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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Dan Meegan

Module 20 Classical Conditioning Basics - 278-279 • Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) • Classical Conditioning - a type of learning in which one learns to link two or more stimuli and anticipated events. • His ideas laid the foundation for man of psychologist John B. Watson's ideas. • Watson urged his colleagues to discard reference to inner thoughts, feelings and motives. The science of psychology should instead study how organisms respond to stimuli in their environments. • Pavlov's direction came from an incidental observation - without fail, putting food in a dog's mouth caused the animal to salivate. • The dog began to salivate at the sight of food, the sight of the food dish, the sight of the delivery, and the sound of the delivery. • Pavlov began to imagine what the dog was thinking and feeling as it drooled in anticipation of the food. • To explore more, they experimented. • To eliminate other influences, they isolated the dog in a small room, secured it to a harness, and attached a device to divert its saliva to a measuring instrument. • They then presented food from the next room - sliding it in a food bowl, then later blowing meat powder into the dogs mouth. • They paired the neutral stimuli (NS) - events the dog could see or hear but didn't associate with food - with food in the dog's mouth. • Just before placing food in the dog's mouth to produce salivation, Pavlov sounded a tone. After several pairings of tone and food, the dog began salivating to the tone alone. • A dog does not learn to salivate in response to the food in its mouth - food in the mouth automatically, unconditionally, triggers a dog's salivary reflex. • Thus, Pavlov called the drooling an unconditioned response (UR). • He called the food an unconditioned stimulus (US). • Salivation in response to the stone is learned - because it is conditional upon the dog's associating the tone and the food, we call this response the conditioned response (CR). • The stimulus that used to be neutral (the tone previously meant nothing but then creates salivation) is the conditioned stimulus (CS). • NS = Neutral Stimulus • US = Unconditioned Stimulus • UR = Unconditioned Response • CS = Conditioned Stimulus • CR = Conditioned Response Conditioning Processes - 280-283 • Acquisition is the initial stage, when one links a neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus begins triggering the conditioned response. • Through Higher-order Conditioning, a new neutral stimulus can become a new conditioned stimulus. If a tone regularly signals food and produces salivation, then a light that becomes associated with the tone may also begin to trigger salivation. • Extinction is the diminished responding that occurs when the CS (tone) no longer signals an impending US (food). • Spontaneous Recovery is the reappearance of a weakened CR after a pause. • Generalization is the tendency, once a response has been conditioned, for a stimuli similar to the conditioned stimulus to elicit similar responses - EXAMPLE: a dog conditioned to salivate when rubbed would also drool a bit when scratched. • Discrimination is the learned ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimulus and a stimuli that do not signal an unconditioned stimulus. EXAMPLE: confronted by a guard dog = heart race, confronted by a guide dog = no heart race. Applications of Classical Conditioning - 283-284 • Used to influence human health and well-being through areas like consciousness, motivation, emotion, health, psychological disorders and therapy. • Examples: • Former drug users feel cravings when they are again in the drug-using context (with people or in places they associate with previous highs) - drug counsellors advise addicts to steer clear of people or setting that may trigger these cravings. • Immune system - when a particular taste accompanies a drug that influences immune system responses, the taste by itself may come to produce an immune response. • "Little Albert" feared loud noises. When Little Albert was presented a white rat, as Albert went to touch it, a hammer was struck against a steel bar behind his head. • After seven repeats of seeing the rat and hearing the noise, Albert burst into tears at the sight of the rat. • Five days later, this fear moved onto rabbits, a dog, and a fur coat. • A man, who for 30 years had a fear of going into elevators alone, followed his therapists advice - force yourself into an elevator 20 times a day. Within 10 days, his fear was mostly gone. Module 21 Operant Conditioning: Reinforcement - 286-289 • Operant Conditioning is a type of learning in which behaviour is strengthened if followed by a reinforce or diminished if followed by a punisher. • A form of associative learning - learning that certain events occur together. • B. F. Skinner (1904-1990) • His work elaborated on Edward L. Thorndike, called the law of effect - rewarding behaviour is likely to recur. • He developed a behavioural technology that revealed principles of behavioural control. • Designed the operant chamber (skinner box) - a box which has a bar that an animal presses or a key that an animal pecks to release a reward of food or water. It has a device to record these responses. • Concept of reinforcement: any event that strengthens a preceding response. • To get the animal to do something, you tease it out of them with shaping - the researcher guides behavio
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