AP Psychology – Unit 6 – Learning

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Classical Conditioning
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Learning through association, a tendency to connect events that occur together in time and space. *A stimulus elicits a response*
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Ivan Pavlov
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The Russian Psychologist who discovered classical conditioning on accident; he was just measuring how much dogs salivated.
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US – Unconditioned Stimulus
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A stimulus that naturally and automatically triggers a response. (Dog example – Meat)
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UR – Unconditioned Response
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The unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus – US. (Dog example – Salvation)
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NS – Neutral Stimulus
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An unrelated stimulus that will become the conditioned stimulus – CS. (Dog example – Bell)
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CS – Conditioned Stimulus
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An originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus – US, comes to trigger a conditioned response. (Dog example – Bell + Meat)
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CR – Conditioned Response
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The learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus – CS. (Dog example – Salvation when bell rings)
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Acquisition
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The initial stage of learning. This is when the organism first connects the events together in its mind. The CS should come before the US. They should be very close together in timing.
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Extinction
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The diminishing of a conditioned response. Occurs when you stop pairing the US & NS/CS and time passes. Extinction is not permanent.
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Spontaneous Recovery
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The re-appearance of a conditioned response after a rest period following extinction. You have to connect the CS & NS again for it to re-appear.
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Generalization
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The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the CS to elicit similar responses.
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Discrimination
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The learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.
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High-Order Conditioning
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A procedure in which the CS in one conditioning experience is paired with a neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus.
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Cognitive Processes of Classical Conditioning
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Does classical conditioning work as well on humans as It does on animals? No, because of our cognition and intelligence.
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Biological Predispositions of Classical Conditioning
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An animal’s capacity for its conditioning is restrained by its biology.
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John Garcia
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Researched the effect of radiation on rats. (Biological Predisposition-> Rats rely on their sense of taste more to survive)
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Operant Conditioning
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A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement or diminished if followed by punishment.
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How is operant conditioning different then classical?
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-Classical conditioning has an organism associating two events that occur together at the same time. -Operant conditioning has an organism learning a behavior through reward or punishment.
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Edward Thorndike
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Preformed experiments on cats…placed them in a puzzle box and timed how long it took them. Coined the term \”Law of Effect\”.
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Law of Effect
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From Edward Thorndike. Became the basis of operant conditioning. Behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated; behavior that is followed by unpleasant consequences is likely to be stopped.
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Reinforcement
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Anything that increases a behavior.
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Positive Reinforcement
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Increasing behavior and adding a stimulus. (Ex. You get an A on your test which increases your behavior of studying)
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Negative Reinforcement
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Increasing a behavior by removing a stimulus. (Ex. You avoid getting a sunburn which increases your behavior of applying sunblock)
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Punishment
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Anything that decreases a behavior.
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Positive Punishment
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Decreases a behavior by adding a stimulus. (Ex. You receive a speeding ticket, which decreases your behavior of speeding)
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Negative Punishment
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Decreases a behavior by taking away a stimulus. (Ex. You lose your car keys, which decreases your behavior of drunk driving)
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Reinforcement/Punishment Warning
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The way a scenario is worded can affect the answer. (Ex. Lifting weights to get in shape vs. Lifting weights to lose weight.)
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Limitations of Punishment
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-Produces temporary suppression. -Produces undesirable emotional side effects. -Children who are physically punished often model or imitate punishment. -Punishment never teaches a new behavior.
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Continuous Reinforcement
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-Reinforce the behavior every time -Teaches the behavior very quickly -Once you stop reinforcing, it extinguishes very quickly -Ex. Getting a reading quiz after every reading assignment.
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Partial Reinforcement
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-Reinforce the behavior sometimes -Teaches the behavior slowly -More resistant to extinction -Has four different types
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Fixed Ratio
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A schedule that reinforces after a specified number of responses. Doesn’t matter what number, as long as it stays constant. Example: Monkey gets a banana for every 5 pages it writes.
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Variable Ratio
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A schedule that reinforces a behavior only after an unpredictable # of responses. # is constantly changing, however it usually averages out. Example: Slot machines pay out after a random number of tries.
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Fixed Interval
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A schedule that reinforces a behavior after a specified time has elapsed. Doesn’t matter what time it is as long as it stays constant. Example: You receive a paycheck every 2 weeks.
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Variable Interval
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A schedule that reinforces a behavior at unpredictable time intervals. Time is always changing, but usually averages out. Example: A teacher gives a pop quiz on random days of the week.
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Skinner Box
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A chamber containing a bar that an animal can manipulate to obtain food or water reinforce.
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Shaping
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An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward a closer and closer approximation of a complex desired goal.
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Primary Reinforcers
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Innately reinforcing stimuli, such as those that satisfy biological needs. Food and water are major examples.
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Secondary or Conditioned Reinforcers
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Those that gain their reinforcing power through association with a primary reinforcer. Money, grades, power.
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Latent Learning
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Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it. Which indicates that they have developed a cognitive map (mental representation).
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Overjustification Effect
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The effect of promising a reward for doing what one already likes to do.
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Token Economy
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People earn a token of some sort for exhibiting a desired behavior and can later exchange the tokens for various rivileges or treats.
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Premack Principle
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More probable behaviors will reinforce less probable behaviors.
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Observational Learning
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Learning by observing and imitating the behavior of others through modeling. Also called social learning. Can be prosocial or antisocial.
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Bobo Doll Study
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By Albert Bandura. kids mimicked the behavior they had seen in videos.

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