Chapter 21: Respondent Conditioning
Respondent Behaviors & Ways to Change Them
[Prologue] -pg 306
Classical conditioning = Respondent Conditioning
Respondent Conditioning in Everyday Life
CONDITIONED EMOTIONAL RESPONSES
Conditioned emotional response (CER): Respondent behavior that is of concern in
applied behavior analysis
Phobia: Intense and irrational fear of something specific
Anxiety: Fear that has a vague or unspecified source
Role of Direct and Indirect Experience in CERs
People can acquire CERs through di-
rect and indirect respondent condi-
Direct, when the person actually
experiences the CS and US
Indirect, when the person ac-
quires a CER through modeling or by
receiving fearful information
about the situation
- Phobias common in childhood, most
disappear on their own in months
Example of Classical Conditioning, Pavlov Case Study. Textbook example:
US (snarling and barking dog) UR (fear & distress)
Inborn Processes and CERs
- Studies of fear across diverse cultural and within families, evidence for a role of biolog-
ical processes in peoples development of CERs.
- To examine genetics, compare a characteristic -presence of fear- among identical
(monozygotic) and same sex fraternal (dizygotic) twins.
- If genetic factors are involved in the development of fears there should be a greater
number of similarities in identical twins!
From Pavlov, we know that all physiological reactions can become CRs by way of re-
spondent conditioning. Examples:
• Asthma, condition when airways become inflamed and narrowed, causing impaired
breathing. Triggered by pollen (the US). People can learn through respondent condition-
ing to make respiratory reactions ad have impaired breathing (CR) to a harmless stimu-
lus, becoming a CS by being paired with the US.
• Chronic lower back pain, people with this can learn to make specific muscular re-
sponses (CR) to a previously neural stimulus, becomes a CS by being presented with
pain (US) in the muscle area repeatedly. Contributes to chronic low back pain. • Immune System Functioning, can be altered through respondent conditioning. Rats re-
ceived sweetened water to drink, and then they got an injection of a drug (US) that in-
duces nausea and immune suppression (UR). By being paired with the US, the sweet
water became a CS. Continued drinking of the sweet water (CS) over time lead to low
immune functioning (CR), leading to their falling ill.
Respondent conditioning can also operate in the opposite direction of the examples giv-
SUBSTANCE USE AND ABUSE
Respondent and operant conditioning contribute to one’s continued and increasing use
of mood-altering substances (tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs).
With operant conditioning, the effect on substance use occur in 2 ways:
1. Positive reinforcement:
Taking substances usually produces pleasant mood states, providing a positive
reinforcement for the behavior
2. Negative reinforcement:
When people stop taking the substance after taking it for a while, they experience
withdrawal. Which go away when they take the drug again
Respondent conditioning is involved in substance use in 2 principle ways.
First, it develops CSs such as a smoker seeing a cigarette and lighter, which produce in-
ternal CRs like the unconditioned reactions of actually using the substance.
Second, the body adapts to a substance, requiring more and more of it to achieve the
same effect ~tolerance.
- Respondent conditioning contributes to increased substance use because the addicts
associate CSs, such as the room in which they use it, with the physiological reactions
(the URs) that occur with and protect the body from increased amounts USs.
- Death from normal dose, when the tolerance effect fails temporarily because the usual
CSs that have come to elicit the protective reaction as a CR aren’t there.
Emetic therapy: used to treat alcohol abuse, because it has the person take an emetic
(drug producing nausea as a UR when alcohol is consumed). After several of these in