PSY 1101 Lecture Notes - Classical Conditioning, Dog Food, Little Albert Experiment

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Learning & Behaviour
- Learning: a relatively permanent change in behaviour (or behaviour
potential) due to experience
- Behaviourism: emphasizes the study of observable behaviour and the role
of the environment as a determinant of behaviour
Habituation
- The simplest form of learning
- Habituation is learning not to respond to an unimportant event that occurs
repeatedly
Classical Conditioning
- Pavlov’s Serendipitous Discovery
- The Biological Significance of Classical Conditioning
- Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning
- Conditioned Emotional Responses
Pavlov’s Serendipitous Discovery
- By observing dogs during the digestion process, Pavlov formulated his theory
of classical conditioning
New Reflexes From Old
- Classical Conditioning: The process by which a previously neutral stimulus
acquires the capacity to elicit a response through association with a stimulus
that already elicits a similar or related response
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Conditioning Terms
- Unconditioned Stimulus: US
o A stimulus that elicits a reflexive response in the absence of learning
Dog food
- Conditioned Stimulus: CS
o An initially neutral stimulus that comes to elicit a conditioned
response after being associated with an unconditioned stimulus
Dog Bowl
- Unconditioned Response: UR
o A reflexive response elicited by a stimulus in the absence of learning
Dog salivates
- Conditioned Response: CR
o A response that is elicited by a conditioned stimulus; it occurs after
the conditioned stimulus is associated with an unconditioned stimulus
Learned the dog bowl meant food, causes salivation
US (Food) UR (Dog drool) + bowl to food US UR (dog drool) CS (bowl)
CR (drool)
- Pickles running in when he hears the can opener
CS: products (underwear)
UCS: Attractive person CR Pleasant emotional response UCR
The Biological Significance of Classical Conditioning
- The ability to learn to recognize stimuli that predict the occurrence of an
important event allows the learner to make the appropriate response faster
and more effectively
- Stimuli that were previously unimportant acquire some of the properties of
the important stimuli and can now modify behaviour (token economies)
Basic Principles of Classical Conditioning
- Acquisition
o Stimulus Intensity
o Timing
- Extinction
- Spontaneous Recovery
- Generalization and Discrimination
Acquisition
- A neutral stimulus that is consistently followed by an unconditioned stimulus
will become a conditioned stimulus
Extinction
- The weakening and eventual disappearance of a learned response; in
classical conditioning, it occurs when the conditioned stimulus is no longer
paired with the unconditioned stimulus
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