) when the neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that naturally elicits anxiety or other aversive response (the US), and the individual then avoids the previously neutral stimulus in order to avoid anxiety. The therapies based on classical extinction involve exposing the client to the CS without the US, while inhibiting the client from making his/her usual avoidance response. As a result, the association between the CS and US is extinguished and the client's anxiety reaction to the CS is eliminated.
extinction of a response through prolonged, intense imaginal or in vivo exposure to the stimuli that produce the response. Flooding is one of the most successful treatments for Agoraphobia.
2. IMPLOSIVE THERAPY: Involves the extinction of a response through prolonged,
intense imaginal exposure to the stimuli that produce the response. Implosive therapy
differs from flooding by its reliance on psychoanalytic concepts.
Cognitive Learning Theories
The key characteristics of the learning theories classified as "cognitive" are their emphasis on the internal thought processes that occur during learning and their rejection of the notion that external reinforcement is a necessary condition for learning and
performance improvement.
1. LATENT LEARNING (Tolman): Proposes that learning can occur without being
manifested in actual performance increments. Tolman's research indicating that rats form "cognitive maps" of mazes provides evidence of latent learning.
2. INSIGHT LEARNING: Refers to the apparent sudden understanding of the relationship between elements in a problem-solving situation. According to Gestalt psychology, insight involves perceptual organization. Insight learning is associated with Kohler's research with hungry chimpanzees.
3. OBSERVATIONAL (SOCIAL) LEARNING THEORY (Bandura): Proposes that behaviors
can be acquired simply by observing someone else performing them; i.e., that the acquisition of behaviors is due largely to social influences, especially imitation and emulation of others.
Conditioned and Unconditioned Reinforcers
1. CONDITIONED (SECONDARY) REINFORCERS: Stimuli that are not inherently
reinforcing, but that function as reinforcers as the result of their pairing with primary reinforcers. Gold stars and other kinds of symbolic awards are types of secondary reinforcers -- they are reinforcing only because they are associated with such primary
reinforcers as social approval and attention.
2. UNCONDITIONED (PRIMARY) REINFORCERS: Stimuli that have reinforcing value
without conditioning (learning). Examples include food and drink.
Contigency Contract
An explicit (usually written) agreement between two more individuals regarding the behavior change that is expected by one or all parties and the consequences (rewards and punishments) that will result if the agreement is not honored. Contingency contracting is based on the principles of operant conditioning.
Continuous and Intermittment Schedules of Reiforcement
1. CONTINUOUS SCHEDULE OF REINFORCEMENT: In operant conditioning, involves
providing reinforcement following each emission of the target response. Continuous reinforcement is associated with rapid acquisition of a response and susceptibility to extinction.
2. INTERMITTENT SCHEDULE OF REINFORCEMENT: In operant conditioning, any pattern of reinforcement that is not continuous. Examples include fixed interval, variable interval, fixed ratio and fixed interval schedules. Intermittent reinforcement is associated with a greater resistance to extinction than a continuous schedule. See also "Intermittent
Schedules of Reinforcement."
Counterconditioning and Reciprocal Inhibition
"Counterconditioning" is a technique based on classical conditioning that involves
eliminating an undesirable response by pairing the response with an incompatible and more desirable response. Counterconditioning underlies the technique of RECIPROCAL INHIBITION, which involves the pairing of anxiety with an incompatible response, such as relaxation or assertiveness, in order to eliminate the anxiety. Therapies based on
counterconditioning include:
1. SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION: A classical conditioning procedure for reducing anxiety based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition. Systematic desensitization involves
pairing hierarchically-arranged anxiety-evoking stimuli with relaxation in order to eliminate the anxiety response.
2. ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING: Involves substituting an assertive response for an
anxiety response. Assertiveness training incorporates a number of techniques, including
behavioral rehearsal (rehearsal of desirable behaviors).
Ellis's Rationale Emotive Therapy (RET)
RET is a cognitive- behavioral therapy based on the notion that maladaptive behavior is the result of several basic irrational beliefs. RET regards behavior as a chain of events -- A, B and C -- where A is the external event to which the individual is exposed, B is the thought the individual has in response to A and C is the emotion or behavior that results from B. Therefore, a major assumption of RET is that an emotional or behavioral response to an external event is due to thoughts and beliefs about that event, rather than the event itself. In therapy, two more events are added to the chain, D and E, where D is the therapist's attempt to alter the individual's irrational ideas and E is the alternative thoughts and beliefs that result from D. To help a client identify the irrational ideas underlying his/her emotional disturbance and replace those beliefs with more appropriate ones, rational-emotive therapists adopt an active, confrontive approach and use a variety of techniques including modeling, behavior rehearsal, problem-solving, in vivo desensitization and cognitive homework assignments.
Experimental Neurosis
In classical conditioning, results from requiring the organism to make difficult
discriminations between similar stimuli. Experimental neurosis is manifested by restlessness, aggressiveness and/or fearful responses.
Extinction (Classical and Operant) and Response Bursts
1. CLASSICAL EXTINCTION: The gradual elimination of a classically conditioned
response by repeatedly presenting the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus.
2. OPERANT EXTINCTION: The gradual elimination of a previously reinforced behavior through the consistent withholding of reinforcement following that behavior.
3. EXTINCTION (RESPONSE) BURSTS: In operant conditioning, a temporary increase in behavior that often occurs during initial extinction trials.
Fading and Thinning
1. FADING: (a) The gradual withdrawal of prompts or other discriminative stimuli while teaching a new response. (b) Procedure used to eliminate an inappropriate stimulus-response connection by gradually replacing the inappropriate stimulus with
appropriate stimuli, so that the response becomes associated with appropriate stimuli.
2. THINNING: Reduction in the proportion of reinforcements given for a target response; e.g., switching from a continuous schedule of reinforcement to an intermittent one or from
a FR-10 schedule to an FR-30 schedule.
Forgetting Theories
1. TRACE DECAY THEORY: Proposes that memory simply decays over time. Learning
produces a "trace," or physiological change in the brain, that fades over time as the result of disuse.
2. CUE-DEPENDENT FORGETTING: Proposes that forgetting results when cues needed
to retrieve information from long-term memory are insufficient or incomplete.
Cue-dependent forgetting is supported by the phenomenon of "state-dependent memory,"
which is the tendency to remember something best when one is in the same physiological or emotional state that one was in during learning.
3. INTERFERENCE THEORY: Interference theory is consistent with the hypothesis of Ebbinghaus and Pavlov that original learning is inhibited by subsequent, altered experiences in the same or similar situation: (a) PROACTIVE INTERFERENCE: The
inability to learn or recall new information as the result of the disrupting influences of previously-learned information. (b) RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE: The forgetting of previously-learned material due to the disrupting influences of newly-learned material.
4. MOTIVATED FORGETTING: Identical to Freud's theory of repression: Proposes that
people push into the unconscious, or forget, those thoughts and impulses that produce discomfort.
"Habituation" is the process of becoming accustomed (nonreactive) to a stimulus as the result of prolonged exposure to that stimulus.
Higher-Order Conditioning
In classical conditioning, the situation in which a previously established conditioned stimulus is used as an unconditioned stimulus to establish a conditioned response with a new conditioned (neutral) stimulus.
Intermittent Schedules of Reiforcement
1. FIXED INTERVAL SCHEDULE: On an FI schedule, the subject is reinforced after a
fixed period of time regardless of the number of responses made.
2. FIXED RATIO SCHEDULE: On an FR schedule, a reinforcer is delivered each time the
subject makes a specific number of responses.
3. VARIABLE INTERVAL SCHEDULE: On a VI schedule, the interval of time between
delivery of reinforcers varies in an unpredictable manner.
4. VARIABLE RATIO SCHEDULE: On a VR schedule, reinforcers are provided after a variable number of responses.
Law of Effect
Thorndike's principle that organisms tend to learn behaviors that lead to satisfying consequences quicker than behaviors that lead to unsatisfying consequences.
Memory & Sleep
Research on forgetting suggests that subjects forget less when asleep than when awake for an equal period of time. This finding supports the notion that forgetting is due to interference (i.e., to events that occur while awake) rather than to the decay of memory traces over time.
Memory Models
1. INFORMATION PROCESSING: Describes memory as consisting of three processes: (a) Encoding: External stimuli is transformed into a usable internal form. (b) Storage: Encoded information is retained. (c) Retrieval: Stored information is retrieved, usually through recognition or recall. Usually, it is easier to recognize information than to recall it.
2. MULTISTORE MODEL: Describes the encoding, storage and retrieval of information as involving three separate, but interacting systems: sensory register, short-term memory and ong-term memory.
3. DEPTH OF PROCESSING MODEL: Emphasizes the levels, or depth, of processing. Information is most likely to be remembered when it is processed at a deep level; i.e., at the semantic level (rather than, for example, at the structural or phonemic level).
4. EPISODIC VS. REPRESENTATIONAL: Divides memory into: (a) Episodic memory, or a record of events that have occurred during one's life. These memories can be retained for a very long time. (b) Representational memory, or a record of general knowledge, common sense and skills. Representational memory is further divided into semantic memory (general knowledge, such as language, rules of logic) and procedural (perceptual-motor) memory.
Negative and Positive Reinforcement
1. NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT: In operant conditioning, the withdrawal of a stimulus
contingent on the performance of a behavior in order to increase the likelihood that the
behavior will occur again.
2. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: In operant conditioning, the application of a stimulus
contingent on the performance of a response in order to increase the likelihood that the
response will occur again.
Negative Reinforcement and Punishment (Positive/Negative)
1. NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT: In operant conditioning, the withdrawal of a stimulus
contingent on the performance of a behavior in order to increase the likelihood that the
behavior will occur again.
2. NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT: In operant conditioning, the withdrawal of a stimulus
contingent on the performance of a behavior in order to decrease the likelihood that the
behavior will occur again.
3. POSITIVE PUNISHMENT: In operant conditioning, the application of a stimulus
contingent on the performance of a response in order to decrease the likelihood that the
response will occur again.
Involves using antecedent events (e.g., verbal or physical instructions or modeled cues) to help initiate a response or to help the individual know what response is expected.
Prompts act as discriminative stimuli when they signal that the response will be followed
by reinforcement. The gradual removal of a prompt is referred to as fading.
Occurs when a neutral stimulus that has not been paired with an unconditioned stimulus elicits a response similar to the unconditioned response. The most common explanations for pseudoconditioning are that it results from a heightened sensitivity to stimuli in general or an inadvertent pairing of the neutral stimulus with either a conditioned stimulus or the
unconditioned stimulus.
Punishment & Operant Extinction (Decreasing Behaviors with)
Operant methods that involve either applying or withdrawing a stimulus following a behavior (punishment) or removing reinforcement from a reinforced behavior (extinction) in order to decrease the likelihood that the behavior will occur again.
1. PUNISHMENT: Punishment is more effective when: it is applied at the onset of a behavior; it follows each performance of a behavior; it is relatively intense; a warning is issued when it is about to be delivered; it is combined with reinforcement for other behaviors; the contingent relationship between the target behavior and punishment is verbally clarified; and all stimuli that reinforced the target behavior are withheld while it is being punished.
2. OVERCORRECTION: The individual corrects the environmental consequences of
his/her behavior (restitution phase) and practices correct behaviors (positive practice phase).
3. RESPONSE COST: A penalty or fine follows a target behavior.
4. TIME OUT: All opportunities for positive reinforcement are withheld for a specified period of time following performance of a target behavior.
5. DRO: All behaviors, except the target behavior, are consistently reinforced.
Reiforcement, Increasing Behaviors with
Both positive and negative reinforcement are useful for increasing the frequency of a
behavior, but most operant behavioral techniques rely on positive reinforcement:
1. SHAPING: Method of "successive approximations," which involves teaching a new
behavior by prompting and reinforcing behaviors that come closer and closer to the
desired behavior.
2. PREMACK PRINCIPLE: Using a high frequency behavior as a reinforcer for a low
frequency behavior in order to increase the occurrence of the low frequency behavior.
Self-control Procedures
Behavioral and cognitive-behavioral techniques in which the client is trained to evaluate and modify his/her own behaviors. Self-reinforcement is a type of self-control procedure.
Other self-control procedures include:
1. SELF-MONITORING: The client assesses factors associated with a target behavior in order to obtain information on the behavior (e.g., its frequency, duration) and to modify it.
Self-monitoring often has the effect of changing the desired behavior in the desired direction.
2. BIOFEEDBACK: A procedure that provides the individual with immediate and
continuous feedback about an ongoing physiological process (e.g., muscle tension, blood pressure), with the goal of enabling the individual to exercise voluntary control over that process.
Spontaneous Recovery
In classical and operant conditioning, the spontaneous recurrence of an extinguished conditioned response following a rest period between extinction trials and retesting.
Stimulus Discrimination, Discriminative Stimulus, S-Delta Stimulus
1. STIMULUS DISCRIMINATION (A.K.A. STIMULUS CONTROL): Process in which an individual's behavior is under the control of (i.e., is elicited or inhibited by) certain stimuli; i.e., under the control of DISCRIMINATIVE STIMULI and S-DELTA STIMULI.
2. DISCRIMINATIVE STIMULUS: In operant conditioning, a stimulus that signals that
reinforcement will follow the performance of a particular response, and thereby increases the likelihood that the response will occur. A stimulus becomes a discriminative stimulus
through classical conditioning; i.e., through its "pairing" with the reinforcer.
3. S-DELTA STIMULUS: In operant conditioning, a stimulus that signals that the response will not be reinforced.
Stimulus and Response Generalization
1. STIMULUS GENERALIZATION: In operant and classical conditioning, involves
responding with a particular response to similar stimuli; e.g., in classical conditioning, responding to stimuli similar to the CS with a CR.
2. RESPONSE GENERALIZATION: In operant conditioning, occurs when a discriminative
stimulus increases not only a particular operant response, but also responses similar to that response.
Stress Inoculation Training
A cognitive-behavioral technique used to help a client cope with stressful and other aversive states by enhancing his/her coping skills.
Thought Stopping
A cognitive-behavioral technique involving the application of an aversive stimulus (e.g., snapping a rubber band on one's wrist) following an undesirable thought in order to eliminate that thought.
Token Economy
An operant behavior therapy intervention, usually conducted in a classroom, hospital or other institutional setting, in which behaviors are modified through the control of contingencies (rewards and punishments) through the delivery and withdrawal of "tokens" (generalized conditioned reinforcers) that can be exchanged for desirable objects and activities (primary or back-up reinforcers).
Unconditioned Stimulus/Response, Conditioned Stimulus/Response
1. UNCONDITIONED STIMULUS (US): In classical conditioning, a stimulus that elicits an innate, automatic (unlearned) response. Examples include stimuli that naturally elicit
2. UNCONDITIONED RESPONSE (UR): In classical conditioning, the response naturally elicited by a specific unconditioned stimulus.
3. CONDITIONED (NEUTRAL) STIMULUS (CS): In classical conditioning, the previously
neutral stimulus that, as the result of being paired with an unconditioned stimulus, produces a conditioned response (CR).
4. CONDITIONED RESPONSE (CR): In classical conditioning, a response that is elicited by a conditioned stimulus (CS) as the result of classical conditioning. The conditioned response is similar, but not usually identical, to the unconditioned response.
Watson, John B.
(1) Watson is probably best known for his "Albert B." study in which he used classical conditioning to establish a phobia in an 11-month-old baby. (2) He introduced the term "behaviorism" and argued that the only appropriate domain for psychologists is the study of observable, measurable behaviors. (3) He believed that people are born with a certain number of reflexes and that all learning is the result of classical conditioning involving those reflexes. He argued that differences in behavior are due to differences in
experience and proposed that given "a dozen healthy children," he could shape each of them, though conditioning, into whatever was desired, regardless of their talents, abilities, etc. (4) Consistent with his "radical behaviorist" views, Watson described thought as nothing more than "covert speech" involving tiny movements of the larynx and emotions as the result of glandular activity.
Yerkes-Dodson Law
The proposal that there is an optimal level of arousal for the learning and performance of any task. The optimal level varies from individual to individual, but, overall, it tends to be lower for more difficult tasks. In addition, moderate levels of arousal are associated with the greatest amount of learning and performance; i.e., the relationship between learning and performance assumes the shape of an inverted-U.
Milgram's obedience studies
In Milgrim's "obedience studies," subjects (teachers) were required to administer electric
shock to confederates (learners) by an experimenter (authority) in order to test obedience
to authority. The results indicated that subjects were generally willing to obey an authority even when their obedience apparently had very negative consequences for another person.
Minority Influence
Some investigators interested in social influence have attempted to identify the conditions
in which a minority is able to influence the behavior, attitudes and beliefs of the majority. According to Moscovici, a minority must adopt different strategies than the majority to have an influence: The minority usually starts out appearing "deviant, incompetent, unreasonable, unappealing and unattractive" and, to successfully influence the majority, it must maintain a consistent position and remain clear, firm and uncompromising (but not
rigid) in presenting its point of view. The result of minority influence is likely to be a real change in attitudes, beliefs and behavior, rather than mere compliance, which often
occurs when a behavior change is due to majority influence.
Personal Control (Reactance/Learned Helplessness/Locus of Control
1. REACTANCE: The tendency to resist being influenced or manipulated by others, usually by doing the opposite of what is desired or expected.
2. LEARNED HELPLESSNESS: The feeling that one has no control over one's outcomes
or events in the environment; learned helplessness often results when one experiences an
actual loss of control.
3. LOCUS OF CONTROL: A construct developed by Rotter to describe the extent to which an individual believes that life events are under his/her own control internal locus of control) or under the control of external forces (external locus of control).