Learning is a process by which experience produces a relatively enduring
change in an organism’s behaviour or capabilities.
Classical Conditioning (Pavlovian Conditioning) occurs when two stimuli
become associated with each other. An organism learns to associate two
stimuli, such that one stimulus comes to produce a response that originally
was produced only by the other stimulus.
Operant Conditioning we learn to associate our responses with specific
Observational Learning is where we learn by watching others behave.
Habituation is a decrease in the strength of response to a repeated stimulus.
It is the simplest form of learning.
Sensitization is an increase in the strength of response to a repeated
Acquisition refers to the period during which a response is being learned.
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
Unconditioned Response (UCR) is a natural, unlearned (unconditioned)
Conditioned Stimulus (UC)
Conditioned Response (UR) is a learned (conditioned) response.
Simultaneous Pairing is when the CS and UCS are presented at the same
time. This produces a less rapid conditioning.
Backwards Pairing is when the CS is presented after the UCS and here,
learning is slowest if it even occurs at all.
Extinction is the process where if the CS is presented repeatedly in the
absence of the UCS, the CR weakens and eventually disappears.
Spontaneous Recovery is the reappearance of a previously extinguished CR
after a rest period and without new learning trials.
Stimulus Generalization: stimuli similar to the initial CS elicit a CR.
Discrimination (detect) is demonstrated when a CR occurs to one stimulus
but not to others.
Higher-order Conditioning: a neutral stimulus becomes a CS after being
paired with an already established CS.
An assumption made is that if phobias are learned, they can be “unlearned”.
Exposure Therapies: goal is to expose the phobic patient to the feared
stimulus (UC) without any UCS, allowing extinction to occur.
Systematic Desensitization: the patient learns muscular relaxation
techniques and then is gradually exposed to the fear-provoking stimulus.
Flooding: immediately exposing the person to the phobic stimulus.
Aversion Therapy: attempts to condition an aversion (a repulsion) to a
stimulus that triggers unwanted behaviour by pairing it with a noxious UCS.
Law of Effect: states that in a given situation, a response followed by a
“satisfying” consequence will become more likely to occur, and a response
followed by an unsatisfying outcome will become less likely to occur.
Foundation of Behaviourism was the Law of Effect. Operant Behaviour means that an organism operates on its environment in
some way; it emits responses that produce certain consequences.
Operant Conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviour is influenced
by its consequences. Behaviours that produce a positive outcome will be
repeated and behaviours that produce a negative outcome will be avoided.
Through operant conditioning living organisms learn to increase behaviours
that will benefit them and decrease or avoid behaviours that will harm them.
Skinner box: a special chamber, designed by Skinner, to study operant
Two important consequences: reinforcement and punishment.
Reinforcement: a response that is strengthened by an outcome that follows
Punishment: occurs when a response is weakened by outcomes that follow
Antecedents (A): stimuli that are present before behaviour occurs.
Behaviour (B): what the organism emits (how it acts).
Consequences (C): follows behaviour.
Contingencies: relationship between A, B,