AS The Learning Approach Definitions

All te definitions necessary for The Learning Approach at AS Level Unit 2.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Nerual197
  • Created on: 16-04-14 18:34

Operant Conditioning (Skinner)

A form of learning through the consequences of behaviour - reinforcement and punishment. There are two types of reinforcement - Positive and Negative. Positive reinforcement occurs when a behaviour is followed by a stimulus they like which increases the frequency of that behaviour. There are two types of Positive reinforcement. Primary reinforcers fulfil a basic need and strengthen behaviours. Secondary reinforcers are previously associated with primary reinforcers. Negative Reinforcment is when a behaviour is followed by the removal of something they do not like (aversive stimulus) and therefore increases that behaviour.

Punishment serves to decrease the behaviour. Positive punishment is when a behaviour is followed by an aversive stimulus. Negative Punishment is when the behaviour results in a favoured stimulus being removed. 

1 of 4

Classical Conditioning (Pavlov)

Can be defined as learning through association. Assumes learning is passive and based on reflex behaviours that all organisms have. Learning to associate a stimulus that naturally brings about a response with a new stimulus so that it brings about the same response.

Before Conditioning: Unconditioned Stimulus (Food) = Unconditioned Response (Salivation)

Before Conditioning: Neutral Stimulus (Tuning Fork) = No Conditioned Response (No Salivation)

During Conditioning: US + NS = UR 

After Conditioning: Conditioned Stimulus (Previously Neutral Stimulus, Tuning Fork) = Conditioned Response (Previously Unconditioned Response, Salivation)

Extinction - When the conditioned response stops occurring/decreases. Can happen when CS is no longer paired with US.

Spontaneous Recovery - After extinction; brief return of conditioned response. Appears in weakened form, but reconditoning is easier.

Generalisation - Learner shows CR to similar stimuli to CS. 

Discrimination - Learner only shows CR to a particular stimulus, exactly as conditioned.

2 of 4

Social Learning Theory (Bandura) Principles

Emphasizes the role of imitation and observation in learning. Individuals learn by observing and imitating a role model. We are more likely to imitate someone who is reinforced for their behaviour. There are four criteria that need to be met for SLT to take place. 

Attention - The learn people must pay attention to the features of the modelled behaviour

Retention - remember details of the behaviour in order to learn and reproduce

Reproduction - in reproducing a behaviour, an individual must organize their responses in accordance with the model behaviour

Motivation - The individual must have the incentive to reproduce the behaviour (reinforcement).

3 of 4

Social Learning Theory (Bandura) Process

The basic process of social learning theory has four parts - 

Observation - watching the behaviour

Modelling - the behaviour is prerformed by someone else

Imitation - Direct copying of model's behaviour

Reinforcement - There are different types of reinforcement. A positive consequence for the behaviour, or seeing the model being rewarded for their behaviour (vicarious reinforcement). 

Role Models are more likely to be imitated if they are of the same sex/similar age/higher status.

4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Gender resources »