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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 - learning.docx

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 6: Learning Learning = an enduring change in behavior, resulting from experience. Conditioning = a process in which environmental stimuli and behavioral processes become connected Two types of conditioning that scientists study: 1) Classical conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning – occurs when we learn that two types of events go together. A type of learning response that occurs when a neutral object comes to elicit a reflexive response when it is associated with a stimulus that already produces that response. 2) Operant conditioning or instrumental conditioning – occurs when we learn that a behavior leads to a particular outcome. Consequences of an action determine the likelihood that it will be performed in the future. Unconditioned response (UR) = a response that does not have to be learned, such as a reflex. Unconditioned stimulus (US) = a stimulus that elicits a response, such as a reflex without any prior learning. Conditioned stimulus (CS) = a stimulus that elicits a response only after learning has taken place. Conditioned response (CR) = a response to a conditional stimulus that has been learned. Acquisition = the gradual formation of an association between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli. Extinction = a process in which the conditioned response is weakened when the conditioned stimulus is repeated without the unconditioned stimulus. Spontaneous recovery = a process in which a previously extinguished response re- emerges following presentation of the unconditioned stimulus. Stimulus generalization = occurs when stimuli that are similar but not identical to the conditioned stimulus produce that conditioned response. Stimulus discrimination = a differentiation between two similar stimuli when only one of them is consistently associated with the unconditioned stimulus. Phobia = an acquired fear that is out of proportion to the real threat of an object or of a situation. Scientific method: Watson’s “Little Albert” Experiment Hypothesis: Phobias can be explained with classical conditioning. Research Method: 1) Little Albert was presented with neutral objects, such as a white rate and costume masks, that provoked a neutral response. 2) During conditioning trials, when Albert reached for the white rat (CS) a loud clanging sound (US) scared him (UR) Results: Eventually, the pairing of the rat (CS) and the clanging sound (US) led to the rat producing fear (CR) on its own. The fear response generalized to other stimuli presented with the rat initially, such as the costume masks. Conclusion: Classical conditioning can cause participants to fear neutral objects. Rescoria-Wagner model = a cognitive model of classical conditioning; it states that the strength of the CS-US association is determined by the extent to which the unconditioned stimulus is expected. Blocking effect = once learned, a conditional stimulus can prevent the acquisition of a new conditioned stimulus. Law of effect = Thorndike’s general theory of learning: Any behavior that leads to a “satisfying state of events” will be more likely to occur again, and any behavior that leads to an “annoying state of affairs” will less likely occur again. Reinforcer = a stimulus that follows a response and increases the likelihood that the response will be repeated. Primary reinforcers are those that satisfy biological needs. Shaping = a process of operant conditioning; it involves reinforcing behaviors that are increasingly similar to the desired behavior. Premack’s Theory = reinforcer’s value could be determined by the amount of time an organism engages in a specific associated behavior when free to do anything. It can account for differences in individual’s values. Premack’s Principle = the more valued activity can be used to reinforce the performance of a less valued activity. Positive reinforcement = the increase in the probability of a behavior’s being repeated following the administration of a stimulus. Negative reinforcement = the increase in the probability of a behavior’s being repeated through the removal of a stimulus. Positive punishment = punishment that occurs with the administration of a stimulus and thus decreases the probability of a behavior’s recurring. Negative punishment = punishment that occurs with the removal of a stimulus and thus decreases the probability of a behavior’s recurring. Continuous reinforcement = a type of learning in which the desired behavior is reinforced each time it occurs. Partial reinforcement = a type of learning in which behavior is reinforced intermittently. Ratio schedule = a schedule in which reinforcement is based on the number of times the behavior occurs. Interval schedule = a schedule in which reinforcement is available after a specific unit of time. Fixed schedule = a schedule in which reinforcement is consistently provided after a specific number of occurrences or a specific amount of time. Variable schedule = a schedule in which reinforcement is applied at different rates or at different times. Partial-reinforcement extinction effect = refers to the greater persistence of behavior under partial reinforcement than under continuous reinforcement. Behavior modification = the use of operant-conditioning techniques to eliminate unwanted behaviors and replace them with desirable ones. Cognitive map = a visual/spatial mental representation of an environment. Latent learning = learning that takes place in the absence of reinforcement. Insi
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