Chapter 6: Learning
Learning-Some experience that results in a relatively permanent change in the state of
Habituation-A general process in which repeated or prolonged exposure to a stimulus
results in a gradual reduction in responding.
Classical Conditioning-When a neutral stimulus evokes a response after being paired
with a stimulus that naturally evokes a response.
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)-Something that reliably produces a naturally occurring
reaction in an organism.
Unconditioned Response (UR)-A reflexive reaction that is reliably elicited by an
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)-A stimulus that is initially neutral and produces no reliable
response in an organism.
Conditioned Response (CR)-A reaction that resembles an unconditioned response but is
produced by a conditioned stimulus.
Acquisition-The phase of classical conditioning when the CS and the US are presented
Second-Order Conditioning-Conditioning where the US is a stimulus that acquired its
ability to produce learning from an earlier procedure in which it was used as a CS.
Extinction-The gradual elimination of a learned response that occurs when the US is no
Spontaneous Recovery-The tendency of a learned behavior to recover from extinction
after a rest period.
Generalization-A process in which the CR is observed even though the CS is slightly
different from the original one used during acquisition.
Discrimination-The capacity to distinguish between similar but distinct stimuli. Biological Preparedness-A propensity for learning particular kind of associations over
Operant Conditioning-A type of learning in which the consequences of an organism’s
behavior determine whether it will be repeated in the future.
Law Of Effect-The principle that behaviors that are followed by a “satisfying state of
affairs” tend to be repeated and those that produce an “unpleasant state of affairs” are
less likely to be repeated.
Operant Behavior-Behavior that an organism produces that has some impact on the
Reinforcer-Any stimulus or event that functions to increase the likelihood of the
behavior that led to it.
Punisher-Any stimulus or event that functions to decrease the likelihood of the behavior
that led to it.
Overjustification Effect-Circumstances when external rewards can undermine the
intrinsic satisfaction of performing a behavior.
Fixed Interval Schedule (FI)-An operant conditioning principle in which reinforcements
are presented at fixed time periods, provided that the appropriate response is made.
Variable Interval Schedule (VI)-An operant conditioning principle in which behavior is
reinforced based on an average time that has expired since the last reinforcement.
Fixed Ratio Schedule (FR)-An operant conditioning principle in which reinforcement is
delivered after a specific number of responses have been made.
Variable Ratio Schedule (VR)-An operant conditioning principle in which the delivery of
reinforcement is based on a particular average number of responses.
Intermittent Reinforcement-An operant conditioning principle in which only some of the
responses made are followed by reinforcement.
Intermittent-Reinforcement Effect-The fact that operant behaviors that are maintained
under intermittent reinforcement schedules resist extinction better than those
maintained under continuous reinforcement. Shaping-Learning that results from the reinforcement of successive approximations to a
final desired behavior.
Latent Learning-A condition in which something is learned but it is not manifested as a
behavioral change until sometime in the future.
Cognitive Map-A mental representation of the physical features of the environment.
Observational Learning-A condition in which learning takes place by watching the
actions of others.
Implicit Learning-Learning that takes place largely independent of awareness of both the
process and the products of information acquisition. Summ