GRE Subject Test: Psychology : Theories on Learning

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GRE Subject Test: Psychology

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All GRE Subject Test: Psychology Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Theories On Learning

Which behaviorist accidentally discovered a form of learning after he noticed that his dog salivated each time he entered the room in anticipation of feeding time?

Possible Answers:

Watson

Pavlov

Skinner

Thorndike

Correct answer:

Pavlov

Explanation:

Ivan Pavlov was the theorist who coined the term classical conditioning after he noticed his dog salivated each time he entered the room, even before presenting food. Pavlov went on to pair the sound of a bell with salivation, which demonstrated learning by pairing a conditioned stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus. The other theorists are incorrect choices. Skinner and Thorndike are associated with operant/instrumental conditioning. Watson is also associated with classical conditioning, but is famous for his Little Albert study.

Example Question #2 : Theories On Learning

It takes most people less time to identify a cow as a mammal than a mouse as a mammal because a cow more closely resembles the mammal's to which they are accustomed. This statement is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Hierarchy

Phoneme

Prototype

Heuristic

Algorithm

Correct answer:

Heuristic

Explanation:

A "heuristic" refers to lessons learned through evolutionary processes. They help to explain how people make decisions and solve problems when faced with incomplete information.

Example Question #3 : Theories On Learning

Watson’s “Little Albert” experiment demonstrates which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Fear is relayed from mother to child

Children see white, furry objects as scary

Fear is a learned behavior

Babies have genetic predispositions to fear

None of these

Correct answer:

Fear is a learned behavior

Explanation:

In the study,Watson found the babies did not fear animals until loud noises were paired with their images. In other words, the children were not afraid of the sight of animals; however, fear was induced when sounds were paired with them. 

Example Question #4 : Theories On Learning

This type of conditioning is when you take something good away to create a desired behavior. Such as taking away a child's cell phone until they clean their room.

Possible Answers:

Negative reinforcement

Positive reinforcement

Classical conditioning

Positive punishment

Negative punishment

Correct answer:

Negative reinforcement

Explanation:

Negative reinforcement is an example of operant conditioning. This is when you take something good away to create a desired behavior. Such as taking away a child's cell phone until they clean their room. On the other hand the rest of the listed choices are incorrect. In classical conditioning you can train an animal to have a response to an unrelated stimuli. Positive reinforcement is another example of operant conditioning. This is when you give something good to create a desired behavior. An example of this is giving a child a cookie because they cleaned their room. Negative punishment is when you remove a good thing to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you remove a child's cell phone for coming home late. Last, positive punishment is when you add something bad to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you spank a child for misbehaving.

Example Question #5 : Theories On Learning

Which of the following types of conditioning is would best be characterized as when you give something good to create a desired behavior (e.g. giving a child a cookie because they cleaned their room).

Possible Answers:

None of these

Negative punishment

Positive reinforcement

Positive punishment

Negative reinforcement

Correct answer:

Positive reinforcement

Explanation:

Positive punishment is when you add something bad to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you spank a child for misbehaving. On the other hand, the rest of the listed choices are incorrect. Negative reinforcement is an example of operant conditioning. This is when you take something good away to create a desired behavior. Such as taking away a child's cell phone until they clean their room. Positive reinforcement is another example of operant conditioning. This is when you give something good to create a desired behavior. An example of this is giving a child a cookie because they cleaned their room. Last, "negative punishment" is when you remove a good thing to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you remove a child's cell phone for coming home late.

 

Example Question #6 : Theories On Learning

Which of the following types of conditioning is would best be characterized as when you remove a good thing to decrease a behavior (e.g. if you remove a child's cell phone for coming home late)?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Positive reinforcement

Negative Punishment

Negative reinforcement

Positive punishment

Correct answer:

Negative Punishment

Explanation:

Negative punishment is when you remove a good thing to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you remove a child's cell phone for coming home late. On the other hand, the rest of the listed choices are incorrect. Negative reinforcement is an example of operant conditioning. This is when you take something good away to create a desired behavior. Such as taking away a child's cell phone until they clean their room. This is when you give something good to create a desired behavior. An example of this is giving a child a cookie because they cleaned their room. Last, positive punishment is when you add something bad to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you spank a child for misbehaving.

Example Question #7 : Theories On Learning

Which of the following types of conditioning is would best be characterized as when you add something bad to decrease a behavior (e.g. if you spank a child for misbehaving)?

Possible Answers:

Positive punishment

All of these

Positive reinforcement

Negative reinforcement

Negative punishment

Correct answer:

Positive punishment

Explanation:

Positive punishment is when you add something bad to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you spank a child for misbehaving. On the other hand, the rest of the listed choices are incorrect. Negative reinforcement is an example of operant conditioning. This is when you take something good away to create a desired behavior. Such as taking away a child's cell phone until they clean their room. Positive reinforcement is another example of operant conditioning. This is when you give something good to create a desired behavior. An example of this is giving a child a cookie because they cleaned their room. Last, negative punishment is when you remove a good thing to decrease a behavior. An example of this is if you remove a child's cell phone for coming home late.

 

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