Key Terms: Learning
Principles of Learning
- Learning: A relatively permanent change in behavior based on experience.
- Classical conditioning: A method of learning that creates new associations between neutral stimuli and reflex-causing stimuli.
- Operant conditioning: A method of learning that alters the frequency of a behavior by manipulating its consequences through reinforcement or punishment.
- Observational learning/social learning: A form of learning that occurs by watching the behaviors of others.
- Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): A stimulus capable of reflexively evoking a response.
- Unconditioned response (UCR): A reflexive response produced by an unconditioned stimulus.
- Neutral stimulus (NS): A stimulus that does not produce a reflexive response.
- Conditioned stimulus (CS): A stimulus that produces a response because it has been repeatedly paired with an unconditioned stimulus.
- Conditioned response (CR): A learned response produced by a conditioned stimulus.
- Acquisition: When a behavior, such as a conditioned response, has been learned.
- Higher order conditioning: A form of classical conditioning in which a previously conditioned stimulus is used to produce further learning.
- Expectancy: The anticipation of future events or relationships based on past experience.
- Stimulus generalization: The tendency to respond to another stimulus that is similar but not identical to the original conditioned stimulus.
- Stimulus discrimination: The ability to distinguish between similar but non-identical stimuli.
- Extinction: The cessation of a learned response, usually resulting from an end to conditioning.
- Spontaneous recovery: The reappearance of a learned response after its apparent extinction.
- Law of effect: The idea that responses that lead to positive effects are repeated, while responses that lead to negative effects are not repeated.
- Skinner box: A laboratory apparatus used to study operant conditioning in animals, which typically contains a lever that animals can press to dispense food as reinforcement.
- Operant: A behavior that has some effect on the environment.
- Reinforcer: A stimulus that increases the likelihood that a specific behavior will occur.
- Positive reinforcer: Any pleasant stimulus rewarded after a desired behavior.
- Negative reinforcer: Anything that counteracts an unpleasant stimulus.
- Escape conditioning: Conditioning with a negative reinforcer that reduces or removes the unpleasantness of something that already exists.