Delayed conditioning: The onset of the CS (light) precedes the onset of the US (shock) and the light
remains on for the first part of the shock. Amigdula(sp?) used.
Trace conditioning: the onset of the CS precedes the onset of the US and the light goes off before the
shock begins. Stored in hippocampus.
The CS (light) and the US (shock) come on and go off at the same time.
The US (shock) occurs before the CS goes on. Perhaps the light indicates that the US is over.
The CS should be RIGHT before the US for optimum learning. For example, one second delay.
For example: Grandma cooking a particular dish which you smell one day. Instigates several memories.
John Watson (Father of Behaviourism) believed completely in nurture and not nature. This is a prime
example of why Watson believed this. He took a toddler and talked to the mom and said the kid’s name
was Little Albert. Asked the mom what Albert doesn’t like the most. Mom said the kid hates loud bangs
etc. So Watson took Little Albert and let him play with a furry animal (Albert plays with it and has fun)
and then suddenly a surface is struck with a hammer to make a loud sound. Albert now associated furry
things with loud noises and was now scared of furry animal. Five days later Albert showed generalized
fear to other white furry objects. STIMULUS GENERALIZATION.
Stimulus Discrimination: Baby learns a word and then calls everyone with that word. For example:
After getting ill from eating her friends thanksgiving turkey, Natalia couldn’t stand the sight or
smell of turkey. Then her friend baked a chicken and Natalia thought it sounded good. This
illustrates: Discrimination! Not generalization.
Conditioned Taste Aversion: You eat something and it makes you throw up. One-trial learning. The
interval between CS and US can be really long. Retained for a really long time. Something we are
“prepared’ to learn.
The same principle can be used to control predation. For example: Wolves eat sheep. Let’s say owner of
sheep kills sheep and laces it with something that would make the wolf sick. If the wolf eats the sheep,
he won’t be happy and will never eat the sheep again.People who create ads have learned to use these principles extremely well:
Conditioned or learned stimulus ---> Unconditioned stimulus – Attractive person ---- > Unconditioned
Response – Pleasant feeling.
Conditioned or Learned Stimulus – Product ---> Unconditioned response – Pleasant feeling
Examples of Classical Conditioned Emotional Responses:
Sound of bell at the end of class
Sound of a siren behind us as we drive
sound of a Dentist’s drill
the smell of chocolate or cinnamon
Conditional Emotional Responses:
Phobias are an unreasonable fear of specific objects or situations, learned through classical conditioning.
Phobias are probably an example of conditional emotional responses.
We can treat phobias through Classical Conditioning. We can also:
Counterconditioning: trying to condition against something you’re already conditioned to do.
Systematic desensitization: You have a fear of spiders. You set up a hierarchy of fears. For example,
telling someone they have a spider on them is much more fearful than telling them that there might be
a spider in the room. Once you have this, you practice relaxation treatments. Then you place the lowest,
least hierarchy fear and ask the patient to raise a finger every time they feel stressed. Pairing relaxation
with a fearful thing.
Treatment of drug addiction, bedwetting etc.: Just keeping someone away from a drug does not cure
drug addiction. Example: Vietnam War. A high proportion of soldiers took heroin (lots of jungles etc.).
Very hard to get rid of this addiction. When they had to go home and get off the drugs, the relapse rate
was very low. The cues for drug taking included tropical climate/high humidity/sounds of bombs etc.
Didn’t associate drug taking with the environment at home.
Consequences of Behaviour:
Classical conditioning does not require active participation on the part of the learner.
Skill learning and Problem Solving:
Requires active thinking and participation by the learner
Called operant conditioning because the learner is learning to operate on the world in order to
get rewards and avoid punishments.Thorndike: set up Puzzle boxes which involved a reward. Thorndike concluded that this was trial and
Thorndike’s Law of Effect:
Responses that lead to positive outcomes are more likely to be repeated while responses that lead to
negative outcomes are less likely to be repeated.
Basic assumptions of operant conditioning: Living beings are behaviour emitters, and some behaviour
has consequences. Behaviour becomes more of less likely, depending on its consequences. A response
followed by a satisfying event will be repeated. A response followed by an unsatisfied event is less likely
to be repeated. A response followed by no consequence will tend to disappear.
Principles of Reinforcement:
Reinforcer- any event that increases the frequency of the preceding event
Positive reinforcers – Introduce positive stimulus (ex. Food)
Negative reinforcers – Remove negative stimulus (ex. Electric shock, snooze button! Causes alarm sound
to go away) Behaviour goes UP. Being able to wake up JUST before the alarm goes off and being able to
press the snooze button before alarm goes off.
Reinforcers ALWAYS strengthen behaviour.
B.F. Skinner – believed in nurture, not nature. Operant chamber (Skinner box) – has a lever with a pellet
dispenser. Rat pushes lever + gets food pellet. Soundproof chamber with a bar or key that an animal
presses or pe