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Lecture

PS102 Lecture Notes - B. F. Skinner, Operant Conditioning Chamber, Edward Thorndike


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PS102
Professor
Bruce Mc Kay

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CHAPTER 6: Learning
Learning- refers to a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge that is due to experience
- one of the most fundamental aspects of psychology
- acquisition of knowledge and skills
- shapes personal habits and preferences, personality traits, emotional responses and much of our
behaviour
oAcquisition: the initial stage of learning something
oExtinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency
oStimulus Generalization: an organism’s responding to stimuli other than the original
stimulus used in conditioning
oStimulus Discrimination: an organism’s response to stimuli that are similar to the
original stimulus used in conditioning
Conditioning- learning associations between events that occur in an organism’s environment. There are
three main types of conditioning, they are…
1. CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
…a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally
evoked by another stimulus
- stimuli precede the response
Pavlovian Conditioning- established by Ivan Pavlov determine classical conditioning
- used dogs in his experiment:
otone (CS or neutral stimulus) was given at the presence of meat powder (UCS or
stimulus) detect salivation
owould eventually salivate in the presence of the tone alone
- this demonstrated learned associations, were formed by events in an organism’s environment
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)- a stimulus that evokes an unconditional response without previous
conditioning
-unconditioned response (UCR)- an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs
without previous conditioning
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)- a previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired the
capacity to evoke a conditioned response
-conditioned response (CR)- a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of
previous conditioning
Physic Reflex or Conditioned Reflex- most reflexes are relatively automatic or involuntary
Trial- consists of any presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli
- psychologists are concerned for how many trials are required to establish a particular conditioned
bond
Emotional Response:
- conditioned fears can be traced back to experiences that involve classical conditioning
- pleasant smell associations
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Physiological Response:
- immune system lead to immuno-suppression (a decrease in the production of antibodies)
- allergic reactions
- drug tolerance (pre-drug cues elicit a CCR that attenuates the drug effect) CCR strengthens
Acquisition:
- depends on stimulus contiguity stimuli are contiguous if they occur together in the same place
- CS + UCS CR
Extinction:
- consistent presentation of conditioned stimulus alone, without the unconditioned stimulus
-spontaneous recovery- the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of non-
exposure to the conditioned stimulus
-renewal effect- extinction does not appear to lead to unlearning
- CR (alone) until it no longer elicits CR
Stimulus Generalization:
- the more similar new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the generalization
- graph form: generalization gradients
- CR elicited by new stimulus that resembles original CS
Stimulus Discrimination:
- the original CS continue to be paired with the UCS, while similar stimuli not be paired with the
UCS
Higher-order Conditioning- a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned stimulus
- built on the foundation of already established conditioned responses
- classical conditioning- does not depend on the presence of genuine, natural UCS
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