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Alphabetical Glossary


Chapter 7
Learning


behavior modification

The application of conditioning techniques to teach new responses or to reduce or eliminate maladaptive or problematic behavior.

classical conditioning
The process by which a previously neutral stimulus acquires the capacity to elicit a response through association with a stimulus that already elicits a similar or related response; also called Pavlovian and respondent conditioning.


cognitive map
A mental representation of the environment.

conditioned response (CR)
The classical conditioning term for a response that is elicited by a conditioned stimulus; occurs after the conditioned stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimulus.


conditioned stimulus (CS)
The classical conditioning term for an initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned response after being associated with an unconditioned stimulus.


conditioning
A basic kind of learning that involves associations between environmental stimuli and the organism's responses.


continuous reinforcement
A reinforcement schedule in which a particular response is always reinforced.


counterconditioning
In classical conditioning, the process of pairing a conditioned stimulus with a stimulus that elicits a response that is incompatible with an unwanted conditioned response.


discriminative stimulus
A stimulus that signals when a particular response is likely to be followed by a certain type of consequence.


extinction
The weakening and eventual disappearance of a learned response; in classical conditioning, it occurs when the conditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the unconditioned stimulus; in operant conditioning, it occurs when a response is no longer followed by a reinforcer.


extrinsic reinforcers
Reinforcers that are not inherently related to the activity being reinforced, such as money, prizes, and praise.


fixed-interval (FI) schedule
An intermittent schedule of reinforcement in which a reinforcer is delivered for the first response made after a fixed period of time has elapsed since the last reinforcer.


fixed-ratio (FR) schedule
An intermittent schedule of reinforcement in which reinforcement occurs only after a fixed number of responses.



higher-order conditioning
In classical conditioning, a procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus through association with an already established conditioned stimulus.


insight
A form of problem solving that appears to involve the (often sudden) understanding of how elements of a situation are related or can be reorganized to achieve a solution.


instinctive drift
The tendency of an organism to revert to an instinctive behavior over time; it can interfere with learning.


intermittent (partial) schedule of reinforcement
A reinforcement schedule in which a particular response is sometimes but not always reinforced.


intrinsic reinforcers
Reinforcers that are inherently related to the activity being reinforced, such as enjoyment of the task and the satisfaction of accomplishment.


latent learning
A form of learning that is not immediately expressed in an overt response; it occurs without obvious reinforcement.


learning
A relatively permanent change in behavior (or behavioral potential) due to experience.


negative reinforcement
A reinforcement procedure in which a response is followed by the removal, delay, or decrease in intensity of an unpleasant stimulus; as a result, the response becomes stronger or more likely to occur.


observational learning
A learning process in which an individual learns new responses by observing the behavior of another (a model) rather than through direct experience; sometimes called vicarious conditioning.


operant conditioning
The process by which a response becomes more or less likely to occur, depending on its consequences.


positive reinforcement
A reinforcement procedure in which a response is followed by the presentation of, or increase in intensity of, a reinforcing stimulus; as a result, the response becomes stronger or more likely to occur.


primary punisher
A stimulus that is inherently punishing; an example is electric shock.


primary reinforcer
A stimulus that is inherently reinforcing, typically satisfying a physiological need; an example is food.


punishment
The process by which a stimulus or event weakens or reduces the probability of the response that it follows.


reinforcement
The process by which a stimulus or event strengthens or increases the probability of the response that it follows.


secondary punisher
A stimulus that has acquired punishing properties through association with other punishers.


secondary reinforcer
A stimulus that has acquired reinforcing properties through association with other reinforcers.


shaping
An operant conditioning procedure in which successive approximations of a desired response are reinforced; used when the desired response has a low probability of occurring spontaneously.


spontaneous recovery
The reappearance of a learned response after its apparent extinction.


stimulus control
Control over the occurrence of a response by a discriminative stimulus.


stimulus discrimination
The tendency to respond differently to two or more similar stimuli; in classical conditioning, it occurs when a stimulus similar to the CS fails to evoke the CR; in operant conditioning, the tendency of a response to occur in the presence of one stimulus but not in the presence of other, similar stimuli that differ from it on some dimension.


stimulus generalization
After conditioning, the tendency to respond to a stimulus that resembles one involved in the original conditioning; in classical conditioning, it occurs when a stimulus that resembles the conditioned stimulus elicits the conditioned response; in operant conditioning, the tendency for a response that has been reinforced (or punished) in the presence of one stimulus to occur (or be suppressed) in the presence of other, similar stimuli.


successive approximations
In the operant conditioning procedure of shaping, behaviors that are ordered in terms of increasing similarity or closeness to the desired response.


token economy
A behavior modification technique in which secondary reinforcers called tokens, which can be collected and exchanged for primary or other secondary reinforcers, are used to shape behavior.


unconditioned response (UR)
The classical conditioning term for a reflexive response elicited by a stimulus in the absence of learning.


unconditioned stimulus (US)
The classical conditioning term for a stimulus that elicits a reflexive response in the absence of learning.


variable-interval (VI) schedule

An intermittent schedule of reinforcement in which a reinforcer is delivered for a response made after a variable period of time has elapsed since the last reinforcer.


variable-ratio (VR) schedule
An intermittent schedule of reinforcement in which reinforcement occurs after a variable number of responses.



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