Summary of Chapter 6

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Steve Joordens

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Chapter 6 6.1: Classical Conditioning: Learning by Association Learning: is a process by which behavior or knowledge changes as a result of experience. Associative Learning: When we associate certain events with different symbols. For example associating certain holidays with specific sights, sounds or smells. This is another type of learning. Pavlov’s Dogs: Classical Conditioning of Salivation pavlov studied digestion-->used dogs as model--> collected saliva when presented w/ meat powder--> dog began salivating even before the meat was presented--> new experiment to salivary response--> presented a sound from a metronome and then presented the meat powder--> After a few times, the dog began to salivate when he heard the metronome--> this is called classical conditioning Classical Conditioning: learning that occurs when a neutral stimulus elicits a response that was originally caused by another stimulus. This is also referred to as Pavlovian conditioning. - in Pavlov’s experiment, the neutral stimulus was the sound Neutral Stimulus: A neutral stimulus is a stimulus which initially produces no specific response other than focusing attention. In classical conditioning, when used together with an unconditioned stimulus, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus. Stimulus: an external event or cue that elicits a response. Examples are food, water, pain and sexual contact Unconditioned Stimulus (US): a stimulus that elicits a reflexive response without learning Unconditioned Response (UR): a reflexive reaction to an unconditioned stimulus. - link bwtween US and UR is, by definition, unlearned - Examples of unconditioned stimulus and response relationships include: - flinching (UR) in response to a loud sound (US) - blinking (UR) in response to a puff of air in the eye (US) Conditioned Stimulus (CS): a once neutral stimulus that elicits a conditioned response because it has a history of being paired with an unconditioned stimulus Conditioned Response (CR): the learned response that occurs to the conditioned stimulus. - In Pavlov’s experiment, the sound was originally a neutral stimulus because it didn’t elicit a response. But, after the dog associated the sound with the food and, began salivating even before the food was presented, the sound became a CS - Before, the stimulus was the meat but slowly, the stimulus became the sound which is now CS. To know that conditioning has taken place, the sound (CS) must elicit salvation, instead of the food (US). - The difference between UR and CR is the stimulus that elicits it. In Pavlov’s experiment they are both salvation. Salvation is a UR if it occurs in response to a US (food). Salvation is a CR if it occurs in response to a CS (sound). Processes of Classical Conditioning Acquisition, Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery - Conditioned responses involve reflexive actions, but can also be pretty flexible - Conditioned responses may be very strong and reliable if the CS and the US have a long history. For example, in the easy button video shown in class, the longer the roommate pressed the easy button and threw the slingshot at his friend, the more likely it is for the friend to flinch after the easy button is pressed, but the slingshot isn’t thrown. Here the CS is easy button and the US is slingshot. Acquisition: is the initial phase of learning in which a response is established. This is the phase the neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with the US. A critical part of acquisition is the predictability with which the CS (tone) and US (food) occur together Extinction: the loss or weakening of a conditioned response when a conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus no longer occur together. - CS and US may not always occur together. So extinction may occur. If the tone is no longer a reliable a reliable predictor of food, then salvation becomes unnecessary. Spontaneous Recovery: the recurrence of a previously extinguished conditioned response, typically after some time has passed since extinction. - The fact that responses can be spontaneously recovered suggests that extinction does not result in “forgetting”. Rather, the opposite occurs. Extinction= learning something new. eg. in Pavlov’s experiment, as time passed, the dog would begin to salivate when it entered the room where the food was given. The sound and food conditioned response was gone, or extinct. However, the dog has learned to associate the room and the food. Therefore, it has learned that the sound wsa no longer a reliable stimulus for predicting food. - Spontaneous recovery and extinction are evidence that classically conditioned responses can change once they are acquired. Stimulus Generalization and Discrimination Stimulus Generalization: a process in which a response that originally occurs to a specific stimulus also occurs to different, though similar stimuli - In Pavlov’s experiment, the dog did not just salivate to the familiar sound, but other similar sounds as well Discrimination: occurs when an organism learns to respond to one original stimulus but not to new stimuli that may be similar to the original stimulus. - Pavlov’s dogs also showed discrimination. Applications of Classical Conditioning Conditioned Emotional Responses Conditioned Emotional Responses: consist of emotional and physiological responses that develop to a specific object or situation. - Watson and Rayner conducted a study and 11- month child, Albert. They showed him a white rat, but Albert was not scared if it. Then while Albert was in site of the rat, they startled him but striking a steel bar with a hammer. The child then showed conditioned emotional response to the rat. - Another example: Boy touching cat + cat scratching boy = fear of cat (conditioned emotional response. Generalization may occur (boy us scared of all cats) - An experiment was done to see fear conditioning. An image or sound and then shock would follow. Normal patients would associate the image/ sound and the pain coming from the shock. However, psychopathy patients did not respond at all. - fear of snakes is learning, as children are curious about them when they are younger. - snake pictures + electric shock = palm sweating which is the skin conductance response. Palm sweating = unconditioned response. This reaction occurs when bodies are aroused by threatening/ uncomfortable stimulus - snake is CS and skin conductance response is CR - less threatening photos were shown, along with shock as a comparison study. There were much less intense conditioned responding developed in response to pictures of flowers, even though the pictures had been paired up with the same number of shocks. Therefore we are taught to be afraid snakes. - snakes gave a bigger conditioned response than guns did and conditional arousal to snake photos last longer and are slower to extinguish Preparedness: refers to biological predisposition to rapidly learn a response to a particular class of stimuli - this fits in the case of the fear of snakes and guns. We learn to fear snakes faster than guns. - - evolutionary perspective- over time people have learned to fear an animal (snake) that cause injuries and death. Survival advantage has gone to those who were quick to learn to avoid snakes. Flowers don’t harm and guns are a new in our history. Conditioned Taste Aversions - food aversions is an example of biological factors influencing classical conditioning Conditioned Taste Aversion: is the acquired dislike or disgust of a food or drink because it was paired with illness. In this case, CS is the taste which causes the illness (US).Getting sick is the UR. The CR is the nausea and other signs of disgust in response to CS - may develop through food poisoning, flu, medical procedures or excessive intoxication - only certain types of stimuli can get a response for developing conditioned taste aversions - humans are prepared to associate food and illness but not food and sound - most food conditioning happens when the CS (taste) and the US (illness) occur very closely together. Eg. in food poisoning, the sickness will start to set in hours after eating. - taste aversions are learned quickly. Single CS- US pairing is enough Latent Inhibition: occurs when frequent experience with a stimulus before it is paired with a US makes it less likely that conditioning will occur after a single episode of illness - if the person is familiar with the taste but one day gets sick because of the taste, is less likely to develop conditioned taste aversions. Same thing with fear. if a child is scratched by a child who was friendly for years, is less likely to develop a fear of cats. Learning Without Awareness Drug Use and Tolerance - classical conditioning= craving and tolerance in drugs. eg. cigarette lighter, smell of tobacco, or presence of another smoker can elicit cravings - tolerance= more use of drugs= decreased reaction. This leads people to more drugs *Conditioned Drug Tolerance: involves physiological responses in preparation for drug administration - The body begins to associating environmental cues to the drug itself. eg. when a person takes heroin in a certain room with a specific set of paraphernalia and rituals for injection. This is when the conditioned drug tolerance develops. Overtime, more drug is needed to override these preparatory responses to that desired effect can be obtained. Sexual Arousal - in male quails, they copulate with inanimate objects (CS) even though the sexual opportunities have long since vanished. Therefore, the responses resist the process of extinction. - fetish involves the attachment to something. Some fetishes involve leather, lace, showes, boots, and undergarments, none of which elicit unconditioned sexual responses. - an object and sexual acts can be paired up. This is a sexual fetish Conditioning and Traumatic Brain Injury - minimal brain function can be conditioned - can’t report on anything but there response is demonstrated by a an eye blink The Paradox of “Diet” Beverages - artificially sweetened be
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