Ivan Pavlov
Russian physiologist (person who studies the workings of the body) who discovered classical conditioning through his work on digestion in dogs
Classical Conditioning
learning to make a reflex response to a stimulus other than the original, natural stimulus that normally produces the reflex
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
a naturally occurring stimulus that leads to an involuntary response
unconditioned means "unlearned" or "naturally occurring."
Unconditioned Response (UCR)
an involuntary response to a naturally occurring or unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
stimulus that becomes able to produce a learned reflex response by being paired with the original unconditioned stimulus
conditioned means "learned"
CS is usually some stimulus that is distinctive or stands out from other competing stimuli
Neutral Stimulus (NS)
can become a conditioned stimulus when paired with an unconditioned stimulus
Conditioned Response (CR)
learned reflex response to a conditioned stimulus
sometimes called a conditioned reflex
CS: ice cream truck
CR: salivation when one hears ice cream truck bell
repeated pairing of the NS and the UCS; the organism is in the process of acquiring learning
although classical conditioning happens quite easily, there are a few basic principles that researchers have discovered:
CS must come before UCS
CS and UCS must come very close together in time—ideally, only several seconds apart
neutral stimulus must be paired with the UCS several times, often many times, before conditioning can take place
Stimulus Generalization
tendency to respond to a stimulus that is only similar to the original conditioned stimulus with the conditioned response
Stimulus Discrimination
tendency to stop making a generalized response to a stimulus that is similar to the original conditioned stimulus because the similar stimulus is never paired with the unconditioned stimulus
disappearance or weakening of a learned response following the removal or absence of the unconditioned stimulus (in classical conditioning) or the removal of a reinforcer (in operant conditioning)
Spontaneous Recovery
reappearance of a learned response after extinction has occurred
learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior
Higher Order Conditioning
strong conditioned stimulus is paired with a neutral stimulus
neutral stimulus becomes a second conditioned stimulus
Conditioned Emotional Response
emotional response that has become classically conditioned to occur to learned stimuli
examples: fear of dogs; the emotional reaction that occurs when seeing an attractive person
CERs may lead to phobias—irrational fear responses.
Why Classical Conditioning Works
Stimulus substitution: original theory in which Pavlov stated that classical conditioning occurred because the conditioned stimulus became a substitute for the unconditioned stimulus by being paired closely together
Cognitive perspective: modern theory in which classical conditioning is seen to occur because the conditioned stimulus provides information or an expectancy about the coming of the unconditioned stimulus
Operant Conditioning
the learning of voluntary behavior through the effects of pleasant and unpleasant consequences to responses
Thorndike's Law of Effect
if a response is followed by a pleasurable consequence, it will tend to be repeated
if a response is followed by an unpleasant consequence, it will tend not to be repeated
any event or stimulus, that when following a response, increases the probability that the response will occur again
primary reinforcer: any reinforcer that is naturally reinforcing by meeting a basic biological need, such as hunger, thirst, or touch
secondary reinforcer: any reinforcer that becomes reinforcing after being paired with a primary reinforcer, such as praise, tokens, or gold stars
Positive Reinforcement
the reinforcement of a response by the addition or experience of a pleasurable stimulus
Negative Reinforcement
the reinforcement of a response by the removal, escape from, or avoidance of an unpleasant stimulus
example: taking aspirin for a headache is negatively reinforced: removal of headache!
Partial Reinforcement
a response that is reinforced after some—but not all—correct responses tends to be very resistant to extinction.
Continuous Reinforcement
reinforcement of each and every correct response
Fixed interval schedule of reinforcement
interval of time that must pass before reinforcement becomes possible is always the same
Variable interval schedule of reinforcement
the interval of time that must pass before reinforcement becomes possible is different for each trial or event
Fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement
number of responses required for reinforcement is always the same
Variable ratio schedule of reinforcement
schedule of reinforcement in which the number of responses required for reinforcement is different for each trial or event
any event or object that, when following a response, makes that response less likely to happen again
Punishment by Application
the punishment of a response by the addition or experiencing of an unpleasant stimulus
Punishment by removal
the punishment of a response by the removal of a pleasurable stimulus
Problems with Punishment
Severe punishment
may cause avoidance of the punisher instead of the behavior being punished
may encourage lying to avoid punishment
creates fear and anxiety
Behavior Modification
use of operant conditioning techniques to bring about desired changes in behavior
Token Economy
type of behavior modification in which desired behavior is rewarded with tokens
form of mild punishment by removal in which a misbehaving animal, child, or adult is placed in a special area away from the attention of others
essentially, the organism is being "removed" from any possibility of positive reinforcement in the form of attention
Applied behavior analysis (ABA)
modern term for a form of behavior modification that uses shaping techniques to mold a desired behavior or response
Latent Learning
learning that remains hidden until its application becomes useful
Edward Tolman
early cognitive scientist
best-known experiments in learning involved teaching three groups of rats the same maze, one at a time (Tolman & Honzik, 1930b)
Edward Tolman's Maze Experiment
Group 1
rewarded each time at end of maze
learned maze quickly
Group 2
in maze every day; only rewarded on 10th day
demonstrated learning of maze almost immediately after receiving reward
Group 3
never rewarded
did not learn maze well
Learned Helplessness
tendency to fail to act to escape from a situation because of a history of repeated failures in the past
Observational Learning
learning new behavior by watching a model perform that behavior
Learning/performance distinction: learning can take place without actual performance of the learned behavior
Four Elements of Observational Learning
To learn anything through observation, the learner must first pay attention to the model.
The learner must also be able to retain the memory of what was done, such as remembering the steps in preparing a dish that were first seen on a cooking show.
The learner must be capable of reproducing, or imitating, the actions of the model.
The learner must have the desire to perform the action