Notes From Reading
CHAPTER 6: LEARNING
I. Classical Conditioning
1. Learning – relatively durable change in behavior or knowledge that is due to
experience. One of the most fundamental concepts in psych.
a.Incl. acquisition of knowledge and skills, shapes personal habits,
personality traits, emotional responses, personal preferences.
b. Conditioning – learning associations between events that occur in an
2. Phobias – irrational fears of specific objects or situations
3. Classical Conditioning – type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the
capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.
a.First demonstrated by Pavlov, known as Pavlovian conditioning
B. Pavlov’s Demonstration: “Psychic Reflexes”
1. Neutral Stimulus – does not provide the conditioned response initially.
2. Learned associations are formed by events in an organism’s environment
C. Terminology and Procedures
1. Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS) –stimulus that evokes an unconditioned
response without previous conditioning.
2. Unconditioned Response (UCR) – unlearned reaction to an unconditioned
stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning
3. Conditioned Stimulus (CS) – previously neutral stimulus that has, through
conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response.
4. Conditioned Response (CR) – learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that
occurs because of previous conditioning.
5. Classically conditioned responses have traditionally been characterized as
reflexes and are said to be elicited because most of them are relatively automatic
6. Trial – in classical conditioning, consists of any presentation of a stimulus of
any presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli.
D.Classical Conditioning In Everyday Life
1. Conditioned Fears
a.Classical conditioning is responsible for a great many irrational fears.
2. Other Conditioned Emotional Responses
a.Advertising campaigns try to use classical conditioning to pair products
with positive images.
3. Conditioning and Physiological Responses
a.Ader and Cohen – classical conditioning procedures can lead to
immunosuppression – decrease in the production of antibodies.
b. Classical conditioning can also elicit allergic reactions
c.Classical conditioning contributes to drug tolerance.
E.Basic Process in Classical Conditioning
1. Acquisition: Forming New Responses