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Flashcards in Psych/Soc Class 6 Deck (94)
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Nonassociative learning

When an organism changes the magnitude of its response due to repeated exposure to particular stimulus


Different responses of nonassociative learning

1. Habituation
-occurs when response diminishes as the organism becomes accustomed to repeated stimulus

2. Dishabituation
- occurs when organism that had become habituated to stimulus recovers its responsiveness b/c of removal and/or different stimulus

3. Sensitization
- occurs when instead of exhibiting habituation, organism demonstrates increasing responsiveness to repeated stimulus
- usually associated with increased arousal


Associative learning (classical conditioning)

Process in which 2 stimuli are paired in which response to one stimuli changes


Signalling stimulus

Either a neutral or conditioned stimulus (eg. the bell in Ivan Pavlov's experiment)


Generalization vs Discrimination

Generalization is when stimuli other than the original conditioned stimulus elicit CR

Discrimination occurs when CS is distinguished from other similar stimuli & is only thing that elicits CR


Associative learning (Operant conditioning)

Process in which reinforcement (pleasurable consequence) & punishment (unpleasant consequence) are employed to mold behavioural responses
- demonstrates that behaviour that is reinforced tends to be repeated while behaviour that is not is extinguished


Positive vs Negative Reinforcement

Positive - adding something desirable to increase likelihood of behaviour

Negative - taking away something undesirable to increase likelihood of behaviour


Positive vs Negative punishment

Positive - Adding something undesirable to decrease likelihood of behaviour

Negative - Taking away something desirable to decrease likelihood of behaviour


Dopamine Reward Pathway

- Begins in Ventral Tegmental Area and connects to nucleus accumbens
- Rewards activate this pathway and dopamine is released in nucleus accumbens


Primary vs Secondary punisher

Primary punisher
- something that is innately undesirable
eg. spanking

Secondary punisher
- something that has been condition to be undesirable
Eg. bad grades


Primary reinforcer/punisher

Change the rate of response without previous learning


Secondary reinforcer/punisher

Stimuli learned to be rewarding or punishing (conditioned)


Primary vs Secondary reinforcement

Primary reinforcement
- something that is innately desirable
Eg. affection

Secondary reinforcement
- Something that is conditioned to be desirable
Eg. good grades


Token Economy

Behaviours are reinforced with tokens (secondary reinforcers) & can later be exchanged for desirable stimuli eg. playing time


Token economy vs World economy

Go to school & complete tasks ---> initial outcome: earn tokens ---> Final outcome: Exchange tokens for activities & tangible items

Go to work: complete job tasks ---> Initial outcome: earn money ---> Final outcome: exchange money for activities & tangible items


Reinforcement Schedules

Variable ratio
Fixed Ratio
Variable Interval
Fixed Interval


Variable ratio

Provides reinforcement after an unpredictable # of behaviours
-Response rate: fast
-Extinction Rate: slow
-Slowest extinction rate! Behaviour persists despite lack of reinforcer


Fixed ratio

Provides reinforcer after a predictable # of behaviours
-Response rate: Fast
-Extinction rate: medium
Post reinforcement pause is analogous to procrastination



Reinforce given after every single response
-Response rate: slow
-Extinction time: fast
-Best way to teach new behaviour but has fastest extinction rate


Variable Interval

Provides reinforcement after an inconsistent period of time
-Response rate: Medium/fast
-Extinction time: slow
- tends to produce a low to moderate rate of response


Fixed Interval

Provides reinforcement after a consistent period of time
-Response rate: medium
-Extinction time: fast
- long pause in responding following reinforcement, followed by accelerating rate



Rate of reinforced response increases



Rate of previously reinforced responses decrease when reinforcement ceases



Rewarding of successive, closer approximations of desired behaviour


Extinction burst

The increase in response rate that typically occurs when a previously reinforced response is initially no longer paired with any reinforcement
- esp likely to occur when continuous reinforcement is removed abruptly


Biological processes that affect associative learning

Biological predisposition
- much easier to condition an organism to perform a response that's similar to behaviours that it's biologically inclined to perform

Instinctive drift
- tendency for certain conditioned behaviours to trigger similar instinctive behaviours
- the closer the similarity between the conditioned behaviour and innate behaviour, the more likely the underlying innate behaviour will be substituted for desired conditioned response


Biological processes that affect observational learning

Mirror neurons
- Many brain neurons fire in same pattern when we see another person perform a known action
- these neurons are imp for observational learning of motor skills & understanding the actions, intentions & emotions of others
- differences in the fxs of these neurons can explain social deficits

Vicarious emotions
- mirror neurons appear to be activated when we "feel" the emotional response of others
- empathy requires vicarious and role taking


Insight learning

Process in which solution to problem suddenly comes to us in what we describe as "flash of insight"


Wolfgang kohler experiment

Showed insight learning by showing food out of reach to monkeys


Latent learning

Process in which learning occurs without any immediate expression or obvious reinforcement, later when helpful, this learning demonstrates itself