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Chapter 8: Learning (Psychology)

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Learning
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a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience
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Associative learning
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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)
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behaviorism
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the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behavior without reference to mental processes
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classical conditioning
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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.
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unconditioned response (UR)
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in classical conditioning, the unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (US), such as salivation when food is in the mouth
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unconditioned stimulus (US)
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in classical conditioning, a stimulus that unconditionally – naturally and automatically – triggers a response
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conditioned response (CR)
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in classical conditioning, the learned response to a previously neutral (but now conditioned) stimulus
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conditioned stimulus (CS)
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in classical conditioning, an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus (US), comes to trigger a conditioned response
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acquisition
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The initial stage in classical conditioning; the phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a conditioned response. In operant conditioning, the strengthening of a reinforced response.
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extinction
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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 reinforced.
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spontaneous recovery
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the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned response
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generalization
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the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses
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discrimination
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unjustifiable negative behavior toward a group or its members
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operant conditioning
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a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher.
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respondent behavior
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behavior that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus; Skinner’s term for behavior learned through classical conditioning
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law of effect
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Thorndike’s principle that behaviors followed by favorable consequences become more likely, and that behaviors followed by unfavorable consequences become less likely
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operant behavior
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behavior that operates on the environment, producing consequences
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shaping
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an operant conditioning procedure in which reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of the desired behavior
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reinforcer
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in operant conditioning, any event that strengthens the behavior it follows
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positive reinforcement
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increasing behaviors by presenting postive stimuli, such as food; when presented after a response, it strengthens response
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negative reinforcement
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increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli, such as shock; it is any stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response
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primary reinforcer
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innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need
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conditioned reinforcer (secondary reinforcer)
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a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer
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continuous reinforcement
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Reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs
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partial (intermittent) reinforcement
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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
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fixed-ratio schedule
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in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses
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variable-ratio schedule
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in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable number of responses
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fixed-interval schedule
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in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed
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variable-interval schedule
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in operant conditioning, a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals
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punishment
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an event that decreases the behavior that it follows
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cognitive map
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a mental representation of the layout of one’s environment
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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
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intrinsic motivation
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A desire to perform a behavior for its own sake
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extrinsic motivation
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a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment
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observational learning
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learning by observing others
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modeling
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The process of observing and imitating a specific behavior
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mirror neurons
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Frontal lobe neuron that fires when performing certain actions or when observing another doing so; may enable imitations, language learning, and empathy
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prosocial behavior
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positive, constructive, helpful behavior. the opposite of antisocial behavior
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operant chamber
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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.