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PSYC 1010 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Classical Conditioning, Contiguity, Drug Tolerance

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis
Study Guide

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Psych Notes for Test 2:
Chapter 6 Learning
-phobias are irrational fears of specific objects or situations and are often a
result from another learning process called classical conditioning
-learning refers to a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge
that is due to experience
-one of the most fundamental concepts in psych
-learning includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills but also shapes
personal habits, personality traits, and personal preferences
-conditioning involves learning associations between events that occur in an
organism’s environment
-classical conditioning is a type of learning in which stimulus acquires the
capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus
-also called Pavlovian conditioning
-conditioning comes from Pavlovs determination to discover the “conditions
that produce this kind of learning
-Pavlov’s Demonstration: Psychic Reflexes:
-Pavlov was a Russian physiologist
-he was studying the role of saliva in the digestive process of dogs when he
stumbled onto the psychic reflexes
-he would present meat powder and collect the resulting saliva
-he noticed that dogs accustomed to the procedure would start salivating
before the meat was presented; for example when they heard the clicking
sound of the machine that was used to present the meat
-he then used a bell noise with the meat and after some time the sound alone
would cause the dogs to salivate
-the tone started out as a neutral stimulus but managed to change by pairing
it with the stimulus (meat) that did produce salivation

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-he demonstrated how learned associations were formed
-unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus that evokes an
unconditioned response without previous conditioning
-unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an
unconditional stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning
-example: bond between meat and salivation
-conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has,
through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response
-conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus
that occurs because of previous conditioning
-example: link between the tone and salivation
-the conditional and unconditional response often consist of the same
-Pavlov’s psychic reflexes came to be called conditional reflexes
-classically conditioned responses have been characterized as reflexes and are
said to be elicited (drawn forth) because most of them are involuntary
-a trial in classical conditioning consists of any presentation of a stimulus
or pair of stimuli
-psychologists are interested in how many trials are required to establish a
particular conditioned bond
-classical conditioning affects not only overt behaviours but physiological
processes as well (immune system)
-classical conditioning can lead to immunesuppression a decrease in the
production of antibodies
-studies suggest that classically conditioning can also elicit allergic reactions
and to the growth of drug tolerance

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-it can also influence sexual arousal (example: quails have had a sexual
arousal from a neutral stimulus such as red light, when paired with
opportunities to mate)
-drug tolerance involves a gradual decline in responsiveness to a drug with
repeated use, so larger doses are required to get the effect
-Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning:
-acquisition refers to the initial stage of learning something
-Pavlov theorized that acquisition of a conditioned response depends on a
stimulus contiguity stimuli are contiguous if they occur together in time and
-stimulus contiguity is important but we now know that contiguity alone
doesnt automatically produce conditioning
-extinction: the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditional
-the consistent presentation of the conditioned stimulus alone, without the
unconditioned stimulus, leads to extinction
-example: Pavlov consistently presented the tone with no food and
eventually it stopped making them salivate
-spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of an extinguished response
after a period of nonexposure to the conditioned stimulus
-renewal effect: suggests that extinction somehow suppresses a conditioned
response rather than erasing a learned association; in other words, extinction
does not appear to lead to unlearning
-stimulus generalization occur when an organism that has learned a
response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that
are similar to the original stimulus
-example: woman scared of specific bridge from childhood now has a
phobia of all bridges
-basic law: the more similar the new stimuli are to the original CS, the
greater the generalization
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