Classical Conditioning—a type of learning style in which a previously neutral stimulus acquires the
ability to elicit a response that was originally elicited by another stimulus.
• Developed by Ivan Pavlov around 1900.
• Russian physiologist
• Accidentally founded “psychic reflexes”
• Worked with dogs
• Discovered the dogs would salivate to a neutral stimulus like a bell
• Automatic or involuntary reflexes
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) – A stimulus that automatically elicits a response. (Like food)
Unconditioned Response (UCR) – A response to an unconditioned stimulus. (Like salivating)
Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – A previous neutral stimulus that can now elicit a response (Like a bell)
Conditioned Response (CR) – A response to a conditioned stimulus (Like salivating to a bell)
Conditioned fears are often the result of Classical Conditioning.
Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning
Acquisition- the initial stage of learning something; in Classical Conditioning, it occurs by pairing an
Unconditioned Stimulus with a Neutral Stimulus (like meat and a bell).
Extinction- the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency
In classical conditioning, the conditioned stimulus is presented alone.
Dental assistant with dentist drill
Spontaneous recovery- reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of nonexposure to that
stimulus. Taking a break and getting the response back.
Stimulus Generalization- responds the same way to similar stimuli(bridge phobia)
Stimulus Discrimination- responds only to the original stimulus
• B.F. Skinner
• Form of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their circumstances
• Responses are influenced by outcomes
• Voluntary responses
B.F. Skinner called this reinforcement—a response is strengthened because it leads to a reinforcer.
• Money in machine—soda
• Tell jokes—laughter
Basic Processes in Operant Conditioning
Acquisition—once again, the initial stage in learning. Responses that are reinforced are conditioned.
Operant conditioning responses go through a process called shaping which brings about the response over