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Lecture 9

PSY230H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Edward Thorndike, Aversion Therapy, Classical ConditioningPremium

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Amanda Sharples

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Lecture 7
The Behavioural/Social learning Approach
Classical conditioning
1. Ivan Pavlov fonder of classical conditioning.
Experiment of dog salivating for food.
I. Unconditional stimulus will trigger an unconditional response.
II. A neutral stimulus will trigger no response.
III. Pairing of unconditioned stimuli with an neutral stimulus to trigger an
unconditioned response.
IV. Eventually a conditioned stimulus will elicit a conditioned response.
2. Phobia
Occurs when a neutral stimulus pairs with a negative experience or stimulus, which
then become a condition of fear.
3. Systematic Desensitization
Used to try to reverse a phobia by gradual exposure of the fear. (not necessarily
After gradual exposure of the situation (eg. Anxiety for speech), the anxiety or fear
level goes down and they will become better and more relaxed at doing it.
Patient are taught with relaxation techniques (Eg. breathing, meditation).
4. Aversion therapy
Applied to discourage behaviours on treating addictions such as alcohol or smoking
by pairing an undesirable stimulus (Eg. a drug that will cause nausea) with a habitual
Operant conditioning
1. In contrast with classical conditioning which happens unconsciously in the mind most of the
time, operant conditioning intentionally teaches people to behave in a certain way. It’s
more related to the conscious mind, the person is aware of what is promoting the
2. Law of effect by Edward Thorndike
Behaviours are more likely to be reinforced or repeated if they always lead to
positive consequences.
Behaviours are less likely to be reinforced if they lead to negative outcomes.
3. B. F. Skinner

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I. Positive reinforcement increase the behaviour by giving external or intrinsic
II. Negative reinforcement increase the behaviour by removing unwanted or aversive
stimulus. (Eg. A child doesn’t have to eat the food that he/she doesn’t like if they
finish the homework)
III. Extinctiondecrease the behaviour by not giving reward or ignoring the behaviour
and do not give the reaction wanted.
IV. (Positive) punishment decrease the behaviour by giving aversive stimulus or taking
away something positive.
4. 2 important concepts of operant conditioning
Generalization generate a pattern of response of a specific stimulus to another
- Certain set pattern of behaviours that lead to rewarding outcomes will be
generated across situations.
Discriminate differentiate between rewarding and non-rewarding stimuli.
- In some situations, certain behaviour will work well, however, sometimes it
doesn’t work very well.
- Eventually come to know what reaction to expect from your behaviour.
5. Phobias
Might arise when a neutral stimuli pairs with a negative stimulus.
Reinforced by operant conditioning, the anxiety level is reduced when a person is
trying to avoid the anxiety of phobia situation as negative reinforcement.
Learned behaviours
1. Julian B. Rotter
Behaviour-environment-behaviour interactions
- Environment will influence people’s behaviour therefore determines the
environment that people will favour and willing to a part of.
- Behaviour potential (BP) = Expectancy (E) + Reinforcement Value (RV)
o Expectancy is the efficacy and beliefs, whether we think that this
behaviour will lead to positive outcomes or not (if I can do this or not).
o The reinforcement value is the value of each potential behaviours and
see which one will bring the most valuable outcomes.
2. Albert Bandura
Reciprocal determinism
- Both external and internal factors contribute to the system of interacting
o External factors (external locus of control) rewards and punishments.
(More in line with operant conditioning)
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