PSYC 1200 Lecture 4c
Chapter 6: Classical Conditioning
Learning Any change in the tendency or capacity to engage in a behaviour or thought process.
Conditioning Strengthening or weakening the association between stimuli in the environment and some response.
Ivan Pavlov (1849- Initially interested in canine digestion; he drained saliva from dogs and measured the amount produced in various situations.
1936) Noticed that salivation occurred even without placing food in the dog’s mouth (e.g. when brought into the lab, the smell of food).
Experience with situations associated with food influence the unconscious process of salivating.
Acquiring Conditioned Reflexes are unconscious/automatic responses or unconditioned responses (UR) to some stimulus which is called an
Reflex unconditioned stimulus (US) (e.g. US = heat from stove, UR = hand-jerk, US = taste of food, UR = salivation).
When an unconditioned stimulus (US) is presented many times with a neutral stimulus, the neutral stimulus will produce the
unconditioned response (UR) even when the unconditioned stimulus (US) is absent.
Classical Conditioning This process of acquiring a conditioned response through learning.
If a neutral stimulus is able to produce an unconditioned response on its own, then it’s called a conditioned stimulus (CS) and
the response it produces is called a conditioned response (CR).
Classical Conditioning Involves Making Smart Guesses About the Future:
For classical condition to occur, a neutral stimulus must consistently come before an unconditioned stimulus
because the conditioned stimulus acts as a signal for the unconditioned stimulus.
Classical conditioning will not occur when a neutral stimulus is presented equally often without an unconditioned
Classical condition and Preferences:
Some stimuli produce “feelings of liking” because they have been associated with positive life events.
Some stimuli produce “feelings of hating” because they have been associated with negative life events.
Classical Conditioning and Fear:
Some stimuli produce fear and even phobias because they have been associated with negative life events
Classical Conditioning and Placebo Effects:
Symptoms of illness can be reduced even when people receive fake medication.
These effects might be a conditioned response to cues associated with taking a medication.
Extinction Presenting the conditioned stimulus without the unconditioned stimulus will cause gradual loss of the conditioned response.
Higher-Order Pairing a neutral stimulus often with the conditioned stimulus will enable the stimulus to produce the conditioned response.
Stimulus Stimuli similar to a conditioned stimulus may produce the conditioned response.
Stimulus You could stop someone from producing a conditioned response to a similar stimulus by giving people multiple experiences; they
Discrimination would get the unconditioned stimulus (e.g. shock) with the neutral stimulus (e.g. wind chimes) as well as no unconditioned stimulus
(e.g. no shock) with a similar neutral stimulus (e.g. telephone ringing).
Shock + wind chimes = arousal response; No shock + telephone ringing = no arousal response.
The Garcia Effect Nausea is more likely to produce disliking some food than any other type of stimulus (e.g. the smell thought and taste of Tuna
Counterconditioning Can reverse fear response to a conditioned stimulus by pairing it with a stimulus that produces a positive response.
Chapter 6: Operant Conditioning
Operant Conditioning Behaviours that are rewarded will increase in frequency; behaviours that are punished will decrease in frequency.
Edward Thorndike Puzzle Box: a hungry animal would be trapped in a box and food would be on the outside of the box. In order to escape, the animal
(1874-1949) has to press buttons in the right sequence. Gradually the animal became quicker at escaping.
The Law of Effect: each time a response gets rewarded, it gets strengthened because of the positive effect it has on the organism.
B.F. Skinner’s Box Tested reward and punishment by setting up one lever that drops food into the box and one lever that causes an electric shock.
(1904-1990) 3 Consequences of Behaviour According to Skinner:
Neutral: neither positive nor negative consequence; behaviour will not change in frequency.
Reinforcement: positive consequence; behaviour will increase in frequency.
Punishment: negative consequence; behaviour will decrease in frequency.
Primary Reinforcers Behaviours that satisfy biological needs (e.g. food, water, warmth)
Primary Punishers Behaviours that cause basic biological discomfort (e.g. starvation, thirst, and intense cold/intense heat).
Secondary Reinforcers Learned rewards learned through association with more basic biological reinforcers (e.g. money, a new car, trophies, praise).
Secondary Punisher Learned punishments learned through association with more basic biological punishments (e.g. criticism, fine, insults).
Positive When a reward (e.g. pat on the head) follows some behaviour (e.g. mowing the lawn).
Negative When something unpleasant (e.g. punch in the arm) is removed after some behaviour (e.g. surrendering lunch money).
Positive Punishment When a punishment (e.g. yelling/angry faces) follows some behaviour (e.g. biting).
Negative Punishment When something pleasant (e.g. social contact via “time-out”) is removed after some behaviour (e.g. biting).
Extinction When a behaviour no longer produces rewards, the frequency of that behaviour declines to zero.
Stimulus Response to a stimulus that produces a reward may be evoked by similar stimuli (e.g. blue lever vs. red lever or bar #1 vs. bar #2).
Stimulus Animal may learn that a reward only occurs when responding to one stimulus and not a similar one.
Discrimination e.g. blue lever = pellet vs. red lever = no pellet or bar #1 = good vs. bar #2 = bad).
Continuous Response is reinforced every time.
Chapter 6: Learning