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43 Cards in this Set

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a systematic, relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience
a theory of learning that focuses solely on observable behaviors, discounting the importance of such mental activity as thinking, wishing, and hoping. Psychologists who examine learning from a behavioral perspective define learning as relatively stable, observable changes in behavior
associative learning
learning that occurs when we make a connection, or an association, between two events. Conditioning is the process of learning these associations (Chance, 2009; Klein, 2009). There are two types of conditioning: classical and operant, both of which have been studied by behaviorists.
observational learning
learning that takes place when a person observes and imitates another's behavior. Observational learning is a common way that people learn in educational and other settings. Observational learning is different from the associative learning described by behaviorism because it relies on mental processes: The learner has to pay attention, remember, and reproduce what the model did. Observational learning is especially important to human beings. In fact, watching other people is another way in which human infants acquire skills.
classical conditioning
The baby's panic at the sight of the pink flower illustrates the learning process of classical conditioning, in which a neutral stimulus (the flower) becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus (the pain of a bee sting) and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response (fear).
unconditioned stimulus
a stimulus that produces a response without prior learning
conditioned stimulus
a previously neutral stimulus that eventually elicits a conditioned response after becoming paired with the unconditioned stimulus
unconditioned response
an unlearned reaction that is automatically elicited by the UCS. Unconditioned responses are involuntary; they happen in response to a stimulus without conscious effort. In Pavlov's experiment, salivating in response to food was the UCR.
conditioned response
the learned response to the conditioned stimulus that occurs after conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus pairing. ometimes conditioned responses are quite similar to unconditioned responses, but typically they are not as strong.
the initial learning of the connection between the unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned stimulus when these two stimuli are paired
generalization (classical conditioning)
the tendency of a new stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus to elicit a response that is similar to the conditioned response
discrimination (classical conditioning)
the process of learning to respond to certain stimuli and not others
extinction (classical conditioning)
the weakening of the conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus is absent
spontaneous recovery
the process in classical conditioning by which a conditioned response can recur after a time delay, without further conditioning.
the recovery of the conditioned response when the organism is placed in a novel context
a classical conditioning procedure for changing the relationship between a conditioned stimulus and its conditioned respinse.
systematic desensitization
a method of therapy that treats anxiety by teaching the client to associate deep relaxation with increasingly intense anxiety-producing situations
aversive conditioning
a form of treatment that consists of repeated pairings of a stimulus with a very unpleasant stimulus.
operant conditioning (instrumental conditioning)
a form of associative learning in which the consequences of a behavior change the probability of the behavior's occurrence.
law of effect
states that behaviors followed by positive outcomes are strengthened and that behaviors followed by negative outcomes are weakened
refers to rewarding approximations of a desired behavior. For example, shaping can be used to train a rat to press a bar to obtain food.
the process by which a rewarding stimulus or event (a reinforcer) following a particular behavior increases the probability that the behavior will happen again.
positive reinforcement
the frequency of a behavior increases because it is followed by the presentation of something that is good. For example, if someone you meet smiles at you after you say, “Hello, how are you?” and you keep talking, the smile has reinforced your talking.
negative reinforcement
the frequency of a behavior increases because it is followed by the removal of something unpleasant. For example, if your father nagged you to clean out the garage and kept nagging until you cleaned out the garage, your response (cleaning out the garage) removed the unpleasant stimulus (your dad's nagging).
primary reinforcer
innately satisfying; that is, a primary reinforcer does not take any learning on the organism's part to make it pleasurable. Food, water, and sexual satisfaction are primary reinforcers.
secondary reinforcer
acquires its positive value through an organism's experience; a secondary reinforcer is a learned or conditioned reinforcer. We encounter hundreds of secondary reinforcers in our lives, such as getting an A on a test and a paycheck for a job. Although we might think of these as quite positive outcomes, they are not innately positive
means performing a reinforced behavior in a different situation. For example, in one study pigeons were reinforced for pecking at a disk of a particular color
means responding appropriately to stimuli that signal that a behavior will or will not be reinforced. For example, you go to a restaurant that has a “University Student Discount” sign in the front window, and you enthusiastically flash your student ID with the expectation of getting the reward of a reduced-price meal. Without the sign, showing your ID might get you only a puzzled look, not cheap food.
occurs when a behavior is no longer reinforced and decreases in frequency (Leslie & others, 2006). If, for example, a soda machine that you frequently use starts “eating” your coins without dispensing soda, you quickly stop inserting more coins.
schedules of reinforcement
specific patterns that determine when a behavior will be reinforced
fixed-ratio schedule
reinforces a behavior after a set number of behaviors. For example, if you are playing the slot machines in Atlantic City and if the machines are on a fixed-ratio schedule, you might get $5 back every 20th time you put money in the machine.
variable-ratio schedule
a timetable in which behaviors are rewarded an average number of times but on an unpredictable basis. For example, a slot machine might pay off at an average of every 20th time, but the gambler does not know when this payoff will be.
fixed-interval schedule
reinforces the first behavior after a fixed amount of time has passed
variable-interval schedule
a timetable in which a behavior is reinforced after a variable amount of time has elapsed. Pop quizzes occur on a variable-interval schedule.
a consequence that decreases the likelihood that a behavior will occur. For instance, a child plays with a matchbox and gets burned when he or she lights one of the matches; the child consequently is less likely to play with matches in the future.
positive punishment
a behavior decreases when it is followed by the presentation of an unpleasant stimulus. Examples of positive punishment include spanking a misbehaving child and scolding a spouse who forgot to call when she was running late at the office; the coach who makes his team run wind sprints after a lackadaisical practice is also using positive punishment.
negative punishment
behavior decreases when a positive stimulus is removed. Time-out is a form of negative punishment in which a child is removed from a positive reinforcer, such as his or her toys. Getting grounded is also a form of negative punishment as it involves taking a teenager away from the fun things in his or her life.
applied behavior analysis (behavior modification)
the use of operant conditioning principles to change human behavior. In applied behavior analysis, the rewards and punishers that exist in a particular setting are carefully analyzed and manipulated to change behaviors.
latent learning (implicit learning)
is unreinforced learning that is not immediately reflected in behavior.
insight learning
a form of problem solving in which the organism develops a sudden insight into or understanding of a problem's solution. Insight learning requires that we think “outside the box,” setting aside previous expectations and assumptions
instinctive drift
the tendency of animals to revert to instinctive behavior that interferes with learning.
he species-specific biological predisposition to learn in certain ways but not others. evidence for preparedness comes from research on taste aversion
operant conditioning
rganisms learn the association between a behavior and a consequence, such as a reward. As a result of this association, organisms learn to increase behaviors that are followed by rewards and to decrease behaviors that are followed by punishment. For example, children are likely to repeat their good manners if their parents reward them with candy after they have shown good manners. Also, if children's bad manners are followed by scolding words and harsh glances by parents, the children are less likely to repeat the bad manners. Figure 5.1 compares classical and operant conditioning.