Psych 5: Learning

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Habituation
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the decreasing strength of a response after repeated presentation of stimuli
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laws of association
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Aristotle; basic principles used to account for learning and memory that descrive the conditions under which one thought becomes associated with another
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law of contiguity
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law which proposes that two events will become connected if they are experienced close in time
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law of similarity
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law which states that objects that resemble each other are likely to be associated
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classical conditioning
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Ivan Pavlov; procedure by which a previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response after paired with stimulus that automatically elicits a response; first type of learning studied systematically
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Unconditioned Stimulus
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Stimulus that produces reflexive response without any prior learning (UCS)
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Unconditioned response
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an organism’s unlearned, automatic response to stimulus
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phobia
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irrational fear of specific object or situation
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Galvanic skin response
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electrical measure of the amount of sweat on the skin that is produced during states of anxiety or arousal; skin conductance, electrodermal activity, GSR
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Stimulus discrimination
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tendency for an organism to respond to a very restricted range of stimulus
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extinction
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in classical conditioning, the process by which a conditioned response is weakened by presentation of the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus; in operant conditioning, the process by which the connection between an operant and a reinforcer or punishment is similarly broken
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interstimulus interval
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duration of time between presentation of conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus
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blocking
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phenomenon that occurs when a stimulus fails to elicit a conditioned response because it is combined with a stimulus that already elicits a response
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latent inhibition
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phenomenon in classical conditioning in which initial exposure to a neural stimulus without an unconditioned stimulus slows the process of later learning the CS-UCS association and develop a conditioned response
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prepared learning
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responses to which an organism is predisposed because they were selected through natural selection
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operant conditioning
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learning that results when an organism associates a response that occurs spontaneously with particular environmental effect; behavior is controlled by its consequences (instrumental conditioning)
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law of effects
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Edward Thorndike; law which states that the tendency of an organism to produce a behavior is dependent upon effects that a behavior has on the environment
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operants
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behavior is emitted by organism rather than elicited by environment
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reinforcer
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environmental consequence that occurs after an organism has produced a response and makes response more likely to recur
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positive reinforcement
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process by which a behavior is made more likely to occur because of presentation of rewarding stimulus
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negative reinforcement
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process whereby a behavior is made more likely because it is followed by the removal of an unpleasant or aversive stimulus
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escape learning
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negative reinforcement procedure in which the behavior of an organism is reinforced by the cessation of an aversive event that already exists
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avoidance learning
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negative reinforcement procedure in which the behavior of an organism is reinforced by the prevention of expected aversive event
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punishment
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conditioning process that decreases the probability that behavior will occur
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continuous schedule of reinforcement
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operant conditioning procedure in which environmental consequences are the same each time an organism emits a behavior
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partial schedule of reinforcement
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operant conditioning procedure in which organism is reinforced only for some of time it emits behaviors (intermittent schedule of reinforcement)
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ratio schedule of reinforcement
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operant conditioning procedure in which organsim is reinforced for some proportion of responses
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interval schedule of reinforcement
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operant conditioning procedure in which rewards are delivered according to intervals of time
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fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement
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operant conditioning procedure in which organism receives reinforcement at fixed rate according to number of responses emitted
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variable ratio schedule of reinforcement
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operant procedure in which organisms receive reinforcement for certain percentage of behavior emitted, percentage is not fixed
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fixed interval schedule of reinforcement
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operant procedure in which organism receives reinforcement for responses after fixed time interval
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variable interval schedule of reinforcement
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operant procedure in which organism receive rewards for responses after amount of time that is unfixed
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discriminative stimulus
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stimulus that signals that particular contingencies of reinforcement are in effect
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biofeedback
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procedure for monitoring autonomic physiological processes and learning to alter them at will
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chaining
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process of learning in which sequence of already established behavior is reinforced step by step
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drive
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unpleasant tension state that motivates behavior classified as primary or secondary (acquired)
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drive-reduction theory
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behaviorist theory; proposed that motivation stems from combination of drive and reinforcements; stimuli become reinforcing because they are associated with reduction of state of biological deficit
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behavioral approach system
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anatomical system associated with pleasurable emotional states; responsible for approach-oriented behavior (BAS)
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behavioral inhibition system
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anatomical system associated with anxiety, avoidance behavior (BIS)
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fight-flight system
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anatomical system associated with unconditioned escape and defensive aggression; emotions of terror and rage (FFS)
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cognitive social theory
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theory of learning that emphasizes role of thought and social learning in behavior
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latent learning
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learning that has occurred but not currently manifest in behavior
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locus of control reinforcement
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generalized expectancies people hold about whether or not their own behavior will bring sought after outcome
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external locus of control
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belief that life is determined by external forces
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internal locus of control
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I am master of my destiny
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learned helplessness
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expectancy that one cannot escape from aversive events; stable and global
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explanatory style
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way people make sense of events or outcomes
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pessimistic explanatory style
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tendency to explain bad events in self-blaming manner
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social learning
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learning in which individuals learn from other people, with or without punishment
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vicarious conditioning
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individual learns consequences of an action by observing its consequences for someone else
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observational learning
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learning through observing other’s behaviors
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tutelage
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teaching of concepts or procedures; through verbal explanation and instruction
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acquisition
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pairing of UCS with CS
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trace conditioning
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CS is presented and terminated before USC is presented. Most effective with brief interstimulus interval
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simultaneous conditioning
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CS and UCS are presented at the same time
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backward conditioning
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USCS is presented and stopped before CS is presented
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long term potentiation
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long-lasting strengthening of synapses between nerve cells

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