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SOSC 1801 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Oneword, Aphasia, Anterograde Amnesia

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 1801
Jon Johnson
Study Guide

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Learning: the process of acquiring new and relatively enduring information or behaviours
Associative learning: learning that certain events occur together. The events may be two stimuli
or a response and its consequence
Stimulus: any event or situation that evokes a response
Cognitive learning: the acquisition of mental information, whether by observing events, by
watching others or through language
Classical conditioning: a type of learning in which one learn to link two or more stimuli and
anticipate events
Behaviourism: the view that psychology should be an objective science that studies behaviour
without reference to mental processes
Respondent behaviour: behaviour that occurs as an automatic response to some stimulus
Neutral stimulus: a stimulus that elicits no response before conditioning
Unconditioned response: an unlearned, naturally occurring response to an unconditioned
Unconditioned stimulus: a stimulus that unconditionally – naturally and automatically – triggers a
Conditioned response: a learned response to a previously neutral, but now conditioned,
Conditioned stimulus: an originally irrelevant stimulus that, after association with an
unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response
Acquisition: when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral
stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response (in classical conditioning); the strengthening
of a reinforced response (operant conditioning)
Higher-order processing: a procedure in which the conditioned stimulus in one conditioning
experience is paired with a new stimulus, creating a second (often weaker) conditioned stimulus
Extinction: the diminishing of a conditioned response
Spontaneous recovery: the reappearance, after a pause, of an extinguished conditioned
Generalization: the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for stimulus similar to the
conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses

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Discrimination: the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and stimuli that
do not signal an unconditioned stimulus
Operant conditioning: a type of learning in which behaviour is strengthened if followed by a
reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher
Law of effect: Thorndike’s principle that behaviours followed by favourable consequences
become more likely, and that behaviours followed by unfavourable consequences become less
Operant chamber: a chamber containing a bar or key that an animal can manipulate to obtain a
food or water reinforcer (also known as a Skinner box)
Reinforcement: any event that strengthens the behaviour it follows
Shaping: procedure in which reinforcers guide behaviour toward closer and closer
approximations of the desired behaviour
Positive reinforcement: increasing behaviours by presenting positive reinforcers  any stimulus
that, when presented after a response, strengthens the response
Negative reinforcement: increasing behaviours by stopping or reducing negative stimuli  any
stimulus that, when removed after a response, strengthens the response
Primary reinforcer: an innately reinforcing stimulus; it is unlearned
Conditioned reinforcer (secondary reinforcer): a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through
its association with a primary reinforcer; learned association
Reinforcement schedule: a pattern that defines how often a desired response will be reinforced
Continuous reinforcement: reinforcing the desired response every time it occurs
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
Fixed-ratio schedule: a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified
number of responses
Variable-ratio schedule: a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an
unpredictable number of responses
Fixed-interval schedule: a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a
specified time has elapsed
Variable-interval schedule: a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable
time intervals
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