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Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
Module 9
Classical Conditioning
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
THREE KINDS OF LEARNING
• Classical conditioning
– a kind of learning in which a neutral stimulus
acquires the ability to produce a response that
was originally produced by different stimulus
• Ivan Pavlov
– conducted experiments with dogs
– Pavlov rang a bell before putting food in a dogs
mouth.
– after numerous trials of pairing the food and bell,
the dog salivated to the sound of the bell
– This becomes a conditioned reflex
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
THREE KINDS OF LEARNING (CONT.)
• Operant conditioning
– refers to a kind of learning in which the
consequences that follow some behavior increase
or decrease the likelihood of that behavior’s
occurrence in the future
• E. L. Thorndike
– experimented with cats in the puzzle box
• Law of Effect
– says that if some random actions are followed by
pleasurable consequences or reward, such
actions are strengthened and will likely occur in
the future
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
THREE KINDS OF LEARNING (CONT.)
• Cognitive learning
– a kind of learning that involves mental processes,
such as attention and memory; may be learned
through observation or imitation; and may not
involve any persons to perform any observable
behaviors
• Albert Bandura
– found that children who had watched the film of
an adult modeling aggressive behavior played for
aggressively than children who had not seen the
film
– Bandura’s study demonstrated: that we can learn
through observation or imitation.
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
PROCEDURE: CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
• Step 1: Choosing stimulus and response
– Neutral stimulus
• some stimulus that causes a sensory
response, such as being seen, heard, or
smelled, but does not produce the reflex being
tested
– Unconditioned stimulus
• USC, some stimulus that triggers or elicits a
physiological reflex, such as salivation or eye
blink
– Unconditioned response
• UCR, unlearned, innate, involuntary
physiological reflex that is elicited by the
unconditioned stimulus
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
PROCEDURE: CLASSICAL CONDITIONING (CONT.)
• Step 2: Establishing classical conditioning
– Neutral stimulus
• trial, pair neutral stimulus (bell) with the
unconditioned stimulus (food)
• neutral stimulus presented first then short time
later the unconditioned stimulus
– Unconditioned stimulus
• seconds after the tone begins, you present the
UCS
– Unconditioned response
• UCS (food) elicits the UCR (salivation)
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
PROCEDURE: CLASSICAL CONDITIONING (CONT.)
• Step 3: Testing for conditioning
– Conditioned stimulus
• CS, is a formerly neutral stimulus that has
acquired the ability to elicit a response that
was previously elicited by the unconditioned
stimulus
– Conditioned response
• CR, elicited by the conditioned stimulus, is
similar to.\, but not identical in size or amount
to, the UCS
• CR, less salivation than the UCR
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
OTHER CONDITIONING CONCEPTS
• Generalization
– tendency for a stimulus that is similar to the
original conditioned stimulus to elicit a response
that is similar to the conditioned response
• Discrimination
– occurs during classical conditioning when an
organism learns to make a particular response to
some stimuli but not to others
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
OTHER CONDITIONING CONCEPTS (CONT.)
• Extinction
– refers to a procedure in which a conditioned
stimulus is repeatedly presented without the
unconditioned stimulus and, as a result, the
conditioned stimulus tends to no longer elicit the
conditioned response
• Spontaneous recovery
– tendency for the conditioned response to
reappear after being extinguished even though
there have been no further conditioning trials
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
ADAPTIVE VALUES & USES
• Adaptive value
– refers to usefulness of certain abilities or traits
that have evolved in animals and humans and
tend to increase their chances of survival, such as
finding food, acquiring mates, and avoiding pain
and injury
• Taste aversion learning
– refers to associating a particular sensory cue
(smell, tastes, sound, or sight) with getting sick
and thereafter avoiding that particular sensory
cue in the future
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
ADAPTIVE VALUES & USES (CONT.)
• Adaptive value
– explanation
– preparedness
– refers to the phenomenon that animals and
humans are biologically prepared to associate
some combinations of conditioned and
unconditioned stimuli more easily than others
– animals are genetically prepared to use different
senses to detect stimuli that are important to their
survival and adaptation
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
THREE EXPLANATIONS
• Theories of classical conditioning
– Stimulus substitution & contiguity theory
• stimulus substitution means that a neural bond
or association forms in the brain between the
neutral stimulus (bell) and unconditioned
stimulus (food)
– Contiguity theory
• Classical conditioning occurs because two
stimuli (neutral stimulus and unconditional
stimulus) are paired close together in time
(contiguous)
Introduction to Psychology, 7th Edition, Rod Plotnik
Module 9: Classical Conditioning
THREE EXPLANATIONS (CONT.)
• Theories of classical conditioning
– Cognitive perspective
• says that an organism learns a predictable
relationship between two stimuli such that the
occurrence of one stimulus (neutral stimulus)
predicts the occurrence of another
(unconditioned stimulus)

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