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Joe Kim (987)

Chapter 3 - Classical Conditioning Video Lecture Psych 1X03

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McMaster University
Joe Kim

Video Lecture Psych 1X03 Chapter 3: Classical Conditioning Classical Conditioning 1  Classical Conditioning – allows us to associate two related events  Instrumental Conditioning – allows us to associate actions and consequences Classical Conditioning  Ivan Pavlov o Russian physiologist, 1890s and 1900s o Foundations for classical conditioning o Made observation – dogs would salivate even before the delivery of food in their mouth, as if an early step in the process of digestion was triggered even before the food stimulus arrives o Experiment:  Sound of a metronome signaled to a dog that food was about to be delivered  Prior to training, the sound of the metronome has no observable effect on the dogs behavior  Following training, a dog would begin salivating in response to the sound of the metronome alone  behavior was called conditional reflex  Studying a contingent relationship  Contingent Relationship: The presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the presentation of another o Eg/ Flash of lightning before crash of thunder o When an organism learns the association between a signal and an event – a contingency has formed between the two stimuli o When a contingent relationship is learned, an organism can respond to the signal before the event occurs o Often preparatory in nature and can promote survival  Classical Conditioning: the learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later event that are paired in time and/or space  Unconditioned Stimulus (US): Any stimulus or event; occurs naturally, automatically triggers a response prior to learning o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Food placed in dogs mouth  Unconditioned Response (UR): The response that occurs after the US; occurs naturally, prior to any learning o Often a biologically programmed reflex or natural response o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Salivation in the dogs mouth  Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Paired with the unconditioned stimulus to produce a learned contingency; previously neutral stimulus that after becoming associated with a US eventually comes to trigger a response of its own o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Sound of a metronome  The CS typically appears before the US o May take several trials of training in which the CS and US are paired before the CS alone elicits a response  When this occurs, the organism has learned a contingent relationship between the two stimuli  Conditioned Response (CR): The response that occurs once the contingency between the CS and US has been learned o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Dog salivation at sound of metronome Acquisition  Acquisition: The process by which a contingency between a CS and US is learned o Pavlov characterized the process of acquisition as following a negatively accelerating curve Video Lecture Psych 1X03 o Most learning happens during the early trials – during each additional trial there is some learning, but not as much as the early trials o Special Case – Rats  Developed special learning mechanisms for food selection to help them survive  Can learn the contingency between food and sickness in a single trial  Dietary Neophobia - Generally avoid unfamiliar food to avoid eating poison  When rats try new food, they only consume small quantities – they are able to effectively pinpoint specific food with illness so that they will not consume that food again  US Sickness from food, UR Aversion  CS Taste, CR Aversion Extinction  If conditions chance such that the CS is no longer a reliable cue for the US, the CR will eventually fade  Extinction: The loss o the CR when the CS no longer predicts the US o Presenting the CS alone (without the US) repeatedly over many trials o At first, the CS will elicit a CR but over several trials, the CS will elicit a CR that is weaker and weaker until it eventually disappears  Unlearning or new learning? o Spontaneous Recovery suggests that extinction involves a new inhibitory learned response  CS is presented repeatedly (without the US) until the CR fades – but following rest periods, the CS is presented once more and it once again elicits a CR  Suggests that original learned association between the CS and US is not unlearned  Rather, extinction seems to promote a learned inhibitory response that competes with the original learned contingency Classical Conditioning 2  Fundamentals to Classical Conditioning are vital to learning new information – this type of learning is an adaptative process which helps an organism to survive Generalization and Discrimination  Stimulus Generalization: Classical conditioning of learned responses to a variety of different stimuli; during training, one specific CS may be paired with a US to produce a contingency – stimuli similar to the CS will often also produce a CR o Eg/ Child bitten by black dog  sight of any dog elicits a fear response, even though you haven’t been bitten by this type of dog o CR can be measured in humans through Galvanic Skin Response o CR can be measured in animals by freezing behavior  Eg/ CS 500 Hz tone, paired with mild electric shock – eventually the presentation of the 500 Hz tone CS
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