Chapter 6: Learning

Learning is psychological changes consequential to experiences.

Habituation is learning to ignore certain stimuli if they are repeated on multiple occasions.

Mere exposure effect is preference for stimuli previously exposed to.

Behavioral learning is when a subject’s response to a particular stimulus is changed.

Classical conditioning is when a particular stimulus is able to invoke a response previously resulting only from another stimulus.

Neutral stimulus is a stimulus that triggers no response or an irrelevant one.

Unconditioned stimulus is a stimulus that triggers an automatic response.

Unconditioned response is the natural response to a particular stimulus. Thus, naturally, an unconditioned stimulus triggers an unconditioned response.

Acquisition is the initial stage in classical conditioning in which the unconditioned stimulus and a neutral stimulus are presented simultaneously, enabling the neutral stimulus to cause the same response as the unconditioned stimulus.

Conditioned stimulus is a previously neutral stimulus that has now become associated with a particular response.

Conditioned response is the response that has become associated with a certain conditioned stimulus.

Extinction (in classical conditioning) is the eventual disappearance of a conditioned response after it is presented without the unconditioned stimulus.

Spontaneous recovery is the re-appearance of a conditioned response after a period of time during which it was extinct.

Stimulus generalization is when the subject applies the same response to stimuli similar to the original.

Stimulus discrimination is when the subject has a different response to stimuli similar to the original.

Experimental neurosis is erratic and nervous behavior caused by a difficult task of discrimination.

Taste-aversion learning is when the subject learns to dislike a particular food taste if illness occurs after eating it. This tendency is biological.

Operant is the voluntary observable behavior of a subject.

Operant learning is a form of learning in which consequences of behavior brings about its changes.

Law of effect is the observation that organisms learn responses leading favorable results.

Reinforcer is a condition that strengthens a certain response.

Positive reinforcer is an act that increases the likelihood that a response will re-occur by giving attractive rewards.

Negative reinforcer is an act that increases the likelihood that a response will re-occur by removing unpleasant stimuli.

Operant chamber is prismatic apparatus that is used to study the effects of reinforcements on animals’ behavior.

Reinforcement contingencies are connections between a response and its consequences.

Continuous reinforcement is when all correct responses are rewarded, i.e. reinforced. It is effective when teaching a new behavior.

Shaping is a operant learning technique in which responses similar to the correct one are reinforced.

Intermittent reinforcement, aka partial reinforcement, is when only some of the correct responses are reinforced. It is effective in maintaining a learned behavior.

Extinction (in operant conditioning) is when a learned behavior weakens due to the lack of reinforcements.

Schedules of reinforcement is the combination of the frequency and timing of reinforcements.

Ratio schedule is a method of reinforcement based on the number of correct responses.

Interval schedule is a method of reinforcement based on the time period since the last correct responses.

Fixed ratio (FR) schedules is a method of reinforcement based on a constant number of correct responses.

Variable ratio (VR) schedules is a method of reinforcement in which the number of correct responses required before a reinforcement is issued varies.

Fixed interval (FI) schedules is a method of reinforcement in which reinforcement is issued after a fixed time period.

Variable interval (VI) schedules is a method of reinforcement in which the time period between reinforcement is unpredictable.

Primary reinforcers are those of biological significance to the organism.

Conditioned reinforcers or secondary reinforcers are those that were neutral but now have become associated with primary reinforcers.

Token economy is a therapeutic method in which desired behaviors are reinforced with tokens, which can then be exchanged for privileges and other rewards.

Premack principle is an idea holding that an enjoyable activity can reinforce a less-preferred activity.

Punishment is an unpleasant stimulus issued after an unwanted behavior has occurred to reduce its strength in the future.

Positive reinforcement is the application of an unpleasant stimulus after an unwanted behavior has occurred.

Omission training or negative reinforcement is the removal of an enjoyed stimulus after an unwanted response has occurred.

Insight learning is a form of cognitive learning in which the subject successfully solves a problem by changing its perception of the problem.

Cognitive map is a mental model of space.

Long-term potentiation is a biological process in which the synapses of neurons are strengthened and is believed to be the fundamental basis of learning.

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