Chapter 14: Procedures Based on Principles of Respondent Conditioning
Operant conditioning: process of strengthening it by reinforcement or weakening it by punishment; operant
b = b that’s modified/controlled by it’s consequences.
Eg) putting gas in car, asking for directions, writing an exam, turning TV on, and making breakfast
Though, it doesn’t account for reflexive behaviours
Respondent behaviours: behaviours elicited by prior stimuli and aren’t affected by their consequences.
Eg) salivating when smelling dinner cooking, feeling frightened when watching horror, blushing, etc.
Aka Pavlovian conditioning
Principle of respondent conditioning: if a stimulus (e.g. bell sound) is followed closely in time by US
(e.g. food in mouth) that elicits a UR (e.g. salivation), then the previously neutral stimulus (bell sound)
will also elicit that response (salivation) in the future.
Unconditioned reflex: a stimulus-response relationship in which a stimulus automatically elicits a
response apart from any prior learning. Examples:
Conditioned reflex: S-R relationship where stimulus elicits an R due to prior respondent conditioning. Eg) if a salivation response were in fact conditioned to a bell sound, that S-R relationship =
Unconditioned stimulus (US): stimulus that elicits an R w/out prior learning (e.g. food in mouth)
Unconditioned response (UR): an R w/out prior learning/conditioning (e.g. salivation)
Conditioned stimulus (CS): stimulus that elicits a response bc that stimulus has been paired w/ another
stimulus that elicits that response (e.g a bell sound that elicits salivation after multiple pairings w/ food)
Conditioned response (CR): a response elicited by a CS (e.g. salivation upon hearing the bell sound)
5 variables that influence the development of a conditioned reflex:
1. The more the number of pairings of a CS w/ US, the more likely is the ability of the CS to elicit
the CR until a max strength of the CR has been reached.
Eg) A higher degree of fear is elicited from seeing a dog if that same dog has scared you
multiple times rather than once.
2. Stronger conditioning occurs if the CS precedes the US by about ½ second rather than by a
longer time or rather than following the US
eg) when a child sees a dog and the dog immediately barks, the sight of the dog becomes CS
and fear becomes CR.
Backward conditioning: When CS is after US.
Eg)when the loud bark’s first and seeing the dog follows, fear is conditioned by the bark and
not the dog sighting.
3. A CS gets a more likely ability to elicit a CR if the CS is always paired w/ the US than if it is
only occasionally paired with the US
Eg) seeing a dog will more likely elicit fear if the dog always barks after being sighted (dog
sighting = strong CS), rather than if the dog occasionally barks (dog sighting = weak CS).
4. When several neutral stimuli precede a US, the stimulus that is most consistently associated w/
the US is the one most likely to become a strong CS.
if lighting always precedes thunder, and dark clouds only occasionally precedes thunder, a
child will acquire a stronger fear of lighting than of dark clouds because due to its more
5. Respondent conditioning will develop more quickly and strongly when the CS or US or both are
intense rather than weak
Bright lightning + loud thunder = stronger fear; Weak lightning + weak thunder = weaker
fear; Weak lightning + strong thunder = weaker fear; Strong lightning + weak thunder =
Higher order conditioning: procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus by being
paired w/ another conditioned stimulus instead of w/ an unconditioned stimulus.
Conditioning of the first order
The procedure is basically Classical conditioning.
US (food) elicits UR (salivation) Over several pairings with US(f