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Key Terms

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    • Rose M. Spielman, William J. Jenkins, Marilyn D. Lovett, et al.
    • OpenStax
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    period of initial learning in classical conditioning in which a human or an animal begins to connect a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus will begin to elicit the conditioned response
    associative learning
    form of learning that involves connecting certain stimuli or events that occur together in the environment (classical and operant conditioning)
    classical conditioning
    learning in which the stimulus or experience occurs before the behavior and then gets paired or associated with the behavior
    cognitive map
    mental picture of the layout of the environment
    conditioned response (CR)
    response caused by the conditioned stimulus
    conditioned stimulus (CS)
    stimulus that elicits a response due to its being paired with an unconditioned stimulus
    continuous reinforcement
    rewarding a behavior every time it occurs
    decrease in the conditioned response when the unconditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the conditioned stimulus
    fixed interval reinforcement schedule
    behavior is rewarded after a set amount of time
    fixed ratio reinforcement schedule
    set number of responses must occur before a behavior is rewarded
    higher-order conditioning
    (also, second-order conditioning) using a conditioned stimulus to condition a neutral stimulus
    unlearned knowledge, involving complex patterns of behavior; instincts are thought to be more prevalent in lower animals than in humans
    latent learning
    learning that occurs, but it may not be evident until there is a reason to demonstrate it
    law of effect
    behavior that is followed by consequences satisfying to the organism will be repeated and behaviors that are followed by unpleasant consequences will be discouraged
    change in behavior or knowledge that is the result of experience
    person who performs a behavior that serves as an example (in observational learning)
    negative punishment
    taking away a pleasant stimulus to decrease or stop a behavior
    negative reinforcement
    taking away an undesirable stimulus to increase a behavior
    neutral stimulus (NS)
    stimulus that does not initially elicit a response
    observational learning
    type of learning that occurs by watching others
    operant conditioning
    form of learning in which the stimulus/experience happens after the behavior is demonstrated
    partial reinforcement
    rewarding behavior only some of the time
    positive punishment
    adding an undesirable stimulus to stop or decrease a behavior
    positive reinforcement
    adding a desirable stimulus to increase a behavior
    primary reinforcer
    has innate reinforcing qualities (e.g., food, water, shelter, sex)
    implementation of a consequence in order to decrease a behavior
    radical behaviorism
    staunch form of behaviorism developed by B. F. Skinner that suggested that even complex higher mental functions like human language are nothing more than stimulus-outcome associations
    unlearned, automatic response by an organism to a stimulus in the environment
    implementation of a consequence in order to increase a behavior
    secondary reinforcer
    has no inherent value unto itself and only has reinforcing qualities when linked with something else (e.g., money, gold stars, poker chips)
    rewarding successive approximations toward a target behavior
    spontaneous recovery
    return of a previously extinguished conditioned response
    stimulus discrimination
    ability to respond differently to similar stimuli
    stimulus generalization
    demonstrating the conditioned response to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus
    unconditioned response (UCR)
    natural (unlearned) behavior to a given stimulus
    unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
    stimulus that elicits a reflexive response
    variable interval reinforcement schedule
    behavior is rewarded after unpredictable amounts of time have passed
    variable ratio reinforcement schedule
    number of responses differ before a behavior is rewarded
    vicarious punishment
    process where the observer sees the model punished, making the observer less likely to imitate the model’s behavior
    vicarious reinforcement
    process where the observer sees the model rewarded, making the observer more likely to imitate the model’s behavior

    This page titled Key Terms is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rose M. Spielman, William J. Jenkins, Marilyn D. Lovett, et al. (OpenStax) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.