relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience

Associative Learning

learning that certain events occur together


process of learning associations


studies behavior without reference to mental processes

Classical Conditioning

learning associations and anticipate events
(Ex: dog salivates before food is put out)

Conditioned Stimulus

Neutral Stimulus that causes a conditioned response
(Ex: The bell ringing makes them salivate)

Conditioned Response

learned response to a conditioned stimulus
(Ex: They salivate because they hear the bell ring)

Unconditioned Stimulus

a stimulus that triggers Unconditioned Response
(Ex: when you give them food it makes them salivate)

Unconditioned Response

an unlearned response
(Ex:salivating- they didnt learn this it just happens)

Four Principles of Classical Conditioning

1. Acquisition
2. Generalization
3. Discrimination
4. Extinction


initial stage in associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus


Conditioned response can occur to stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus


the conditioned response wont occur for ALL stimuli that are similar to the conditioned stimulus


when paring conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus stops, the conditioned response becomes weaker until it ceases to exist

Watson & Behaviorism

Little Albert experiment:
classically conditioned a baby to fear white rats by showing the baby the rat (conditioned stimulus) and then pairing it with the banging of something loudly behind his head (unconditioned stimulus) to make him cry (unconditioned


-most organisms can learn through Classical Conditioning
-the process of learning can be studied objectively

Biology of Conditioning

Natural Selection favors traits that aid survival

Operant Conditioning

Organisms form associations between its own behavior and its consequences
Ex: "Skinner Box" where pigeon or rat pressed lever to get food


He controlled environments that would shape an animal's behavior using operant conditioning

Positive Reinforcer

strengthens the response through presentation of positive sumuli
Ex: food after a dog trick

Negative Reinforcer

strengthens the response through removal of an aversive stimuli
Ex: a shock collar to stop biting furniture

Continuous vs Intermittent reinforcement

Continuous: receive reinforcement after every desired response
Intermittent: receive reinforcement with every few desired responses, can vary with time (interval-intermittent) or vary with amount of responses (ratio-intermittent), and can be fixed or vari


negative event that follows undesired behavior to decrease that behavior

Types of Rewards and Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation
Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

when behavior is engaged because it is seen as enjoyable

Extrensic Motivation

when behavior is engaged because of an external reward/pressure

Overjustification effect

Extrinsic Rewards decreases Intrinsic motivations = people lose interest in activity they once enjoyed

Observational Learning

learning by watching others

Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment (1961)

Children were sat in a room and watched different behaviors from adults on the Bobo Doll.
When left alone they copied the similar acts, whether aggressively or caring and repeated the same dialogue the adults used with the Bobo Doll.

Factors that Influence Observational Learning

- sex and gender-roles
- relationship between parties
- consequences of behavior (whether it is positive or negative)
- position of the model (high power or low power)