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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Psych 1100.docx

Course Code
PSYC 2410
Dan Meegan

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Chapter 7 Psych 1100
Learning: a relatively enduring change in an organism’s behaviour or performance
capabilities that occurs that occurs as a result of experience
“Capabilities” – knowing how
In science we must measure learning by actual changes in performance
The concept of learning calls attention to the important of adapting to the to the
Habituation: a decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus
By learning not to respond to uneventful familiar stimuli, organisms
conserve energy and can attend to other stimuli that are important
Sensitization: an increase in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus
Tends to occur to strong or noxious stimuli
Its purpose is to increase response to a potentially dangerous stimulus
Classical Conditioning: a procedure in which a formerly neutral stimulus (the
conditioned stimulus) comes to elicit a conditioned response by virtue of being
paired with an unconditioned stimulus that naturally elicits a similar response (the
unconditioned response) similar response (the unconditioned response)
Involves learning an association between stimuli
Acquisition: refers to the period during which a response is being learned
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): a stimulus that elicits a particular reflexive or
innate response (the UCR) without prior learning
Unconditioned Response (UCR): a response (usually reflexive or innate) that is
elicited by a specific stimulus (the UCS) without prior learning
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): a neutral stimulus that comes to evoke a conditioned
response after being paired with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned Response (CR): in classical conditioning, a response to a conditioned
stimulus the CR is established by pairing a conditioned stimulus with an
unconditioned stimulus that evokes a similar response
UCR is a natural, unlearned (unconditioned) reflex
CR represents a learned (conditioned) response
CS typically must be paired multiple times with a UCS to establish a strong CR
Learning usually occurs most quickly with forward short-delay pairing

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The CS (tone) appears first and is still present when the UCS (food) appears
In forward trace pairing, the tone would come on and off, and afterward the
food would be presented
Extinction (classical Conditioning): weakening and eventual cessation of a CR
caused by the presentation of the CS without the UCS
Spontaneous Recovery: in classical conditioning, the reappearance of a previously
extinguished conditioned response after a period of time has passed following
Stimulus Generalization: a CR occurs to stimuli other than the original CS, based
on the similarity of these stimuli to the CS
Discrimination (Classical conditioning): the occurrence of a CR to one stimulus
but not to another stimulus
Higher-Order Conditioning: in classical conditioning, when a neutral stimulus
becomes a CS after it is paired with another CS (rather than with the original UCS)
Greatly expands the influence of conditioned stimuli and can affect what we
come to value, like, fear, or dislike
Exposure Therapies: a therapeutic technique designed to extinguish anxiety
responses by exposing clients to anxiety-arousing stimuli or situations while
preventing escape or avoidance through response prevention
Systematic Desensitization: the patient learns muscular relaxation techniques and
then is gradually exposed to the fear-provoking stimulus
Flooding: immediately exposes the person to the phobic stimulus
Aversion Therapy: the pairing of a CS that currently evokes a positive but
maladaptive response with a noxious UCS in an attempt to condition repulsion
toward the CS
Conditioning also can create unfavourable attitudes toward a CS
This response is accomplished by pairing the CS with a negative or
unpleasant UCS
Classical conditioning also can affect our physical health when a natural
stimulus is repeatedly paired with a natural allergen (UCS), it may become a
CS that triggers an allergic CR
Instrumental Learning an organism’s behaviour is instrumental in bringing about
certain outcomes

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Law of Effect: Thorndike’s concept that a response followed by satisfying
consequences will become more likely to occur, whereas a response followed by
unsatisfying consequences will become less likely to occur
Operant behaviour, meaning that an organism operates on its environment in some
Operant Conditioning: a type of learning in which behaviour is modified by its
consequences, such as by reinforcement, punishment, and extinction
Skinner Box: an experimental chamber in which animals learn to perform operant
responses, such as bar presses or pecking responses, so that the learning process
can be studied
Reinforcement: the strengthening of a response by an outcome that follows it
Punishment: a response is weakened by an outcome that follows it
Skinner’s analysis of 0perant behaviour involves three kinds of events: antecedents
(A), which are stimuli that are present before a behaviour occurs; behaviours (B)
that the organism emits; and consequences (C) that follow the behaviours.
The relations between A and B, and between B and C are called contingencies
Key differences between classical and operant conditioning:
In classical conditioning, the organism learns an association between two
stimuli. In operant conditioning, the organism learns an association between
behaviour and its consequences
Classical conditioning focuses on elicited behaviours
Operant conditioning focuses on emitted behaviours
Discriminative Stimulus: an antecedent stimulus that signals the likelihood of
certain consequences if a response is made
Positive Reinforcement: a response is strengthened by the subsequent
presentation of a (noxious) stimulus
The stimulus that follows and strengthens the response is called a positive
Negative Reinforcement: a response is strengthened by the subsequent removal of
a (noxious) stimulus
Reinforcement whether positive or negative always means that a
response is being strengthened
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