Learning in organisms

  1. misbehavior of organisms
    the term used by the Brelands to describe the tendency of some organisms to behave instinctually instead of as they had been conditioned to behave. 
  2. instinctual drift
    the tendency for the behavior of some organisms, after prolonged conditioning, to revert to instinctual patterns of behavior.
  3. autoshaping
    the observation that under certain circumstances the behavior of some organisms seems to be shaped automatically.
  4. renewal effect
    A CR, extinguished in an environment different from the environment in which it was learned, reappears if the organism is returned to the original learning environment. 
  5. reinstatement
    a CR reappears after extinction if the US is again presented. 
  6. overshadowing
    the observation that the most salient component of a compound stimulus will become conditioned to a US and the weaker component will not. It is as if a dominant component of a compound CS overshadows the weaker component.
  7. blocking
    when one CS (A) is paired with a US, it will become conditioned to that US. If, after initial conditioning, CS (A) is paired with a second CS (B) and presented to the organism as a compound stimulus CS (AB), little or no conditioning occurs to CS (B). It is as if the initial conditioning to CS (A) somehow blocked any conditioning to CS (B).
  8. conditioned emotional response (CER)
    A procedure used to determine the strength of a relationship between a CS  and a US that combines operant or instrumental conditioning and classical conditioning. In phase 1, animals learn an instrumental or operant response to the point that it is emitted at a steady rate. In phase 2, the classical conditioning phase, a CS is paired with a US a number of times. In phase 3, as animals are again performing the instrumental or operant response, the CS from phase 2 is presented, and its effect on the rate of responding is noted. Depending on how the CS and US were paired in phase 2, it is found that presenting the CS in phase 3 facilitates, inhibits, or has no effect on the rate with which the instrumental or operant behavior is emitted.
  9. conditioned suppression
    the inhibition of a conditioned response caused by conditioned emotional responses (CERs).
  10. forward conditioning
    An experimental arrangement whereby the conditioned stimulus is presented before the unconditioned stimulus.
  11. truly random control group
    Rescorla has shown that the only true control condition for classical conditioning studies is one in which there is no predictive relationship between a CS and a US. In other words, in a truly random control condition, a US precedes and follows a CS an equal number of times. Rescorla says that in such a condition there is no contingency between the CS and the US.
  12. Garcia effect
    the name given to the observation that animals form strong taste aversions easily and in apparent contradiction to several principles of classical conditioning. 
  13. expectancies
    learning that one event leads to another. a belief or hypothesis about the occurrence of a future event. 
  14. empirical principle of equipotentiality
    the idea, advocated by some early learning theorists, that the laws of learning apply to any stimulus and any response. 
  15. environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA)
    the physical and social environment that existed when a particular evolutionary adaptation appeared.
  16. preparedness continuum
    Seligman's observation that associations that are compatible with an organism's evolutionary history are learned more easily than those that are not. 
  17. species-specific defensive reactions (SSDRs)
    innate reactions or escape responses that allow organisms to escape pain. 
  18. overdetermined
    Behavior that occurs reliably in the absence of experimental manipulations such as food or water deprivation or response-reward contingencies and that has a variety of sensory-motor patterns underlying the behavior.
  19. sociobiology
    a discipline founded by E.O. Wilson that applied evolutionary principles to social behavior
Card Set
Learning in organisms