Psychology- Ch7

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What are the 5 basic types of learning?
− Habituation − Sensitization − Associative learning − Conditioning − Observational Learning
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What is species adaptation?
environmental conditions faced by each species help shape that species’ biology
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What is personal adaptation?
how an organism’s behaviour changes in response to environmental stimuli encountered during its lifetime
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What is natural selection?
genetically based characteristics that enhance a species’ ability to adapt to its environment, and thus to survive and reproduce, are more likely to be passed to the next generation. Over time, these characteristics become a part of that species’ nat
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What is habituation?
A decrease in the strength of a response to a repeated stimulus This involves learning not to respond to an event that occurs frequently- allowing organisms to conserve energy (prevents becoming overwhelmed and exhausted) & attend to other importan
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What is sensitisation?
an increase in the strength of a response to a repeated stimulus There are some aspects of the environment to which it is important for us to attend (often stimuli that are harmful in some way).
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What did Groves and Thomson propose?
that these two processes occur simultaneously, and compete to determine our behavior. In situations where a stimulus creates more arousal, sensitization ‘wins’, whilst if the stimulus creates less arousal, habituation ‘wins’.
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What are they both classified as?
Simple learning- occur in response to single stimulus. Both adaptive functions.
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What is a UCS?
Unconditioned Stimulus= a stimulus that elicits a reflexive or innate response (the UCR) without prior learning
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Unconditioned Response= a reflexive or innate response that is elicited by a stimulus (the UCS) without prior learning
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Conditioned Stimulus = a stimulus that, through association with a UCS, comes to elicit a conditioned response similar to the original UCR.
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Conditioned Response = a response elicited by a conditioned stimulus.
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What is a learning trial?
Each pairing of UCS+CS
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What is an extinction trial?
Each occurence of UCS without CS
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Which case study shows how we can be taught to discriminate stimuli?
we can teach pigeons to distinguish art. E.g. show it a picture of a Picasso (and rewarded) and a picture of a monet. With time, it will only tap at the Picasso. Pigeons can do this by identifying certain patterns and themes common to one artist
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What is aversion therapy?
The use of CC to decrease our arousal and attraction to a certain stimuli
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Give an example.
reducing alcoholic’s attraction to alcohol through administering a drug which induces severe nausea when alcohol is consumed. →Often give mixed results, producing short-term changes in behavior which extinguish over time.
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How can CC be used in advertising?
by linking products to attractive and famous people, humour, and pleasurable interactions with family, friends and the opposite sex. --> develop a favourable attitude towards that product
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How does CC account for allergic reactions without a medical cause?
by consistently pairing a neutral stimulus (such as a distinct odour) with a substance that naturally triggers an allergic reaction. The odour can then become a CS that elicits an allergic reaction
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Describe a case study that showed how the immune system can be affected by CC.
Rats drink sweetened water (neutral stimulus) that is paired with injections of a drug (UCS) that suppresses immune activity (UCR). The sweetened water becomes a CS which also suppresses immune activity. (This can also work conversely)
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What can classical conditioning not explain?
explain how animals and humans learn new patterns of behavior- it can only transfer an already existing response to a new stimulus.
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Where does the term operant conditioning come from?
Skinner- denotes an organism operating in its own environment
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What did skinner view operant conditioning as?
A type of natural selection that facilitates an organism’s person adaptation to the environment.
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What is reinforcement?
When a response is strengthened by an outcome that follows it.
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What is a reinforcer?
the outcome (a stimulus or event) that increases the frequency of a response, e.g. a pellet of food dispensed
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What is a punishment?
When a response is weakened by an outcome that follows it
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What is a punisher?
a consequence that weakens (decreases) the frequency of a response, e.g. an electric shock
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What does strengthen refer to here?
an increase in frequency of a response whilst weakened refers to a decrease.
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What is positive reinforcement?
when a response is strengthened by the subsequent presentation of a stimulus (the positive reinforce/reward)
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What are primary reinforcers?
stimuli that an organism naturally finds reinforcing because they satisfy biological needs, e.g. food/water
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What are secondary reinforcers?
stimuli that acquire reinforcing properties through their association with primary reinforcers, e.g. money.
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What is negative reinforcement?
occurs when a response is strengthened by the removal (or avoidance) of an aversive stimulus
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What is the negative reinforcer?
the aversive stimulus that is removed or avoided, e.g. a painkiller that takes away pain − This plays a key role in helping us learn to escape from and avoid aversive situations
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What do positive and negative refer to in these scenarios?
presentation or removal of a stimulus, not “good” & “bad”
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What is operant extinction?
weakening & eventual disappearance of a response because it’s no longer reinforced, e.g. if pressing a lever no longer results in food pellets- the rat will eventually stop making this response
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What is resistance to extinction?
the degree to which non-reinforced responses persist e.g. gambling (– Non-reinforced responses may stop quickly (low resistance) or keep occurring hundreds/thousands of time (high resistance))
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What is aversive punishment? What else can it be called?
occurs when a response is weakened by the presentation of a stimulus, e.g. telling off a child = Positive Punishment/ Punishment by Application
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What is response cost? What else can it be called?
Negative Punishment / Punishment by removal: occurs when a response is weakened by the removal of a stimulus, e.g. confiscating a child’s toy/ a time-out.
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What associations have been made with corporal punishment?
decreased quality of parent-child relationship, increased aggressive and antisocial behavior, poorer mental health and increased risk of being a perpetrator or victim of physical abuse.
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How can corporal punishment cause these consequences?
-learn by watching aggressive behaviour of parents -could be other way round, i.e. greater misbehaviour leads to greater punsihment
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What is operant generalisation?
an opponent response occurs to a new antecedent stimulus or situation that is similar to the original one. e.g. a child who touches a hot iron learns to avoid touching other hot irons too
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What is operant discrimination?
Describes how an operant response will occur to one antecedent stimulus but not to another
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Antecedant stimuli are therefore known as...
...discriminative stimuli. − E.g. children learn to raid the biscuit jar only when the parents aren’t in the kitchen (here, the parents presence/absence =discriminative stimulus)
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What can this concept be used in?
operant discrimination training, which gives science a powerful tool for examining the perceptual and cognitive abilities of human infants and non-human species
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What are the four types of partial (intermittent) reinforcement schedule?
Fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable ratio and variable interval.
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What are the advantages of continuous schedules?
Produces more rapid learning because the association between a behavior and its consequences are easier to perceive
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Extinguish more rapidly- because it is easier to perceive when reinforcement is withdrawn.
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What are the advantages of partial (intermittent) reinforcement schedule?
More resistant to extinction (when reinforcement has been unpredictable in the past, it takes longer to learn that it is gone forever)
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Produces behavior that is learned more slowly (e.g. people will continue on fruit machine for a long time before realizing it has stopped paying out completely)
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What is escape conditioning?
the organism learns a response to terminate an aversive stimulus. (e.g. when you are cold, you will put on a jumper, which is negatively reinforced by the desirable consequence that you no longer shiver)
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What is avoidance conditioning?
the organism learns a response to avoid an aversive stimulus (e.g. learn to dress warmly to avoid feeling cold in the first place).
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What did behaviourists assume?
that they could condition virtually any behavior an organism was physically capable of performing
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What does the concept of biological preparedness capture?
It describes how through evolution, animals are biologically predisposed to learn some associations more easily than others.
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What is the stimulus-response model?
Early behaviourists believed that learning involves relatively automatic formation of links between stimuli and responses. They opposed explanations of learning that went beyond observable stimuli and responses
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How did learning theorists challenge the SR model?
arguing that in between stimulus and response there is something else: an organism’s (O) cognitive representation of the world. →S-O-R/cognitive, model of learning.
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What is insight?
the sudden perception of a useful relationship that helps to solve a problem.
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What is a cognitive map?
a mental representation of the spatial layout. The concept of this supported Tolman’s belief that learning doesn’t merely represent stimulus-response associations.
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What is latent learning?
learning that occurs but is not demonstrated until later, when there is an incentive to perform. i.e. we may learn how to do something at one time, but not display that knowledge until we perform a task in future.
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What is blocking?
the obstruction of conditioning of a CR, because that response has already been conditioned to a different stimulus.
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What is observational learning?
The learning that occurs by observing a model
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What is social learning theory?
emphasizes that people learn by observing the behavior of models and acquiring the belief that they can produce behaviors to influence events in their lives.
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What is self-efficacy?
represents people’s belief that they have the capability to perform behaviours that will produce a desired outcome
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Card 2


What is species adaptation?


environmental conditions faced by each species help shape that species’ biology

Card 3


What is personal adaptation?


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Card 4


What is natural selection?


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What is habituation?


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