Learning 1-Classical Conditioning

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology
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Chapter 10, page 452

There are a number of different theories of learning, each different from the next. We will learn about: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Classical Conditioning Trial and Error Learning Operant Conditioning One Trial Learning Observational Learning Insight Learning Latent Learning

CONDITIONING = The process of learning associations between and stimulus and a response. PAVLOV, a Russian physiologist, was conducting research on the digestive system in dogs during 1920’s, when he noted that the dogs salivated before they received the stimulus (meat powder). As a result of his research, clear evidence was provided for a very simple type of learning which was based on the repetitive association of different stimuli.

Pavlov paired a bell sound with the meat powder and found that even when the meat powder was not presented, the dog would eventually begin to salivate after hearing the bell. Since the meat powder naturally results in salivation, these two variables are called the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the unconditioned response (UCR), respectively. The bell and salivation are not naturally occurring; the dog was conditioned to respond to the bell. Therefore, the bell is considered the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the salivation to the bell, the conditioned response (CR).

Classical Conditioning = a type of learning that occurs through the repeated association of two (or more) different stimuli. Learning is only said to have occurred when a particular stimulus consistently produces a response that it did not previously produce. ie. The bell consistently produced salivation in the dog.

Neutral Stimulus (NS) ◦ The name given to the conditioned stimulus before it becomes conditioned. ◦ Referred to as ‘neutral’ stimulus whilst it fails to produce a response. (Alarm before learning).

Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) ◦ Any stimulus which consistently produces a particular naturally occurring automatic response. (Wizz fizz before learning)

Unconditioned Response (UCR)

◦ The response which occurs automatically as a result of the unconditioned stimulus. A reflexive or involuntary response to the UCS. (Salivation from eating wizz fizz).

Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

◦ The stimulus that would not normally produce the unconditioned response (UCR), but does so eventually because of its association with the unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Starts off neutral before learning occurs. (Alarm after learning)

Conditioned Response (CR)

◦ The learned or acquired response to the conditioned stimulus. (Salivation to sound of alarm after learning).

Association/Acquisition ◦ The most important part of Classical Conditioning ◦ = the process through which an organism learns to associate two events (CS and UCS).

Extinction ◦ When a conditioned response no longer occurs. = In classical conditioning, extinction occurs over a period of time after the unconditioned stimulus (which acts as a reinforcer) is withdrawn.

Spontaneous Recovery = The reappearance of a conditioned response after it’s apparent extinction. Usually after a rest period.

Stimulus Generalisation = Tendency for familiar stimuli to produce the same (but not necessarily identical) response. In classical conditioning, a response that has been conditioned to a particular CS will often be produced for other stimuli which resemble it. ◦ eg. A bell with a slightly higher pitch, duration

Stimulus Discrimination = The ability to distinguish between two (or more) different stimuli, even if the stimuli are similar. Eg. School bell different to alarm used in wizz fizz activity.

A young child reaches out to pat a barking dog, is bitten by the dog, and cries. Now, every time she hears a dog bark, she cries. NS:

Dog Bark


Dog Bite

UCR: Crying CS:

Dog Bark



Whenever Lara hears the sound of the “Neighbours” theme song on TV each night at 6.30pm, she starts to feel hungry as her family usually sits down to eat at this time. NS: Dinner time at 6.30pm UCS:

‘Neighbours’ theme song

UCR: Hunger CS:

‘Neighbours’ theme song



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