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PSYCH101 Lecture Notes - Little Albert Experiment, Tuning Fork, Classical Conditioning

Course Code
Richard Ennis

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- Classical Conditioning (Oldest type of behaviourism)
o Pavlov and his dogs
o Old work that demonstrates classical conditioning
o Severe limitations
- Operant Conditioning
o Skinner and his pigeons
- Language Acquisition
o How is it that we learn to speak?
- Observational Learning
o Very straight forward learn by watching someone elses do
o Modelling (one of the dominate theories in psychology, radical in
the past)
- Pavlov and his dogs
o Why do we have spit in our mouths purpose of it
o Had test tubes hooked up to the saliva glands of dogs to collect the
o Noticed after a few days of giving them food, that every time he
walked up to the dogs to give them food, the saliva would start to
o The question became, why were they salivating before the food
was given to them?
- Before Conditioning
o UCS (food in mouth) UCR (salivation)
An unconditioned stimulus (UCS) produces an
unconditioned response (UCR)
o Neutral stimulus (tone) No salivation
A neutral stimulus produces no salivation response
- During Conditioning
o Neutral stimulus (tone) + UCS (food in mouth) UCR (salivation)
The unconditioned stimulus is repeatedly presented just after
the neutral stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus to produce
an unconditioned response

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- After Conditioning
o CS (tone) CR (salivation)
The neutral stimulus alone now produces a conditioned
response (CR), thereby becoming a conditioned stimulus
- Dogs learn what the associates of neutral stimulus is with the food
footstep, tuning fork, lights, etc
- In Classical conditioning, learning is the association of a conditioned
stimulus or neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus to the extent
that the conditioned stimulus produces the unconditioned response
- Pavlov didnt understand the implications of this very well; he did not
realize what learning could come from this
- John Watson
o One of the early American behaviourists
o Took ideas from Pavlov
o Not going to study thoughts, but will study what is observable
o Uses Pavlovian principles to teach
o You give me twenty children, and I can turn them into anything!
o Little Albert was taught to be terrified of anything that is soft and
o The idea was that you could teach something to someone which
did not make any sense, and they could learn to be afraid of it
o In some ways this is a model for phobia
- Process of Generalization
o Occurs when the conditioned stimulus is changed slightly, and the
conditioned response still happens (Condition response = fear)
o Screaming and crying is the conditioned response, it is something
that can be observed (Rat to the bunny, to the dog, to the furry =
- Discrimination
o Opposite of generalization (exactly the reverse process)
o Occurs when the conditioned stimulus is changed, and the
conditioned response doesn‟t happen
o Starting to get unlearning
o This would happen if Little Albert was afraid of rats, but not bunnies,
and could make the distinction between them
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