Quick Reference Guide for How Children Learn

How Children Learn

Classical conditioningOperant ConditioningSchedules of ReinforcementBehavioral economy

Classical conditioning

Unconditioned Stimuli: A stimulus that causes an involuntary response of the autonomic nervous system.

Unconditioned Response: A naturally occurring behavior of the autonomic nervous system. (Involuntary)

Conditioned Stimuli: A stimulus that acquired its power to cause a behavior. It initially lacked such power.

Conditioned Response: A learned response of the autonomic nervous system caused by a conditioned stimulus.

Generalization (stimulus): The tendency of a stimulus, similar to the conditioned stimulus (CS), to cause the conditioned response (CR).

Desensitization: A process of unlearning unwanted responses learned through classical conditioning. (Sometimes called classical extinction)

Operant Conditioning

Negative Reinforcer: The removal of an adverse stimulus that increases the likelihood of a response. A reward.

Positive Reinforcer: A stimulus that increases the likelihood of a response. A reward.

Punishment: The presentation of an aversive stimulus following an undesired response that decreases the likelihood of the undesired response.

Extinction: The process in which a learned response is no longer reinforced, reverting to its preconditioned level.

Successive Approximation (Shaping): The process of rewarding for a behavior each time it gets closer and closer to the desired behavior.

Modeling: A hands on form of shaping behavior. It is learning by imitation.

Schedules of Reinforcement

Fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement: Reinforcement is given after a fixed number of correct behaviors.

Fixed-interval schedule of reinforcement: Reinforcement is given for the first desired behavior following a specific period of time.

Variable-ratio schedule of reinforcement: Reinforcement i s given after a varying number of desired responses.

Variable- interval schedule of reinforcement: Reinforcement is given for the desired behavior based on a varying interval of time.

Behavioral economy

Token economy: A behavior modification system that uses a token as a conditioned reinforcer.

How Children Learn