PSY1011: Psychology notes + Glossary

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Russell Conduit

Classical conditioning: form of learning in which animals come to respond to a previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits an automatic response - Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): stimulus that elicits an automatic response - Conditioned stimulus (CS): initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a response due to association with UCS - Unconditioned response (UCR): automatic response to a non-neutral stimulus that doesn’t need to be learned - Conditioned response (CR): Response previously associated with non-neutral stimulus that is elicited by neutral stimulus through conditioning Acquisition: We gradually learn/ acquire the CR. Repeated pairing of UCS and CS increasing the CR’s strength Extinction: The CR decreases and eventually disappears when the CS is repeatedly presented without the UCS. Spontaneous recovery: A seemingly extinct CR reappears if we present the CS again Stimulus generalization: CS’s that are similar but not identical to the original CS elicit a CR Higher order conditioning: process by which organisms develop classically conditioned responses to CS’s that later become associated with the original CS. Operant Conditioning: learning controlled by the consequences of an animal’s behaviour Differences between Classical conditioning and Operant conditioning Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Target behaviour is… Elicited automatically Emitted voluntarily Reward is… Provided unconditionally Dependant on behaviour Behaviour depends on… Autonomic nervous system Skeletal muscles Thorndike’s law of effect: If a response, in the presence of a stimulus, is followed by a satisfying state of affairs, the bond between stimulus and response is strengthened. (SKINNER and his ratbox) Reinforcement: Any outcome which strengthens the probability of a response - Positive reinforcement: when we administer a stimulus - Negative reinforcement: When we take away a stimulus Punishment: any outcome that weakens the probability of a response - Positive punishment: Administering a stimulus that the organism wishes to avoid (spanking) - Negative punishment: Removing a stimulus that the organism wishes to experience (Toy) Fixed Ratio (FR) schedule: Pattern in which we provide reinforcement following a regular number of responses Fixed Interval (FI) schedule: Pattern in which we provide reinforcement for producing the response at least once following a specified time interval Variable Ratio (VR) schedule: pattern in which we provide reinforcement after a specific number of responses on average with the number varying randomly Variable Interval (VI) schedule: pattern in which we provide reinforcement for producing the response at least once during an average time interval, with the interval varying randomly Radical behaviourism: observable behaviour, thinking and emotion are all governed by the same laws of learning, classic/operant conditioning. Latent learning: learning that is not directly observable Observational learning: Learning by watching others Biological Psychology: Dendrites: branchlike extensions for receiving information from other neurons Synapse: Neurotransmitters enter the synapse which is the fluid space between neurons Glial cells: cells in nervous system that play a role in the formation of myelin, enhances learning and memory etc… Myelin sheath: glial cells wrapped around axons that act as insulators to speed impulse transmission Action potential: electrical impulse that travels down the axon triggering the release of neurotransmitters Plasticity: the nervous system’s ability to change Neurogenesis: creation of new neurons in the adult brain Central nervous system (CNS): part of nervous system containing brain and spinal cord which controls mind and behaviour Peripheral Nervous system (PNS): nerves in the body that extend outside CNS Frontal lobe: forward part of cerebral cortex responsible for motor function, language, memory and planning Motor cortex: part of frontal lobe responsible for body movement Prefrontal cortex: part of frontal love responsible for thinking, planning, and language Broca’s area: language area in prefrontal cortex that helps control speech production Parietal lobe: upper middle part of cerebral cortex for touch and perception Temporal lobe: lower part of cerebral cortex that plays roles in hearing, understanding language and memory Wernicke’s area: part of temporal lobe involved in understanding speech Occipital lobe: back part of cerebral cortex for vision Hippocampus: part of brain that plays a role in spatial memory Somatic nervous system: carries messages from CNS to muscles throughout the body, controlling movement. Autonomic nervous system: controls the involuntary action of our internal organs and glands which participates in emotion regulation Pituitary gland: controls other glands in the body Adrenal glands: control hormone production (adrenalin and cortisol) Chromosome: slender thread inside a cell’s nucleus that carries genes Gene: genetic material, composed of DNA Genotype: genetic makeup Phenotype: observable traits Dominant gene: masks other gene’s effects Recessive gene: gene that is expressed only in the absence of a dominant gene Heritability: percentage of the variability in a trait across individuals due to genes Post Hoc Fallacy: mistake of assuming that because A comes before B, A must cause B Bidirectional influences: parents influence their children’s behaviour which in turn feeds back to influence their parents Cross-sectional design: research design that examines people of different ages at a single point in time Cohort effect: effect observed in a sample of participants that results from individuals in the sample growing up at the same time Longitudinal design: research design that examines development in the same group of people on multiple occasions over time Nature via nurture: tendency of individuals with certain genetic predispositions to seek out and create environments that permit the expression of those predispositions Cognitive development: how we acquire the ability to learn/think/communicate/remember Jean Piaget: first to present a comprehensive account of cognitive development Assimilation: Piagetian process of absorbing new experiences into current knowledge and structures Accommodation: Piagetian process of altering a belief to make it more compatible with experience Object permanence: the ability to understand that objects continue to exist when out of view Piaget’s stages of development: 1. Sensorimotor stage: no thought beyond immediate physical experinces 2. Preoperational stage: able to think beyond here and now, but unable to perform mental
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