PSYCH 1X03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Table Tennis, Video Lesson, Classical Conditioning

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Published on 20 Apr 2013
School
McMaster University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 1X03
Professor
Video Lecture Psych 1X03
Chapter 3: Classical Conditioning
Classical Conditioning 1
Classical Conditioning allows us to associate two related events
Instrumental Conditioning allows us to associate actions and consequences
Classical Conditioning
Ivan Pavlov
o Russian physiologist, 1890s and 1900s
o Foundations for classical conditioning
o Made observation dogs would salivate even before the delivery of food in their mouth, as if an early
step in the process of digestion was triggered even before the food stimulus arrives
o Experiment:
Sound of a metronome signaled to a dog that food was about to be delivered
Prior to training, the sound of the metronome has no observable effect on the dogs behavior
Following training, a dog would begin salivating in response to the sound of the metronome
alone behavior was called conditional reflex
Studying a contingent relationship
Contingent Relationship: The presentation of one stimulus reliably leads to the presentation of another
o Eg/ Flash of lightning before crash of thunder
o When an organism learns the association between a signal and an event a contingency has formed
between the two stimuli
o When a contingent relationship is learned, an organism can respond to the signal before the event
occurs
o Often preparatory in nature and can promote survival
Classical Conditioning: the learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later event that are
paired in time and/or space
Unconditioned Stimulus (US): Any stimulus or event; occurs naturally, automatically triggers a response prior
to learning
o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Food placed in dogs mouth
Unconditioned Response (UR): The response that occurs after the US; occurs naturally, prior to any learning
o Often a biologically programmed reflex or natural response
o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Salivation in the dogs mouth
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Paired with the unconditioned stimulus to produce a learned contingency;
previously neutral stimulus that after becoming associated with a US eventually comes to trigger a response of
its own
o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Sound of a metronome
The CS typically appears before the US
o May take several trials of training in which the CS and US are paired before the CS alone elicits a
response
When this occurs, the organism has learned a contingent relationship between the two stimuli
Conditioned Response (CR): The response that occurs once the contingency between the CS and US has been
learned
o Eg/ Pavlov Dog Experiment: Dog salivation at sound of
metronome
Acquisition
Acquisition: The process by which a contingency between a CS and US
is learned
o Pavlov characterized the process of acquisition as following a
negatively accelerating curve
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Video Lecture Psych 1X03
o Most learning happens during the early trials during each additional trial there is some learning, but
not as much as the early trials
o Special Case Rats
Developed special learning mechanisms for food selection to help them survive
Can learn the contingency between food and sickness in a single trial
Dietary Neophobia - Generally avoid unfamiliar food to avoid eating poison
When rats try new food, they only consume small quantities they are able to effectively
pinpoint specific food with illness so that they will not consume that food again
US Sickness from food, UR Aversion CS Taste, CR Aversion
Extinction
If conditions chance such that the CS is no longer a reliable cue for the US, the CR will eventually fade
Extinction: The loss o the CR when the CS no longer predicts the US
o Presenting the CS alone (without the US) repeatedly over many trials
o At first, the CS will elicit a CR but over several trials, the CS will elicit a CR that is weaker and weaker
until it eventually disappears
Unlearning or new learning?
o Spontaneous Recovery suggests that extinction involves a new inhibitory learned response
CS is presented repeatedly (without the US) until the CR fades but following rest periods, the
CS is presented once more and it once again elicits a CR
Suggests that original learned association between the CS and US is not unlearned
Rather, extinction seems to promote a learned inhibitory response that competes with the
original learned contingency
Classical Conditioning 2
Fundamentals to Classical Conditioning are vital to learning new information this type of learning is an
adaptative process which helps an organism to survive
Generalization and Discrimination
Stimulus Generalization: Classical conditioning of learned responses to a variety of different stimuli; during
training, one specific CS may be paired with a US to produce a contingency stimuli similar to the CS will often
also produce a CR
o Eg/ Child bitten by black dog sight of any dog elicits a fear response, even though you haven’t been
bitten by this type of dog
o CR can be measured in humans through Galvanic Skin Response
o CR can be measured in animals by freezing behavior
Eg/ CS 500 Hz tone, paired with mild electric shock
eventually the presentation of the 500 Hz tone CS
alone will lead to a fear CR
o Graph shows fear response (CR) along the
spectrum of different tones
Normal distribution generalization
gradient
Strongest CR is elicited by the original
500 Hz training CS
Farther you get from 500 Hz, weaker
level of fear
Stimulus Generalization adds flexibility and efficiency
to classical conditioning
If a US is potentially harmful, you will not require
separate conditioning experiences to learn that
relationship you will generalize your learning to avoid similar CS’s that cue potential danger
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Video Lecture Psych 1X03
Graph
o Red line represents an established generalization
gradient
o During extinction training, the subject is exposed to the
training CS in the absence of the US
o If we test a variety of CS’s to construct a generalization
gradient, our data fit the blue line
o The strength of the CR is flattened along the original
red generalization gradient curve
o The largest loss in the strength of the CR is actually for
the original CS (which originally elicited the strongest
CR)
o The generalized CR to non-training stimuli is also
diminished
Stimulus Discrimination compliment to stimulus generalization
o Stimulus Generalization allows a variety of CS’s to elicit a CR to some degree
Provides efficiency and flexibility
Eg/ Dog bit you as a child: Show you a picture of the dog that bit you without the US (bite)
o Stimulus Discrimination restricts the range of CS’s that can elicit a CR
Refines the learning process
Eg/ Dog bit you as a child: Show you a picture of a dog unlike the one that bit you without the
US, then slowly get closer to the dog that bit you
CS+ and CS-
CS+ stimulus predicts the presence of a US
o Eg/ Antelope shows fear response and predicts that a lion is coming based on sights, smells and sounds
signaling a lion
CS- stimulus predicts the absence of the US
o Eg/ Antelope shows no fear response that a lion is coming based on time of day indicated by the sun,
presence of other animals etc
Phobias and Therapies
Phobia: An exaggerated, intense and persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things or people
Implosive Therapy an individual with a particular phobia is encouraged to confront the fear CS that evokes
their anxiety
o CS is presented in the absence of the associated US
Eg/ Germ phobia sit with their hands in dirt for as long as possible
o May lead to extinction of the CR but can be traumatic
o Requires patient to voluntarily endure anxiety before extinction begins; some patients may be
unwilling or unable to complete the treatment
Systematic Desensitization gradual exposure to the feared CS; begin with extinguishing a CS at the far end of
the generalization gradient, working their way to the middle of the curve
o Eg/ Germ phobia sit with their hands in confetti, working their way toward dirt
o Requires patient to voluntarily endure anxiety before extinction begins; some patients may be
unwilling or unable to complete the treatment
Drug Treatment
o Eg/ Alcoholics and Antabuse antabuse produces extreme sickness if alcoholic slips up and drinks
alcohol; sickness caused by mixing antabuse and alcohol will be associated with drinking behavior and
avoided in the future
Alcoholics could simply not take antabuse, and drink
Homeostasis and Compensation
Homeostasis body is actively working trying to keep body processes within strict parameters
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Document Summary

Classical conditioning allows us to associate two related events. Sound of a metronome signaled to a dog that food was about to be delivered. Prior to training, the sound of the metronome has no observable effect on the dogs behavior. Following training, a dog would begin salivating in response to the sound of the metronome alone behavior was called conditional reflex. Classical conditioning: the learning of a contingency between a particular signal and a later event that are paired in time and/or space. Unconditioned stimulus (us): any stimulus or event; occurs naturally, automatically triggers a response prior to learning: eg/ pavlov dog experiment: food placed in dogs mouth. Unconditioned response (ur): the response that occurs after the us; occurs naturally, prior to any learning: often a biologically programmed reflex or natural response, eg/ pavlov dog experiment: salivation in the dogs mouth.

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