Psychology January 3, 5, 2012
What is learning?
Process by which experience produces relatively enduring change in
behavior or capabilities (knowledge)
- Is one of the mot fundamental concepts in psychology
- It shapes personal habits such as: nail biting, personality traits such as
fear of storms and personal preferences (types of clothes or taste of
How do we learn?
- Focused on how organisms learn
- Examined process by which experience influences behavior
- Discovered laws of learning that apply to virtually all organisms
- Treated organisms as tabula rasa (States that individuals are born with
mental content and that that content or knowledge comes from
experience and perception)
- Explained learning solely in terms of directly observable events
2 Types of Conditioning
1) Respondent (AKA classical or pavlovian) = Natural Responses, some
things we encounter in the world naturally elicit (draw out) a response
2) Operant (AKA Skinnerian or instrumental) = Taught Responding,
when we pair things that don’t have a value
Language of Respondent Conditioning
1) UCS (Unconditioned Stimulus) = Stimulus that elicits a reflective or
innate unconditioned response (UCR) without prior learning.
2) UCR (Unconditioned Response, Natural Response) = Reflexive or
innate response elicited by the UCS without prior learning.
3) CS (Conditioned Stimulus) = Stimulus that through association with
the UCS come to elicit a conditioned response similar to the original
4) CR (Conditioned Response) = UCR because have been said to be
automatic or involuntary responses. Getting a Response
- Natural responses are unconditioned responses evoked in responses to
an unconditional stimulus
Infant Natural Response Example
UCS USR= SMILE, Lip
Adult Natural Pairing
UCS USR= Pucker, brow
January 5, 2012
Phobias: Are irrational fears of specific objects or situations (shark phobia)
Classical Conditioning: Is a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires
the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another
- Classical conditioning plays a key role in shaping emotional responses
such as fear.
- Phobias can be one of the responses.
Conditioning and Physiological Responses
- Research has revealed that the functioning