LEARNING-DEFINITIONS (Chapter 5)

LEARNING process by which experience or practice results in a relatively permanent change in behaviour or potential behaviour
STIMULUS; any event or object in the environment to which an organism responds; plural is stimuli
CLASSICAL CONDITIONING type of learning in which a response naturally elicited by one stimulus comes to be elicited by a different formerly neutral stimulus
UNCONDITIONED STIMULUS (US) stimulus that invariably causes an organism to respond in a specific way without prior learning
UNCONDITIONED RESPONSE (UR) response that takes place in organism whenever an unconditioned stimulus occurs without prior learning
CONDITIONED STIMULUS (CS) an originally neutral stimulus that is paired with an unconditioned stimulus and eventually produces the desired response in an organism when presented alone
CONDITIONED RESPONSE (CR): after conditioning, the response an organism produces when a conditioned stimulus is presented
DESENSITIZATION THERAPY: conditioning technique designed to gradually reduce anxiety about particular object or situation
EXTINCTION: The weakening and often eventual disappearance of a learned response ( in classical conditioning, the conditioned response (CR) is weakened by repeated presentation without the unconditioned stimulus (US)
SPONTANEOUS RECOVERY: The reappearance of an extinguished response (in a weaker form) when an organism is exposed to the original conditioned stimulus following a rest period
PREPAREDNESS: biological readiness to learn certain associations because of survival advantages (suggested by Seligman)
GENERALIZATION: in classical conditioning, the tendency to make a conditioned response to a stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus; in operant conditioning the tendency to make the learned response to a stimulus that is similar to the one for which it was originally reinforced
DISCRIMINATION: the learned ability to distinguish between similar stimuli so that the conditioned response occurs only to the original conditioned stimulus but not to similar stimuli
CONDITIONED TASTE AVERSION: conditioned avoidance of certain foods even if there is only one pairing of conditioned stimuli (sauce bearnaise effect)
OPERANT (INSTRUMENTAL) CONDITIONING: type of learning in which behaviours emitted (in presence of specific stimuli) to earn rewards or avoid punishment (think operate)
OPERANT BEHAVIOUR: behaviour designed to operate on the environment in a way that will gain something desired or avoid something unpleasant
REINFORCER: a stimulus that follows a behaviour and increases the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated
PUNISHER: a stimulus that follows a behaviour and decreases the likelihood that the behaviour will be repeated

LAW OF EFFECT (Principle of Reinforcement):

Thorndike's theory that behaviour consistently rewarded will be stamped in as learned behaviour,and behaviour that brings about discomfort will be stamped out.
SKINNER BOX: box used in operant conditioning of animals which limits the available response and increases likelihood that desired response will occur
SHAPING: Reinforcing successive approximations to a desired behaviour
BIOFEEDBACK use of monitoring devices to provide precise information about external physiological processes such as heart rate, blood pressure to teach people gain voluntary control over function
POSITIVE REINFORCER: any event whose presence increases the likelihood that ongoing behaviour will recur
NEGATIVE REINFORCER: any event whose reduction or termination increases that the likelihood that ongoing behaviour will recur
PUNISHMENT any event whose presence decreases the likelihood that ongoing behaviour will recur
AVOIDANCE TRAINING learning a desirable behaviour to prevent the occurrence of something unpleasant such as punishment
LEARNED HELPLESSNESS failure to take steps to avoid or escape from an unpleasant or aversive stimulus that occurs as a result of previous exposure to unavoidable painful stimuli
CONTINGENCY a reliable "if-then" relationship between two events such as CS and US
BLOCKING a process where prior conditioning prevents conditioning to a second stimulus even when the two are presented simultaneously
SCHEDULE OF REINFORCEMENT in operant conditioning, the rule for determining when and how often reinforcers will be delivered
FIXED-INTERVAL SCHEDULE a reinforcement schedule where response is reinforced at fixed length of time since last reinforcement -performance tends to fall off immediately after reinforcement and picks up as time to next reinforcement nears
VARIABLE-INTERVAL SCHEDULE a reinforcement schedule where correct response is reinforced after varying lengths of time following last reinforcement-learner typically gives slow steady rate
FIXED-RATIO SCHEDULE a reinforcement schedule where correct response is reinforced after a fixed number of correct responses -results in high response rate and more rewards-slight pause followed by rapid response
VARIABLE RATIO SCHEDULE a reinforcement schedule where a varying number of correct responses must occur before reinforcement presented-casino slot machine-tend not to pause after reinforcement
EXTINCTION decrease in strength or frequency of learned response because of failure to continue pairing US and CS (classical) or withholding reinforcement (operant)
SPONTANEOUS RECOVERY reappearance of an extinguished response after the passage of time without further training
STIMULUS CONTROL control of conditioned responses by cues or stimuli in the environment
STIMULUS GENERALIZATION the transfer of a learned response to different but similar stimuli
STIMULUS DISCRIMINATION learning to respond to only one stimulus and to inhibit the response to all other stimuli
RESPONSE GENERALIZATION giving a response that is somewhat different from the response originally learned to that stimulus
HIGHER ORDER CONDITIONING conditioning based on previous learning; the conditioned stimulus serves as an unconditioned stimulus to further learning
SECONDARY REINFORCER a reinforcer whose value is acquired through association with other primary or secondary reinforcers. eg. money (requires classical conditioning)
PRIMARY REINFORCER a reinforcer that is rewarding in itself such as food, water, sex
COGNITIVE LEARNING learning that depends on mental processes that are not directly observable
BEHAVIOUR MODIFICTION: the systematic application of the learning principles of operant conditioning, classical conditioning or observational learning to individuals or groups to eliminate undesirable behaviour/or encourage desirable behaviour (e.g. Time Out)
TOKEN ECONOMY: a program that motivates and reinforces socially acceptable behaviours with tokens that can be exchanges for desired items or privileges
LATENT LEARNING learning that is not immediately reflected in behaviour change
COGNITIVE MAP learned mental image of a spatial environment that may be called on to solve problems when stimuli in environment change
INSIGHT learning that occurs rapidly as a result of understanding all the elements of a problem
LEARNING SET the ability to become increasingly more effective in solving problems as more problems are solved
OBSERVATIONAL/VICARIOUS LEARNING learning by observing other people's behaviour-a form of social learning
SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY a view of learning that emphasizes the ability to learn by observing a model or receiving instructions without firsthand experience by the learner
VICARIOUS REINFORCEMENT OR VICARIOUS PUNISHMENT reinforcement or punishment experienced by models that affects the willingness of others to perform the behaviours they learned by observing those models

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2003 Karen E.Hamilton