Modules 20, 21, 32: Psychology Lecture Four
1)Classical conditioning (Pavlov was a major psychologist related to the study of this): Learning to
expect and prepare for significant events such as hunger or pain. Learned associations between things
that are not naturally associated.
-Drooling when food is presented to a dog is an unconditioned response. If a tone is associated with
food and the tone begins to trigger drooling, this is a conditioned response.
Five major classical conditioning processes:
Acquisition: Neutral stimulus is linked to unconditioned stimulus so that the neutral stimulus starts to
trigger the conditioned response.
-In higher order conditioning, a conditioned stimulus can be paired with a new neutral stimulus causing
a second conditioned stimulus, therefore meaning a neutral stimulus can become a conditioned
stimulus if it becomes associated with a previously conditioned stimulus.
Extinction and Spontaneous Recovery: Diminished response when conditioned stimulus no longer
-After waiting however, conditioned response would reappear meaning the extinction was only
suppressing the response, not eliminating it
Generalization: Tendency to respond to stimuli similar to the conditioned stimuli.
Example: Fudge shaped like dog poo will evoke a disgusted response.
Discrimination: Ability to distinguish between a conditioned stimuli and irrelevant stimuli.
Example: Reaction to a guard dog as opposed to a guide dog
Applications of Pavlov's work: Drug users advised to stay away from places they associate with drug
Advertising, Taste aversion, anticipatory nausea
-Pavlov's work provided basis for Watson's idea that human emotions and behaviours are mainly a
bundle of conditioned responses.
2)Operant conditioning (Skinner was main psychologist behind this ): Learning to repeat acts that bring
rewards and avoid acts that bring unwanted results .
-Law of effect states rewarded behaviour is likely to occur.
Successive approximations: Reward of responses that are ever-closer to final desired behaviour can
shape behaviours. -Example: Animal trainers use this to have animals do certain tricks.
Two kinds of reinforcement (reinforcement is any consequence that strengthens behaviour)
Positive reinforcement: Add desirable stimulus like petting a dog when it comes to you
Negative reinforcement: Remove an aversive stimulus like taking painkillers to end pain.
-Strengthens response by reducing or removing something negative.
Types of re-enforcers:
Primary and Conditioned Re-enforcers: Primary re-enforcers are unlearned.
-Conditioned re-enforcers get power through association with primary re-enforcers.
Immediate and Delayed Re-enforcers: Delayed gratification like a paycheck at the end of the month. Reinforcement Schedules:
Continuous reinforcement: Learning occurs rapidly, but is not common in every day life. Extinction
occurs rapidly as well.
Partial reinforcement: Efforts occasionally rewarded. Slower to appear, but more resistant to extinction.
1.Fixed ratio schedules: Reinforcement of behaviour after a set number of responses
2.Variable ratio schedule: Re-enforcers provided after unpredictable number of responses.
Example: Slot machine players
3.Fixed interval schedules: Reinforcement for first response after a fixed period of time.
4.Variable interval schedules: Reinforcement for first response after varying time intervals.
-Generally, response rates are higher when reinforcement is linked to number of responses (ratio
schedule) as opposed to time (interval schedule).
-However, responding is more consistent when reinforcement is unpredictable (variable schedule) as
opposed to predictable (fixed schedule).
Punishment: Decreases frequency of associated behaviour.
3)Cognitive learning: Learning new behaviours through observation and communication even if we have
never experienced it ourselves
Learned association: Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence which feeds habitual
-Linking two events that occur close together is associative learning.
BASIC MOTIVATIONAL CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION AND HUNGER
Motivation: Need or desire that energizes a