Chapter 7 Learning
Learning - involves the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, or responses from experience that result in
a relatively permanent change in the state of the learner.
Classical Conditioning : One Thing Leads to Another
classic conditioning : a neutral stimulus produces a response after being paired with a stimulus
that naturally produces a response.
o unconditioned stimulus (US) : When a neutral stimulus produces a response after being
paired with a stimulus that naturally produces a response
o unconditioned response (UR) : A reflexive reaction that is reliably produced by an
o conditioned stimulus (CS) : A stimulus that is initially neutral and produces no reliable
response in an organism.
o conditioned response (CR) : A reaction that resembles an unconditioned response but is
produced by a conditioned stimulus.
o acquisition : The phase of classical conditioning when the CS and the US are presented
second-order conditioning : Conditioning where the stimulus that functions as the US is actually
the CS from an earlier procedure in which it acquired its ability to produce learning.
extinction : the gradual elimination of a learned response that occurs when the US is no longer
spontaneous recovery : the tendency of a learned behaviour to recover from extinction after a
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.
delayed conditioning : the CS is presented before the US and it stays on until the US is
presented. (ex. a bell rings and continues to ring until the food is presented)
trace conditioning : discrete event is presented, the US occurs. Shorter the interval the better
but still not as effective. (ex. the bell begins ringing and ends just before the food is presented.)
biological preparedness : A propensity for learning particular kinds of associations over others.
Different parts of the brain are involved in different types of classical conditioning: the
cerebellum in delay conditioning, the hippocampus in trace conditioning, and the amygdala in
Operant Conditioning : Reinforcements from the Environment
operant conditioning : A type of learning in which the consequences of an organism's behaviour
determine whether it will be repeated in the future.
law of effect : behaviors that are followed by "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.
over justification effect : When external rewards undermine the intrinsic satisfaction of
performing a behaviour. (ex. drawing for pleasure vs. drawing for monetary compensation)
fixed interval schedule (FI) : reinforcers are presented at fixed time periods, provided that the
appropriate response is made.
variable interval schedule (VI) : An operant conditioning principle in which behaviour 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. (ex. buy 10 get 1 free)
variable ratio schedule (VR) :An operant conditioning principle in which the delivery of
reinforcement is based on a particular average number of responses. (lottery, slot machines)
intermittent reinforcement : An operant conditioning principle in which only some of the
responses made are followed by reinforcement.
o the more irregular and intermittent a schedule is, the more difficult it becomes for an
organism to detect when it has actually been placed on extinction.
intermittent-reinforcement effect : The fact that operant behaviors that are maintained under
intermittent reinforcement schedules resist extinction better than those maintained under
shaping : Learning that results from the reinforcement of successive steps to a f