Updated: 6/19/2017

Learning and Conditioning

Review Topic
0 2
Simple learning
  • Habituation
    • repeated stimulation → ↓ response
  • Sensitization
    • repeated stimulation → ↑ response
Classical conditioning
  • Reflexive response normally elicited by an unconditioned stimulus becomes evocable by a second, conditioned stimulus
  • Pavlov's dogs are the typical example of classical conditioning
    • ringing a bell provoked salivation
      • natural response = salivation
      • conditioned stimulus = bell
      • unconditioned stimulus = food
  • Extinction occurs when the conditioned stimulus is no longer associated with the unconditioned stimulus.
    • over time the response will no longer be elicited 
Operant conditioning
  • Type of learning in which reward elicits action
  • Positive reinforcement
    • desired reward produces action
    • e.g. mouse presses button to get food
  • Negative reinforcement
    • removal of aversive stimulus elicits behavior
    • e.g. mouse presses button to avoid shock
  • Punishment
    • aversive stimulus prevents unwanted behavior
  • Extinction
    • discontinuation of reinforcement eliminates behavior
Reinforcement schedules
  • Pattern of reinforcement determines how quickly a behavior is learned or extinguished
  • Continuous
    • reward received after every response
    • rapidly extinguished
    • think "vending machine"
  • Variable ratio
    • reward received after random number of responses
    • slowly extinguished
    • think "slot machine"

Please rate topic.

Average 4.0 of 7 Ratings

Questions (2)
Question locked
Sorry, this question is for
PEAK Premium Subscribers only
Upgrade to PEAK

(M1.PY.13.56) Every time your neighbor in the adjacent apartment flushes the toilet, the water in your shower becomes very hot, causing you to jump out of the way of the water stream. After this has occurred for several months, you note that you reflexively jump back from the water directly after the sound of the flushing toilet but before the water temperature changes. Which of the following situations is the most similar to the conditioning process detailed above? Tested Concept

QID: 100056

You consistently check the slots of pay telephones as you have previously found change left there




A young child elects to not throw a temper tantrum to avoid being grounded by his parents




A mouse repeatedly presses a red button to avoid receiving an electric shock




You now sleep through the noise of the train running past your apartment that kept you up 1 year ago




White coat syndrome (patient anxiety evoked at the sight of a white lab coat)



M 1 E

Select Answer to see Preferred Response

Topic COMMENTS (4)
Private Note