Psychology: Learning

  1. Reflex
    Simple behaviour needed for survival
  2. Fixed Action Pattern
    Inborn predisposition to behave in a certain way when appropriately stimulated. The term is used to describe a complex behaviour that is inherited by every individual member of a species
  3. Maturation
    Some behaviours require the development of the body and the structures of the nervous system. 
  4. Synaptogenesis
    The process of moulding or forming new synapses
  5. Plasticity
    Refers to the way it changes in response to stimulation from the environment. Necessary for learning to take place and is present through a healthy person's lifetime
  6. Process involved in developmental plasticity
    • Proliferation:
    •  - The process whereby the unborn baby's cells that will become neurons divide and multiply

    • Migration:
    •  - Newly formed neurons move outward to their destined location.

    • Circuit Formation:
    •  - Occurs when the axons of new neurons grow out to target cells and form synapses with them

    • Circuit Pruning:
    •  - Involves the elimination of excess neurons and synapses; that is, those which have not established a connection with a target cell die.

    • Myelination:
    •  - Process whereby the axons of the neurons in the child's brain become covered in myelin.
  7. Sensitive development
    Periods in time which are particularly suited to learning things due to the nature of growing. Broken into two sub-categories:

     - Experience-expectant learning - at a young age i.e. a young child learning to talk

     - Experience-dependent learning - at any time during an individuals life after being a young child i.e. learning to read and write on the basis of knowing how to speak

    Critical development - narrow periods of time providing opportunities for learning in an organisms life i.e. imprinting
  8. Classical Conditioning
    Learning in which a previously neutral stimulus comes to elicit an involuntary reflexive response
  9. Difference between the neutral stimulus and the conditioned stimulus
    Neutral Stimulus - the name given to the conditioned stimulus before it becomes conditioned.

    Conditioned Stimulus - the stimulus, which is neutral at the start of classical conditioning, it would not normally produve the unconditioned response, but eventually does so beacuse of its association with the unconditioned stimulus
  10. Extinction
    When a response no longer occurs
  11. Spontaneous Recovery
    The reappearance of an extinguished response after a rest period
  12. Stimulus discrimination
    When an organism responds to the conditioned stimulus but not to any stimulus which is similar to the conditioned stimulus
  13. Stimulus Generalisation
    When an organism respons to the conditioned stimulus and to any stimulus which is similar to the unconditioned stimulus
  14. One trial learning
    One trial learning is a form of classical conditioning but it also has some aspects which distinguish it from classical conditioning
  15. Similarities of One trial learning and Classical Conditioning
     - Involves respondent conditioning where the body reacts phsyiologically

     - It does not involve thinking or cognitive processes

     - An association is made between the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus
  16. Differences of one-trial learning and classical conditioning
     - One trial learning only requires one pairing of NS and UCS while classical conditioning requires multiple trials

     - One trial learning takes time to occurs while classical conditioning is learnt almost immediately
  17. Explain Thorndike's puzzle box
    A hungry cat was placed in a ‘puzzle box’ with a plate of food outside the box. The cat was keep to escape but the only way out of the box was to pull a string that opened the door.

    After making random movements attempting to escape (trial and error learning), the cat eventually pulled the string and was rewarded with food.
  18. Explain the three laws of trial and error learning
    The Law of Effect - states that behaviour becomes controlled by its consequences - if it feels good we will do it again; if it feels bad we wont

    The Law of Recency - states that the most recent response is the one with the greatest effect

    The Law of Exercise - states that stimulus-response connections are strengthened through repetition 
  19. Trial and Error Learning
    A type of learning where one response after another is tries and rejected until eventually a successful response is made
  20. Operant Conditioning
    A type of learning where behaviour becomes controlled by its consequences
  21. The Skinner Box
    • The important characteristics of the Skinner box
    • were:

    • -       A means of giving a signal
    • (a light or buzzer)

    • -       A means of recording a
    • response ( a bar, button, lever or touch pad)

    • -       A means of providing a
    • reward (food) or punisher (mild electric shock)

    • -       A means of automatically
    • recording that the response had been made (a cumulative recorder)
  22. What is the difference between a negatice reinforcement and a punisher?
    Punishment decreases the probability of the response occuring, while negative reinformcement increases the probability of a response occuring
  23. What is the difference between positive and negative reinforcement?
    Positive - a reward which strengthens a response by providing a pleasant or satisfying consequence

    Negative - the removal, reduction, or prevention of an unpleasant stimulus
  24. Token Economy
    • -       
    • A ‘token’ is something that has no value in itself. An ‘economy’ is a system of trade. A token economy is a form of behaviour modification in which tokens are earned for performing target behaviours and these tokens can be exchanged later for some reinforcer (reward) that is valued by the learner.
  25. Observational Learning
    Where a person learns by watching the behaviour demonstrated by another, originally called social learning theory
  26. Outline the four principles of observational learning
    1. Learning occurs by observing the behaviours of others and the consequence of those behaviours

    2. Learning can occur without there being an immediate change in behaviour - it can remain latent

    3. Cognition plays a role because the learner has awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments

    4. Observational learning is a link between behaviourist theory of learning anf cognitive learning theories
  27. Process of Obervational Learning
    Remember A.R.R.M.R.

    Attention - attention and focus must be paid to the model's behaviour and its consequences

    Retention - The learnt behaviour must be stored in memory as a mental representation

    Reproduction - The learner must have the physical and intellectual ability to convert these mental representations into actions

    Motivation - The learner must want to imitate the learnt behaviour

    Reinforcement - When there is the procpect of a positive result or consequence for imitatin the behaviour
  28. Insight Learning
    Can be defined as a mental process in which a sudden, complete and unexpected solution to a problem is achieved. 
  29. Stages of Insight Learning
    • Preparation - 
    • The person makes attempts to solve the problem

    • Incubation - 
    • The person gives up and decides to do something else

    • Insight - 
    • The 'Aha!' experience, when the person suddenly realises the solution

    • Verification - 
    • The hard work of applying the solution and making sure it works
  30. Latent Learning
    Refers to a situation in which learning has taken place but the behaviour has not yet been demonstrated
Card Set
Psychology: Learning
Psychology - Learning