Classical Conditioning 9/25/2011 10:50:00 AM
Classical Conditioning (Pavlovian Conditioning)
Learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later
event that are paired in time/space.
The presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the presentation
US, UR, CS, & CR
o Any stimulus or event that occurs naturally prior to learning.
o Example: Eating.
o The response that occurs after the unconditioned stimulus;
this occurs naturally.
o Example: When you eat, you salivate.
o Previously neutral; paired with the unconditioned stimulus to
produce a learned contingency.
o Typically appears before the US.
o Example: When you sound a horn, before eating food.
o The response that occurs once the contingency between the
CS and US has been learned.
o Often the CR and UR are similar.
o Example: Now when you hear a horn, you salivate even when
food isn’t present.
Is the process by which a contingency between a CS and US is
The process of acquisition is a negatively accelerating curve.
During each additional trial there is some learning, but the earlier
trials is when contingencies are learnt the most.
o Rats don’t eat unfamiliar foods and when they do they only
eat a small amount to see if it makes them sick or not.
The loss of the conditioned response when the conditioned stimulus
no longer predicts the unconditional stimulus. The original learned association is not unlearned, more so it
promotes a learned inhibitory response.
Classical conditioning of learned responses to a variety of different
Example: When you get bitten by a black Doberman dog, you
develop a fear of all dogs.
A graph that deals with two variables, usually a mountain shape.
Example: the black Doberman dog will elicit the most amount of
fear, but as the dogs look/sound different from the black Doberman
they will elicit a smaller amount of fear.
Restricts the range of the CS’s; dip on one side of the curve.
CS+ Vs. CS-
CS+ predicts the presence of the US.
CS- predicts the absences of the US.
When they are presented together, they show a intermediate fear
Intense and persistent fear of a stimulus.
Two methods used to treat phobias:
o Systematic Desensitization
Start to something similar and move closer to the actual
This method is more accessible to most patients.
o Implosive Therapy
When you directly show the person the phobia.
Example: When a person with a fear a germs is asked
to sit with their hands covered in dirt.
Homeostasis and Compensatory Response
o A process that counteracts a challenge to homeostasis.
o The drug effects are lesser the more you do it. o In order for tolerance to occur, though, the association
between environment and drug administration needs to be
o When you stop taking a drug, and if you are in the same
environment this can cause you to want the drug.
o You want the drug because you are feeling the body’s natural
defense against the drug and wish to “go back to normal” by
taking the drug once again.
o Can trigger the want for drugs.
o Example: Vietnam heroine soldiers developed a heroine
addiction in the jungles of Vietnam. However when they came
back home they stopped using heroine because they weren’t
in their familiar environment.
o Taking a drug in a new environment can change the
probability of the negative effects on