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Lecture 6

46-115 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Latent Inhibition, Ted Kaczynski, Conditioned Taste Aversion

11 pages45 viewsFall 2017

Department
Psychology
Course Code
46-115
Professor
Scott Mattson
Lecture
6

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Introduction to Psychology
Lecture 06: Nurture
Learning Objectives:
- Describe the examples of classical conditioning and discriminate conditioned stimuli and
responses from unconditioned stimuli and responses.
- Explain how conditioned responses are acquired, maintained, and extinguished
Explain how complex behaviours can result from classical conditioning and how they
emerge in our daily lives.
- Describe how behaviours are acquired through operant conditioning.
- Identify the similarities and differences between operant and classical conditioning.
- Describe reinforcement and its effects on behaviour.
- Distinguish negative reinforcement from punishment as influences on behaviour.
- Outline the evidence that supports learning in the absence of conditioning.
- Explain how learning can occur through observation.
- Identify evidence on insight learning.
- Explain how biological predispositions can facilitate learning of some associations.
- Evaluate popular techniques marketed to enhance learning.
- Determine whether an individual’s learning ability depends on how well the instructional
style matches their learning styles.
Basic Terminology
- Learning - change in an organism’s behaviour or thought as a result of experience
- Habituation - process by which we respond less strongly over time to repeated
stimuli.
- Sensitization - process by which we respond more strongly over time (especially
for dangerous, irritating stimuli).
- Eric Kandel earned the Nobel prize for his studies of habituation and
sensitization in Aplysia (the sea slug).
Classical Conditioning
A. British Associationism
- British associationists believed that:
- We acquire virtually all of our knowledge by connecting one stimulus with
another.
- Simple associations provided the mental building blocks for more
complex ideas.
B. Pavlov’s Discoveries
- Ivan Pavlov’s main research interest was digestion in dogs.
- Pavlov’s understanding of classical conditioning emerged from a serendipitous
set of observations unrelated to his main research interests.
- Classical conditioning - a form of learning in which animals come to respond to a
previously neutral stimulus that had been paired with another stimulus that elicits
an automatic response.
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- Pavlov’s initial observations were anecdotal and needed to subjected to rigorous
testing.
The Classical Conditioning Phenomenon:
- Presented initially neutral stimulus
- Conditioned stimulus (CS) - initially neutral stimulus
- Paired CS with an unconditioned stimulus repeatedly, each time resulting in an
unconditioned response.
- Unconditioned stimulus (UCS) - stimulus that elicits an automatic
response.
- Unconditioned response (UCR) - automatic response to a nonneutral
stimulus that does not need to be learned.
- After a time, when Pavlov presented the CS alone, the dog would produce a
conditioned response.
- Conditioned response (CR) - response previously associated with a
nonneutral stimulus that is elicited by a neutral stimulus through
conditioning.
- CRs are similar, but rarely identical, to the UCR.
Classical Conditioning Steps
1. Neutral stimulus (NS): does not elicit a particular response
a. Metronome.
2. Pair the NS repeatedly with the unconditioned stimulus (UCS), which elicits an
unconditioned response (UCR)
a. Meat powder (UCS) and salivation (UCR)
3. Eventually, the NS becomes a conditioned stimulus, eliciting a conditioned
response.
a. Metronome and salivation
4. The organism reacts “the same way” (well, not completely) to the previously NS
as it did to the UCS.
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Classical Conditioning
- Aversive conditioning - classical conditioning to an unpleasant UCS
- Avoidance response.
- Classical conditioning is adaptive in preparing the organism for the impending US
- Psychopathic personalities - indifferent to signals of threat
Classical Conditioning Principles:
- Acquisition - learning phase during which a CR is established
- Extinction - gradual decrease and elimination of the CR when the CS
is presented repeatedly without the UCS—overwritten, not forgotten.
- Spontaneous recovery - sudden reemergence of an extinct
conditioned response after a delay in exposure to the conditioned
stimulus.
- Renewal effect - sudden re-emergence of a conditioned response following
extinction when an animal is returned to the environment in which the
conditioned response was acquired.
- Phobias: intense irrational fears of particular stimuli.
- Some acquired via classical conditioning.
- Subject to spontaneous recovery and renewal.
- The renewal effect may help to explain why people who have overcome their
phobias often experience a reappearance of their symptoms
- The renewal effect can be adaptive.
- Stimulus generalization: elicitation of a CR to stimuli that are highly similar to, but
not identical to, the CS.
- Generalization gradient - the more similar to the original CS the new CS
is, the stronger will be the CR.
- Stimulus discrimination: opposite of stimulus generalization; occurs when we
exhibit a CR to certain CSs, but not others.
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