Respondent conditioning in everyday life: 1) Conditioned emotional responses. 2)Physiological
reactions. 3) Substance use and abuse. 4) Cancer treatment reactions. 5) Learning positive reactions
Factors and phenomena in respondent conditioning: 1) CS-US timing and intensity. 2) Relevance of the
CS to the US. 3) Overshadowing, blocking and latent inhibition. 4) Second order conditioning. 5)
Discrimination, generalization and extinction.
Preparing to change a respondent behavior: 1) Assessing respondent behaviors. 2) Functional
assessment of respondent behaviors.
Respondent conditioning in everyday life
Conditioned emotional responses: CR is an emotion (e.g. fear or anger). Researchers distinguish
between two categories of fear: 1) Phobia. 2) Anxiety. The book uses fear interchangeably for these two
Phobia: Intense and irrational fear of something specific
Anxiety: Fear that has a vague or unspecified source.
Role of direct and indirect experience in CERs
Direct CERs: When individual experiences CS and US firsthand.
Indirect CERs: When individual acquires a CER by observing other people in fearful situations (modeling)
or by receiving fearful information about a situation
Inborn processes and CERs
Role of biological processes in people’s development of CERs: Genetic twin studies confirmed in
identical twins that fear was a genetic factor.
Examples of respondent conditioning:
2. Chronic low back pain
3. Immune system functioning
Substance use and abuse
Operant conditioning: Effects on substance use occur in two ways: 1. Positive reinforcement: Receiving pleasant mood states. E.g. high.
2. Negative reinforcement: Removes unpleasant symptoms. E.g. stress, anxiety, headache.
Respondent condition: Effects on substance use occur in two ways:
1. Develops CS Produces internal CRs (e.g. physiological reactions)
2. Tolerance Adaptation to substance; requires larger doses for same effect.
a. Deaths associated with overdose seem to occur when tolerance to high doses
temporarily fails; perhaps due to change in environment
Respondent techniques against substance abuse:
1. Emetic therapy; treats alcohol abuse by having individual take a drug (emetic) that induces
nausea as a UR when alcohol is consumed. Alcohol becomes a CS and nausea becomes a CR.
Cancer treatment reactions
Taste aversion learning: Associating foods with becoming sick .
Learned food aversion: A food becomes distasteful because person associates it as a CS with the US of
becoming sick. This is a common side effect of chemotherapy.
Anticipatory nausea: Drug is US, nausea is UR and CR. Absence of drug may lead to CR by thinking about
Learning positive reactions
Learning positive reactions: We can learn positive reactions just as easily as negative reactions to
respondent conditioning of a neutral stimulus to a conditioned stimulus and conditioned response
Factors and phenomena in respondent conditioning
Development of respondent conditioning and strength of resulting respondent behavior: Affected by:
CS-US timing and intensity: Neutral stimulus and unconditioned stimulus must occur close enough in
time to allow the individual to connect the two. The intensity of the stimulus also results in a stronger
association between NS and US.
Relevance of the CS to the US: Some combinations of pairs develop CS-US associations faster than other
either because of: 1) Prior learning or 2) Genetic factors
Overshadowing, blocking and latent inhibition: In real life respondent conditioning, the US occurs in a
context of many neutral stimuli, any of which could become a CS. E.g. if you were drowning, neutral
stimuli could include: seeing water, feeling water, hearing splashes, smelling water, tasting water.
Factors determining which NS CS:
1. Overshadowing; the most prominent stimulus will become the strongest CS in eliciting the CR. 2. Blocking; an existing CS prevents other stimuli from becoming effective signals for the US
3. Latent inhibition; prior experience with a potential CS in neutral circumstances (i.e. without a US)
makes later respondent conditioning involving that stimulus more difficult. E.g. having
experience with nice dogs fear in dogs less likely to develop.
Second order conditioning
First order conditioning: When conditioning occurs with a US
Second order conditioning: When conditioning occurs with a strong CS (in the absence of US) and
develops the ability to elicit a CR.
Second order conditioning vs second order blocking: Second order blocking: An established CS is paired
with a potential CS in the presence of the US. The potential CS does not develop the ability to elicit the
CR. Why is it in the presence of US?
Discrimination, generalization and extinction
Discrimination: Discriminate between different antecedent stimuli and respond differently toward them.
In respondent conditioning, the CS is the antecedent and people learn to discriminate between a
particular CS and other potential antecedents.
Generalization: Tend to respond to antecedents that are similar to the CS
Extinction: Two meanings: 1) A procedure or condition in which a CS is presented repeatedly without
the US it had been paired with during conditioning. 2) A process in which the likelihood of the CR
decreases when the US no longer occurs with the CS.
Preparing to change a respondent behavior
Assessing respondent behaviors: Like in operant behaviors, we need to measure the behavio