Pearson: Allyn & Bacon

PSY 270

Learning Theories

Text: Learning and Memory

4th Edition, 2009

ISBN: 10: 0205658628/ 13: 9780205658626


Scott Terry


Learning Theories

Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1. The central question for the field of Learning is:

(a) How do genetics influence behavior?

(b) What role does the environment play in the development of mental process- es?

(c) How do we come to have knowledge? (d) Why do learning disabilities develop?

2. Which of the following could be considered valid ways to measure learning?

(a) the rate at which an animal presses a bar in an experimental chamber (b) the degree to which one’s respiration rate changes from one situation to another

(c) the ability of an individual to recall material while completing an exam (d) all of the above

3. Which of the following is not demonstrative of learning?

(a) possessing factual knowledge (b) the acquisition of a new skill

(c) experiencing a surge in one’s attentional ability following the consumption of a stimulant medication

(d) feeling more competent after training, compared to before training

4. One’s potential for learning could be demonstrated if:

(a) acquired knowledge is used after it is initially obtained (b) acquired knowledge is used as it is obtained

(c) acquired knowledge is used before it is obtained (d) none of the above

5. Which of the following changes in behavior are typically excluded from a formal definition of learning?

(a) changes that are transient

(b) permanent changes in behavior

(c) changes in one’s behavioral repertoire (d) none of the above

6. Bandura’s “BoBo doll” experiment illustrated the distinction between:

(a) physiological and affective changes in behavior (b) potential and actual changes in behavior

(c) potential and maturational changes in behavior (d) actual and physiological changes in behavior



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7. Changes due to maturation are excluded from the definition of learning because:

(a) they may arise from innate forces (b) neural

(c) they occur independent from one’s experiences (d) all of the above

8. Which of the following is a maturation-based, as opposed to experience- based, change in behavior?

(a) a rat’s faster pace through a maze after 10 attempts through the maze

(b) a decrease in one’s anxiety level towards horror films after viewing one horror film per day for an entire year

(c) developing aggressive tendencies after viewing models acting in an aggressive manner

(d) bone growth

9. Habituation can be measured by:

(a) observing whole-body startle reactions to loud tones (b) measuring the amount of blood flowing into one’s brain

(c) measuring changes in the electrical conductivity of the skin (d) all of the above

10. Which of the following is most likely to result in suppressed responding during a habituation experiment?

(a) spaced presentations (b) massed presentations (c) savings

(d) generalization

11. Which of the following is most likely to result in durable habituation?

(a) spaced presentations (b) massed presentations (c) savings

(d) dishabituation


Learning Theories


12. After habituating his animals to a visual stimulus, Dr. Stillman presents a novel tone to his subjects. Following the presentation of the tone, the animals are again shown the initial visual stimulus, but they no longer habituate to this event. What has occurred?

(a) generalization

(b) sensory adaptation (c) savings

(d) dishabituation

13. After habituating his animals to a dark-blue circle, Dr. Stillman presents a light-blue circle to his subjects and finds that they continue to habituate to this novel item. What has occurred?

(a) generalization

(b) sensory adaptation (c) savings

(d) dishabituation

14. Effector fatigue occurs when:

(a) sensory receptors lose their ability to detect changes in the environment (b) one’s response system is depleted

(c) a subject exhibits an orienting response to a stimulus (d) none of the above

15. Neurons directly involved in the reflex arc have been labeled:

(a) Type S (b) Type R (c) Type H (d) Type A

, 6. Neurons directly involved in the reflex arc have been labeled __ , and are closely related to the process of __ .

(a) Type S; sensitization (b) Type S; habituation (c) Type H; sensitization (d) Type H; habituation


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17. Neurons that playa major role in the general level of arousal of the nervous system have been labeled:

(a) Type S (b) Type R (c) Type H (d) Type A

18. Why is a CR sometimes called an anticipatory response?

(a) because a subject anticipates that making a CR will lead to some type of


(b) because a subject makes a CR during the presentation of the US (c) because a subject makes a CR during the presentation of the CS (d) none of the above

19. Which of the following methods of classical conditioning is focused on the survival value of conditioned associations?

(a) eyeblink conditioning (b) SCR measurement

(c) conditioned taste aversion (d) all of the above

20. Dr. Williams is interested in studying classical conditioning, but she feels that manipulating reflex-evoking USs in unethical. To work around Dr. Wil- liams’s ethical standards, she should use:

(a) evaluative conditioning (b) eyeblink conditioning (c) SCR measurement

(d) none of the above

21. One possible drawback to evaluative conditioning is:

(a) the reflexes studied are difficult to observe

(b) the SCRs that are to be evaluated can be painful to subjects (c) the traditional CRs used with the procedure are too intense (d) none of the above

22. Questions about evaluative conditioning have addressed

(a) whether or not this process is truly classical conditioning (b) the consciousness status of preference changes

(c) researchers should utilize verbal data during this procedure (d) all of the above



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23. Unconditioned Stimuli:

(a) have no biological significance to an organism (b) are neutral stimuli

(c) cannot have their significance acquired (d) none of the above

24. Unconditioned Stimuli:

(a) can have a sensory element to them (b) are devoid of emotional significance (c) do not typically elicit specific reactions (d) are unidimensional

25. Which of the following could serve as a (S?

(a) the passage of time since the most recent US (b) a tone

(c) one’s external environment (d) all of the above



Written Assignment for Unit One

• Include your name, student number, course number, course title and unit number on each page of your written assignment (this is for your protection in case your materials become separated).

• Begin each written assignment by identifying the question number you are answering followed by the actual question itself (in bold type).

• Use a standard essay format for responses to all questions (i.e. an introduction, middle paragraphs and conclusion).

• Responses must be submitted as a MS Word Document only, typed double-spaced, using a standard font (i.e. Times New Roman) and 12 point type size.

Word count is NOT one of the criteria that is used in assigning points to written assignments. However, students who are successful in earning the maximum number of points tend to submit written assignments that fall in the following ranges:

Undergraduate courses: 350 – 500 words or 1 – 2 pages. Graduate courses: 500 – 750 words or 2 – 3 pages. Doctoral courses: 750 – 1000 words or 4 – 5 pages.


All work must be free of any form of plagiarism. Put written answers into your own words. Do not simply cut and paste your answers from the Internet and do not copy your answers from the textbook. Be sure to refer to the course Syllabus for more details on plagiarism and proper citation styles.

Please answer ONE of the following:

1. Explain the steps and results that were revealed in Tolman and Honzick’s (1930) latent learning experiment.

2. Describe Basic and Applied Research and the similarities and differences of each.

3. List and describe the several parametric features of habituation that have been identified.

4. Describe the various methods of studying classical conditioning.



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Multiple Choice Questions (Enter your answers on the enclosed answer sheet)

1. In the last 3 months, Mike never knows when he is going to get his allowance from his parents. He knows that he gets paid about every week, but sometimes his allowance comes 10 days after the previous one, sometimes only 4 days separate his allowance, while some payments come on a regular, 7-day rota- tion. The type of reinforcement schedule being used is a:

(a) variable interval (b) fixed interval

(c) variable ratio (d) fixed ratio

2. In a schedule, reinforcement occurs after a fixed number of


(a) continuous reinforcement (b) fixed ratio

(c) variable ratio (d) fixed interval

3. An experimenter designs their experiment so that a reinforcer is delivered after a subject presses a bar in a Skinner box. To maximize conditioning, which delay interval (between the response and the delivery of the reinforcer) should be used?

(a) 1 second (b) 2 second (c) 4 second (d) 8 second

4. The capacity to inhibit immediate gratification in preference for a larger re- ward in the long run is central to:

(a) secondary reinforcement (b) self-control

(c) continuous reinforcement (d) token reinforcement

5. The quickest way to reduce an organism’s biological need would be to use:

(a) secondary reinforcement (b) self-control

(c) primary reinforcement (d) token reinforcement

6. A teacher giving a student a coupon they can exchange for a pencil, candy, or other reward is an example of this type of reinforcement.


(a) secondary and primary reinforcement


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(b) self-control and token reinforcement (c) primary and token reinforcement

(d) secondary and token reinforcement

7. After getting a good grade on an exam, Julie’s mom gives Julie a big hug. The behavior of Julie’s mom in this situation could best be described as:

(a) secondary reinforcement (b) social reinforcement

(c) primary reinforcement (d) token reinforcement

8. Sales associates’ attempts to help customers are sometimes rewarded with sales. Though which customer will buy may be unpredictable, more attempts

should produce more sales. Such a schedule would illustrate _


(a) variable interval (b) variable ratio (c) fixed ratio

(d) fixed interval


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