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Lecture 1

PS102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Operant Conditioning, Classical Conditioning, Observational Learning

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Erin Strahan

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Chapter 6 Learning -
Classical Conditioning:
Learning - Change in behaviour due to experience
Conditioning - Association between environmental stimuli & the organism’s
Watson - Extreme environmentalism
- Could create any type of profession out of one person
- due to stimulus response relationships
Observational Learning Theories
- not just a change in behaviour, a change in knowledge
Classical Conditioning
Unconditioned response- An automatic, unlearned reaction
Conditioned response- A learned reaction
Unconditional stimulus- A stimulus that naturally triggers a response (Also known as
Conditioned stimulus- A stimulus introduced to trigger a response
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)------- Unconditioned Response(UR)
Unconditioned Stimulus (US) + Conditioned Response (CR) ---------
Unconditioned Response (UR)
Conditioned Stimulus (CS) ---------- Conditioned Response (CR)
In Pavlov’s dog’s:
Food (US) ---- Drool (UR)
Food (US) + Bell (CR) ---- Drool (UR)
Bell (CS) ---- Drool (CR)
- A previous neutral stimulus produces a response through association with a
stimulus already associated with a response
- neutral or unconditioned stimulus must occur before the conditioned
Principles of Classical Conditioning
- Extinction - weakening to eventual disappearance of a learned response
- Higher order conditioning - react to a new stimulus
- Stimulus generalization
- Stimulus discrimination - respond di1erently to two or more stimulus
Classical Conditioning in Real Life
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- Objects associated w/ positive feelings = Learning to Like
-Fear can be learned through association
ie. John Watson “Little Albert” study
Noise US
Rat NS + Noise US
Rat CS - stimulus for fear that wasn’t present before
- fear generalization spread the fear to other objects/ animals that resembled the white rats
Unlearning Fear
Counterconditioning - CS paired with a stimulus that gives a positive response (opposite)
ie. Rabbit paired with snacks
- similar to systematic desensitization
In research pairing drugs inducing nausea w/ liked foods can cause dislike
In real life, when you eat a food you like while sick you may not like it afterwards
Medical Treatments
- Cancer patients & chemotherapy- repeated association of treatment room (& other stimuli) with
the nauseas drug causes a conditioned stimuli
- Placebo effects is a form of classical conditioning
- Pairing an attractive celebrity w/ a product
- Pairing music, colours, backgrounds and words to elicit a positive reaction & associate it w/ the
advertised product
Sexual Arousal
- Rats in jackets experiment represents how fetishes can be created
- explains why lingerie, candles etc…. elicits sexual arousal
Operant Conditioning:
The process by which a response becomes more or less likely to occur depending on its
Consequences of Behaviour
Neutral Consequence - neither increases/ decreases probability of a recurring response
Reinforcement - Strengthens a response/ makes it more likely to recur
Punishment - Weakens a response/ makes it less likely to recur
- delivered immediately after behaviour
- You want them to occur again
-Primary Reinforcers satisfy a physiological need (eg. food)
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