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1 general psychology Firouz meroei milan Conditioning and Learning Classical Conditioning 1

2 Conditioning and Learning

3 Learning: Some Key Terms Learning: Relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience – Does NOT include temporary changes due to disease, injury, or maturation – Reinforcement: Any event that increases the probability that a response will recur Response: Any identifiable behavior – Internal: Faster heartbeat – Observable: Eating, scratching

4 Learning: More Key Terms Antecedents: Events that precede a response Consequences: Effects that follow a response

5 Major Types of Learning Classical Conditioning: Event-Event learning – Pavlov and his dogs; Watson and Little Albert Operant Conditioning: Behavior-Consequence learning – Thorndike; Skinner Observational Learning: watch and imitate – Bandura and BoBo doll experiment

6 Classical Conditioning and Ivan Pavlov Russian physiologist who initially was studying digestion Used dogs to study salivation when dogs were presented with meat powder Also known as Pavlovian or Respondent Conditioning Reflex: Automatic, nonlearned innate response e.g., an eyeblink

7 Figure 6.2 FIGURE 6.2 An apparatus for Pavlovian conditioning. A tube carries saliva from the dog’s mouth to a lever that activates a recording device (far left). During conditioning, various stimuli can be paired with a dish of food placed in front of the dog. The device pictured here is more elaborate than the one Pavlov used in his early experiments.

8 Classical Conditioning Terminology Unconditioned Stimulus (US) An event that consistently and automatically elicits an unconditioned response Unconditioned Response (UR) An action that the unconditioned stimulus automatically elicits Conditioned Stimulus (CS) Initially a neutral stimulus. After repeated pairings with the unconditioned stimulus, the CS elicits the same response as the US. Conditioned Response (CR) The response elicited by the conditioned stimulus due to the training.

9 Figure 6.3 FIGURE 6.3 The classical conditioning procedure.

10 Principles of Classical Conditioning Acquisition: Training period when a response is reinforced (the CS is followed closely by the US) Expectancy: Expectation about how events are interconnected Extinction: Weakening of a conditioned response through removal of reinforcement Spontaneous Recovery: Reappearance of a learned response following apparent extinction

11 Figure 6.4 FIGURE 6.4 Acquisition and extinction of a conditioned response.

12 Extinction & Spontaneous Recovery

13 Figure 6.5 FIGURE 6.5 Higher order conditioning takes place when a well-learned conditioned stimulus is used as if it were an unconditioned stimulus. In this example, a child is first conditioned to salivate to the sound of a bell. In time, the bell will elicit salivation. At that point, you could clap your hands and then ring the bell. Soon, after repeating the procedure, the child would learn to salivate when you clapped your hands.

14 An example of a conditioned emotional response (fear)

15 Principles of Classical Conditioning (cont'd) Stimulus Generalization: A tendency to respond to stimuli that are similar, but not identical, to a conditioned stimulus (e.g., responding to a buzzer when the conditioned stimulus during training was a bell) Stimulus Discrimination: The learned ability to respond differently to various stimuli (e.g., Paula will respond differently to various bells (alarms, school, timer)


17 Classical Conditioning in Humans Phobia: Intense, unrealistic, irrational fear of a specific situation or object (e.g., arachnophobia; fear of spiders; see the movie!) Conditioned Emotional Response: Learned emotional reaction to a previously neutral stimulus Desensitization: Exposing phobic people gradually to feared stimuli while they stay calm and relaxed

18 Figure 6.7 FIGURE 6.7 Hypothetical example of a CER becoming a phobia. Child approaches dog (a) and is frightened by it (b). Fear generalizes to other household pets (c) and later to virtually all furry animals (d).

19 Figure 6.1 FIGURE 6.1 In classical conditioning, a stimulus that does not produce a response is paired with a stimulus that does elicit a response. After many such pairings, the stimulus that previously had no effect begins to produce a response. In the example shown, a horn precedes a puff of air to the eye. Eventually, the horn alone will produce an eye-blink. In operant conditioning, a response that is followed by a reinforcing consequence becomes more likely to occur on future occasions. In the example shown, a dog learns to sit up when it hears a whistle.

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