PSYC 1200 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Token Economy, Edward Thorndike, Classical Conditioning

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Conditioning: involves learning associations between events that occur in an organisms
environment
Classical (Pavlovian) conditioning: a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the
capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus
Terminology and Procedures
Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without
previous conditioning
Unconditioned response (USR): an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that
occurs without previous conditioning
Conditioned stimulus (CS): a previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning,
aquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response
Conditioned response (CR): a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs
because of previous conditioning
Pavlov's psychic reflex came to be called the conditioned reflex
Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life
Stimuli that are consistently paired with the administration of drugs can acquire the
capacity to elicit conditioned responses in both humans and lab animals
o The conditioned responses often are just the opposite of the normal effects of the
drugs
o These opponent responses which have been seen as the result of conditioning with
narcotics, stimulants, and alcohol are called compensatory CRs because they partially
compensate for some drug effects
If drugs are taken in new ways or in new settings, these responses may not
occur
Risk of overdose is increased
Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning
Pavlov theorized that the acquisition of a CR depends on stimulus contiguity
Stimulus generalization: occurs 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
The more similar new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the generalization
Stimulus discrimination: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific
stimulus does not respond in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original
stimulus
The less similar new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the likelihood and ease of
discrimination
Higher-order conditioning: a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned
stimulus
Operant Conditioning
A form of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences
Thorndike's Law of Effect
Instrumental learning: another name for operant conditioning
o Introduced by Edward Thorndike
o Law of effect: if a response in the presence of a stimulus leads to satisfying effects,
the association between the stimulus and the response is strengthened
Skinner's Demonstration: It's all a Matter of Consequences
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