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Chapter 6

PSYC 1F90 Chapter 6: PSYC 1F90 Chapter 6 Notes

Course Code
John Mitterer

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PSYC 1F90 Chapter 6 Notes
6.1: What is learning?
Learning: any relatively permanent change in behaviour that can be attributed to
Associative learning: the formation of simple associations between various stimuli
and responses
Cognitive learning: higher-level learning involving thinking, knowing, understanding,
and anticipation
Reinforcement: any event that increases the probability that a particular response
will occur
Antecedents: events that precede a response
Consequences: e!ects that follow a response
Re"ex: an innate, automatic response to a stimulus, for example; an eye blink
Classical conditioning: a form of learning in which re"ex responses are associated
with new stimuli
Operant conditioning: learning based on the consequences of responding
6.2: How does classical conditioning occur?
Unconditioned stimulus (US): a stimulus innately capable of eliciting a response
Unconditioned response (UR): an innate re"ex response elicited by an
unconditioned stimulus
Neutral stimulus (NS): a stimulus that doesn’t evoke a response
Conditioned stimulus (CS): a stimulus that evokes a response because it has been
repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned response (CR): a learned response elicited by a conditioned stimulus
Acquisition: the period in conditioning during which a response is reinforced
Respondent reinforcement: reinforcement that occurs when an unconditioned
stimulus closely follows a conditioned stimulus
Higher order conditioning: classical conditioning in which a conditioned stimulus is
used to reinforce further learning; that is, a CS is used as if it were a US
Informational view (of conditioning): perspective that explains learning in terms f
information imparted by events in the environment
Expectancy: an anticipation concerning future events of relationships
Extinction: the weakening of a conditioned response through removal of
Spontaneous recovery: the reappearance of a learned response after its apparent
Stimulus generalization: the tendency to respond to stimuli similar to, but not
identical to a conditioned stimulus
Stimulus discrimination: the learned ability to respond di!erently to similar stimuli
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6.3: Does conditioning a$ect emotions?
Conditioned emotional response (CER): an emotional response that has been linked
to a previously nonemotional stimulus by classical conditioning
Desensitization: reducing fear or anxiety by repeatedly exposing a person to
emotional stimuli while the person is deeply relaxed
Vicarious classical conditioning: classical conditioning brought about by observing
another person react to a particular stimulus
6.4: How does operant conditioning occur?
Operant conditioning: learning based on the consequences of responding
Law of e!ect: responses that lead to desirable e!ects are repeated; those that
produce undesirable results are not
Operant reinforcer: any event that reliably increases the probability or frequency of
responses it follows
Operant conditioning chamber (skinner box): an apparatus designed to study
operant conditioning in animals
Superstitious behavior: a repeated behaviour because it seems to produce
reinforcement even though it is actually unnecessary
Shaping: gradually molding responses to a 1nal desired pattern
Operant extinction: the weakening or disappearance or a nonreinforced operant
Positive reinforcement: when a response is followed by a reward or positive event
Negative reinforcement: occurs when a response is followed by an end to discomfort
or removal of an unpleasant event
Punishment: any event that follows a response and deceases its likelihood of
occurring again
Aversive consequence: a stimulus that is painful or uncomfortable
Response cost: removal of a positive reinforcer after a response is made
6.5: Are there di$erent kinds of operant reinforcement?
-operant learning may be based on primary reinforcers, secondary
reinforcers, and feedback
Primary reinforcers: nonlearned reinforcers; usually those that satisfy physiological
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