learning
A relatively permanent change in behavior, knowledge, capability, or attitude that is acquired through experience and cannot be attributed to illness, injury, or maturation.
classical conditioning
A type of learning through which an organism learns to associate one stimulus with another.
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stimulus
Any event or object in the environment to which an organism responds.
unconditioned response (UR)
A response that is elicited by an unconditioned stimulus without prior learning.
unconditioned stimulus (US)
A stimulus that elicits a specific unconditioned response without prior learning.
conditioned stimulus (CS)
A neutral stimulus that, after repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus, becomes associated with it and elicits a conditioned response.
conditioned response (CR)
The learned response that comes to be elicited by a conditioned stimulus as a result of its repeated pairing with an unconditioned stimulus.
higher-order conditioning
Conditioning that occurs when conditioned stimuli are linked together to form a series of signals.
extinction
In classical conditioning, the weakening and eventual disappearance of the conditioned response as a result of repeated presentation of the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus.
spontaneous recoverty
The reappearance of an extinguished response (in a weaker form) when an organism is exposed to the original conditioned stimulus following a rest period.
generalization
In classical conditioning, the tendency to make a conditioned response to a stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus.
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.
biological predisposition
Genetically programmed tendencies to acquire classically conditioned fear responses to potentially life-threatening stimuli.
taste aversion
The intense dislike and/or avoidance of a particular food that has been associated with nausea or discomfort.
law of effect
One of Thorndike's laws of learning, which states that the consequence, or effect, of a response will determine whether the tendency to respond in the same way in the future will be strengthened or weakened.
operant conditioning
A type of learning in which the consequences of behavior are manipulated so as to increase or decrease the frequency of an existing response or to shape an entirely new response.
operant
A voluntary behavior that accidentally brings about a consequence.
reinforcer
Anything that follows a response and strengthens it or increases the probability that it will occur.
shaping
An operant conditioning technique that consists of gradually molding a desired behavior by reinforcing any movement in the direction of the desired response, thereby gradually guiding the responses toward the ultimate goal.
Skinner box
A soundproof chamber with a device for delivering food to an animal subject; used in operant conditioning experiments.
successive approximations
A series of gradual steps, each of which is more than similar to the final desired response.
extinction
In operant conditioning, the weakening and eventual disappearance of the conditioned response as a result of the withholding of reinforcement.
generalization
In operant conditioning, the tendency to make the learned response to a stimulus similar to that for which the response was originally reinforced.
reinforcement
Any event that follows a response and strengthens or increases the probability that the response will be repeated.
positive reinforcement
Any pleasant or desirable consequence that follows a response and increases the probability that the response will be repeated.
negative reinforcement
The termination of an unpleasant condition after a response, which increases the probability that the response will be repeated.
primary reinforcer
A reinforcer that fulfills a basic physical need for survival and does not depend on learning.
secondary reinforcer
A reinforcer that is acquired or learned through association with other reinforcers.
schedule of reinforcement
A systematic process for administering reinforcement.
fixed-ratio (FR) schedule
A schedule in which a reinforcer is given after a fixed number of correct, nonreinforced responses.
variable-ratio (VR) schedule
A schedule in which a reinforcer is given after a varying number of non-reinforced responses, based on an average ratio.
partial reinforcement effect
The typical outcome of a variable ratio of reinforcement in which a slow rate of initial learning is coupled with resistance to extinction.
fixed-interval (FI) schedule
A schedule in which a reinforcer is given following the first correct response after a specific period of time has elapsed.
variable-interval (VI) schedule
A schedule in which a reinforcer is given after the first correct response that follows a varying time of nonreinforcement, based on an average time.
punishment
The removal of a pleasant stimulus or the application of an unpleasant stimulus, thereby lowering the probability of a response.
positive punishment
A decrease in behavior that results from an added consequence.
negative punishment
A decrease in behavior that results from a removed consequence.
cognitive processes
Mental processes such as thinking, knowing, problem solving, remembering, and forming mental representations, and forming mental representations.
insight
The sudden realization of the relationship between elements in a problem situation, which makes the solution apparent.
latent learning
Learning that occurs without apparent reinforcement and is not demonstrated until the organism is motivated to do so.
cognitive map
A mental representation of a spatial arrangement as a maze.