AP Psychology Unit 6

Habituation
Habituation
An organism’s decreasing response to a stimulus with repeated exposure to it.

Ex: (Refer to Image) As shown in the graph if an animal is repeatedly exposed to a stimulus such as a beeping noise, its startled response would decrease with repeated exposure to the noise.

Associative Learning
Learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli (as in classical conditioning) or a response to its consequences (as in operant conditioning).

Ex: We learn that a flash of lightning signals soon sounds of thunder, so when lightning flashes nearby, we brace ourselves for the sound of thunder.

Classical Conditioning
A type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipate events.

Ex: (Refer to Image) A classic example of this type of conditioning is Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs. He taught them to pair food with the ring of the bell, which would cause them to salivate (in anticipation for receiving the food).

Acquisition
In classical conditioning, the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, acquisition occurred when the dogs paired the sound of the bell (neutral stimulus) with the presentation of food (unconditioned stimulus).

Higher-Order Conditioning
Higher-Order Conditioning
A procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning experience is paired with a new neutral stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus.

Ex: (Refer to Image) An animal that has learned that a tone predicts food might then learn that a light predicts the tone and begin responding to the light alone.

Extinction
The diminishing of a conditioned response; occurs in classical conditioning when an unconditioned stimulus (US) does not follow a conditioned stimulus (CS); occurs in operant conditioning when a response is no longer enforced.

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, extinction occurred when the bell was sounded again without presenting the food, and dogs salivated less and less.

Spontaneous Recovery
Spontaneous Recovery
The reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response.

Ex: (Refer to Image) In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, spontaneous recovery could have occurred if after extinction of the conditioned behavior (salivation), after another pause in the training, the behavior reappeared, and the dogs began to salivate once more.

Generalization
The tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses.

Ex: Pavlov discovered that the dogs salivated when conditioned to the sound of one tone (CS), and also responded somewhat to the sound of a different tone that had never been paired with food (US).

Discrimination
In classical conditioning, the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus.

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, this could have occurred if the dogs learned to respond to the sound of a particular tone (CS) and not to other tones.

Respondent Behavior
Behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus.

Ex: The human eye demonstrates respondent behavior when the pupil starts to constrict when exposed to direct sunlight. If the pupil did not constrict, then the eye would be more exposed to sun rays, which could lead to blindness.

Operant Conditioning
A type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.

Ex: (Refer to Image) In B.F. Skinner’s experiments, operant conditioning was used, as if rats pressed a lever in the operant chamber, they would receive food. However, if they did not perform this task, they would stay hungry.

Law of Effect
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.

Ex: (Refer to Image) A child may be more likely behave in school and get good grades if they are promised and given a toy as a result. They will be less likely to misbehave if they would become grounded as a result.

Shaping
An operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior.

Ex: Skinner used shaping during his experiments with rats in an operant chamber when he guided the animals to move closer and closer to a bar in order to receive food. This was also done using successive approximations, in which he would reward the animals’ responses that were closer to the final desired behavior and ignored all other responses.

Discriminative Stimulus
In operant conditioning, a stimulus that elicits a response after association with reinforcement (in contrast to related stimuli not associated with reinforcement).

Ex: If a child wanted to be rewarded with a toy (reinforcement) then they would behave during class (discriminative stimulus).

Reinforcer
Reinforcer
In operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows.

Ex: (Refer to Image) One example of this would be the food rewarded to an animal after it performed a trick.

Positive Reinforcement
Positive Reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food. A positive reinforcer is any stimulus that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response.

Ex: (Refer to Image) Having a job and going to work every day to receive a paycheck.

Negative Reinforcement
Negative Reinforcement
Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock. A negative reinforcer is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response.

Ex: (Refer to Image) A baby is crying, so you give him/her a bottle to stop the noise.

Primary Reinforcer
An innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need.

Ex: In most animal experiments, food is used as primary stimulus, as the animals are highly motivated to retrieve it because without it, they would go hungry.

Conditioned Reinforcer
A stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer; also known as a secondary reinforcer.

Ex: When one works for money, the money is the conditioned reinforcer as it only gains its power through a history of association with primary reinforcers (one needs money to buy food).

Continuous Reinforcement
Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs.

Ex: This would occur if when potty-training a toddler, the parent would reward the child every time he or she used the toilet correctly.

Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement
Partial (Intermittent) Reinforcement
Reinforcing a response only part of the time; results in slower acquisition of a response but much greater resistance to extinction than does continuous reinforcement. Intermittent reinforcement produces greater resistance to extinction than is found with continuous reinforcement.

Ex: (Refer to Image) When using a slot machine, because one does not win every time, one may continue to play on it because they will win a reward at some undetermined point.

Fixed-Ratio Schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses.

Ex: This would occur if a child were to receive a toy only after he or she received a certain number of A’s.

Variable-Ratio Schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses.

Ex: This would occur if a child were to receive a toy after he or she received a variable or random number of A’s.

Fixed-Interval Schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed.

Ex: This would occur if a child were to receive a after he or she received an A only after a specified period of time between that instance, and the last reward.

Variable-Interval Schedule
In operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals.

Ex: This would occur if a child were to receive a after he or she received an A after a random or variable period of time between that instance, and the last reward.

Latent Learning
Learning that occurs but is not apparent until there is an incentive to demonstrate it.

Ex: One example of this could occur if a student is taught how to perform a special type of division, but does not demonstrate the knowledge until an important test is given.

Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Motivation
A desire to perform a behavior effectively for its own sake.

Ex: (Refer to Image) This can be demonstrated when individuals chose to play a sport because they truly enjoy the activity and love the challenge they get from participating.

Extrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation
A desire to perform a behavior to receive promised rewards or avoid threatened punishment.

Ex: (Refer to Image) This can be demonstrated when a student only gets good grades because their parents had promised them an increase in their allowance.

Observational Learning
Learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others.

Ex: (Refer to Image) After witnessing an older sibling being punished for taking a cookie without asking, the younger child does not take cookies without permission.

Modeling
The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior.

Ex: Children demonstrate modeling if they begin to mimic certain characteristics if their parents (like cursing when they are frustrated with something).

Learning
Learning
A relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.

Ex: (Refer to Image) A child becomes literate through experience with sounding out words and practice with reading.

Behaviorism
The view that psychology (1) should be an objective science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes. Most research psychologists today agree with (1) but not with (2).

Ex: In a particular instance, a child is acting poorly and does not pay attention during class. The approach of behaviorism may attribute this behavior to teaching methods his teacher practices. If the teacher is not using effective punishment/reinforcement tactics, then the student may not have learned to control his behavior and focus his thinking.

Unconditioned Response (UR)
In classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US).

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, the unconditioned response would be the dog’s salivation when food is in its mouth, as this response was unlearned.

Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
In classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally- naturally and automatically- triggers a response.

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, the unconditioned stimulus would be the food placed in the dog’s mouth, as this automatically triggered its natural response of salivation.

Conditioned Response (CR)
In classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus (CS).

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, the conditioned response would be the dog’s salivation after the sound of a bell, as this response was learned. (Ringing bells do not naturally trigger salivation.)

Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
In classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response.

Ex: In Pavlov’s experiment with salivating dogs, the conditioned stimulus would be the sound of a bell, as this stimulus was originally irrelevant to the dog, but was then associated with the unconditioned stimulus of food.

Operant Chamber
Operant Chamber
In operant conditioning research, 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; attached devices record the animal’s rate of bar pressing or key pecking.

Ex: (Refer to Image).

Operant Behavior
Operant Behavior
Behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences.

Ex: (Refer to Image) In school a child who studies hard and succeeds (behavior), will be given a gold star (consequence).

Learned Helplessness
Learned Helplessness
The hopelessness and passive resignation an animal or human learns when unable to avoid repeated aversive events.

Ex: (Refer to Image) It was observed that dogs would not try to escape the tested shocks if they had been conditioned to believe that they couldn’t escape.

Insight
Insight
A sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem.

Ex: (Refer to Image) Occurs when a child realizes that if a child behaves his or herself (solution) then they will receive a toy (initial problem).

Cognitive Map
Cognitive Map
A mental representation of the layout of one’s environment.

Ex: (Refer to Image) After studying rats in a maze for 10 days, the rats received a food reward at the end of the maze. Then the rats rapidly ran through the maze again to try to receive more food. They developed a cognitive map of the maze which allowed them to do this.

Punishment
Punishment
Any consequence that decreases the frequency of a preceding behavior.

Ex: (Refer to Image) If a child misbehaves their punishment may be to go into a time out for a certain period of time, with the hope that the child would then learn not to repeat the behavior.

Prosocial Behavior
Behavior that benefits someone else or society but that generally offers no obvious benefit to the person performing it.

Ex: A prosocial behavioral model may encourage children to read by reading to them or surrounding them with books and people who read. Also, students can improve a skill by choosing a role model and observing his or her behavior over a period of time.

Mirror Neurons
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 and empathy.

Ex: (Refer to Image) These neurons will fire when a monkey grasps, holds or tears something, or when it observes another doing so.

Biofeedback
Biofeedback
A system of recording, amplifying, and feeding back information about subtle psychological responses.

Ex: (Refer to Image).

Over-Justification Effect
Occurs when an expected external incentive such as money or prizes decreases a person’s intrinsic motivation to perform a task.

Ex: Once Jenna was paid for pursuing her passion of art, the extrinsic motivations out weighed those of her intrinsic motivations, and she no longer enjoyed the activity as much as she once did.

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