|Please keep in mind that
"learning theory" is associated with the psychological perspective
Learning: a relatively permanent change in an organism's behavior
due to experience.
Behaviorism: the view that psychology (1) should be an objective
science that (2) studies behavior without reference to mental processes.
Most research psychologist today agree with (1) but not with (2).
Associative Learning: learning the two events (2 stimuli in the case
of classical conditioning or a response and its consequence in operant
conditioning) occur together.
Classical Conditioning: a type of learning in which an organism
comes to associate two stimuli. A neutral stimulus that signals
and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) begins to produce a response that
anticipates and prepares for the unconditioned stimulus. Also
called Pavlovian Conditioning.
Unconditioned Stimulus (USC): in classical conditioning, a
stimulus that unconditionally--naturally and automatically--triggers an
unconditioned response (UCR).
Unconditioned Response (UCR): in classical conditioning, the
unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus (UCS),
such as salivation when presented with food.
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): in classical conditioning, an
originally irrelevant or Neutral Stimulus (NS) that, after association
with an unconditioned stimulus (UCS), comes to elicit a conditioned
Conditioned Response (CR): in classical conditioning, the learned
response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus (CS).
UCS (food)→UCR (salivation) & NS
NS (bell) + UCS (food)→UCR (salivation)
CS (bell)→CR (salivation)
classical conditioning, the neutral stimulus (NS) must be presented
immediately BEFORE the UCS. After conditioning, the NS will
become the conditioned stimulus (CS). Also, keep in mind that the
unconditioned response (UCR) and the conditioned response (CR) are often
very similar, if not identical to one another.
Acquisition: the initial stage in classical conditioning.
The phase associating a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus
so that the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus and elicits
a conditioned response.
Extinction: the diminishing of a conditioned response. It occurs
in classical conditioning when the UCS stops being paired with the CS
(e.g., the bell is presented without being followed by the food).
Spontaneous Recovery: the reappearance, after a rest period, of
an extinguished conditioned response.
Generalization: the tendency, once a response has been
conditioned, for stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit
Discrimination: the learned ability to distinguish between a
conditioned stimulus (e.g., bell) and other stimuli that do not signal
an unconditioned stimulus (e.g., telephone ringing).