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Chapter 14

CHAPTER 14 – PROCEDURES BASED ON PRINCIPLES OF RESPONDANT CONDITIONING.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYB45H3
Professor
Jessica Dere
Semester
Winter

Description
CHAPTER 14 – PROCEDURES BASED ON PRINCIPLES OF RESPONDANT CONDITIONING MAKING WORDS “UNPLEASANT” • Sue was part of an experimental research where she had been asked to memorize all the terms on the screen • However, every time the word “large” appeared, it was followed by a shock and a loud noise • As a result of pairing the word “large” with the mild shock and a loud sound, hearing the word large itself now caused Sue to feel anxious • She then rated “large” as the most unpleasant word Operant versus Respondent Behavior • Operant conditioning: the process of strengthening a behavior by reinforcing it or weakening it by punishing it. o In other words, it is a behavior that is modified by its consequences • Reinforcers: consequences that cause a behavior to increase • Punishers: consequences that cause a behavior to decrease • Operant behaviors: behaviors that operate on the environment to generate consequences, and are in turn controlled by those consequences o Example: putting gas in your car, asking for directions, turning on a TV, and making breakfast • Respondent behaviors: are behaviors elicited by prior stimuli and are not affected by their consequences; like Sue’s anxious feelings are reflexive behaviors o Example: salivating when smelling dinner cooking, feeling frightened when watching a scary movie, blushing when told your fly is undone, and becoming sexually aroused when watching X- rated movies Principle of Respondent Conditioning • Respondent conditioning is based on unconditioned reflexes • Unconditioned reflex: is a stimulus response relationship in which a stimulus automatically elicits a response apart from any prior learning; “hard-wired” or “inborn” o Example: page 169 • Unconditioned Stimulus (US): a stimulus that elicits a response without any prior learning or conditioning o Example: In the experiment with Sue, the mild shock and loud sounds were US’s • Unconditioned Response (UR): a response elicited by an unconditioned stimulus o Example: In the experiment, Sue’s anxious feelings and GSR to the shock were UR’s Respondent Conditioning • Neutral stimuli: stimuli that do no elicit it o Example: assume that a particular stimulus (Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony)  is neutral with respect to the response of salivation in the sense that it  doesn’t elicit a salivation in a particular individual • Respondent conditioning/ Pavlovian conditioning/ Classical conditioning: states  that if a stimulus (Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony) is followed closely in time by an  US (food in the mouth) that elicits a UR (salivation), then the previously neutral  stimulus (Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony) will also tend to elicit that response  (salivation) in the future; it will take more then one pairing before it would elicit  any noticeable amount of salivation • Conditioned reflex: is a stimulus­response relationship in which a stimulus elicits  a response because of prior respondent conditioning o Example: if a salivation response were in fact conditioned to Beethoven’s  Fifth Symphony, that stimulus­response relationship would be referred to  as a conditioned reflex • The stimulus in a conditioned reflex is referred to as a Conditioned Stimulus  (CS): a stimulus that elicits a response because that stimulus has been paired with  another stimulus that elicits a response • The response in a conditioned reflex is referred to as a Conditioned Response  (CR): a response elicited by a conditioned stimulus o Example: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony became a CS, and salivating to it  was a CR. o Example: in the experiment with Sue, “large” became a CS eliciting an  anxious feeling as a CR. • Such pairings contribute to the meaning of words on a personal level Factors Influencing Respondent Conditioning • Factor 1: the more the number of pairings of a CS with a US, the more likely is  the ability of the CS to elicit the CR until a maximum strength of the conditioned  reflex has been reached o Example: if a child was frightened several times before the loud barking of  a dog, then the sight of dog will elicit a stronger fear than if the child had  been scared by the dog only once • Factor 2: stronger conditioning occurs if the CS precedes the US by about half a  second rather than by a longer time or rather than following the US o Example: if a child sees the dog, who then barks immediately, then the  sight of the dog is a CS with fear as a CR • Backward conditioning: when the CS follows the US o Backward conditioning is difficult to attain o Example: the child hears the hidden dog barking and a few minutes later  sees the dog. The fear caused by the loud barking in this case is not  conditioned by the sight of the dog • Factor 3: a CS acquires a more likely ability to elicit a CR is the CS is always  paired with the US than if it’s only occasionally paired with the US. o Example: if a couple only lights a candle before they have sex, then the  candle will be a CS eliciting sexual arousal. However, if the couple always  lights a candle but they only have sex twice a week, then the candle will  be a weaker CS for sexual arousal • Factor 4: when several neutral stimuli precede a US, the stimulus that is most  consistently associated with the US is the one most likely to become a strong CS o Example: a child who experiences dark cloud and lightening followed by  thunder, will cause fear.  If on other occasions a child sees dark clouds that  isn’t accompanied by lightening and then thunder, will then acquire a  stronger fear for lightening than dark clouds because it is constantly paired  with thunder. • Factor 5: respondent conditioning will develop more quickly and strongly when  the CS or US or both are intense rather than weak o Example: a child will acquire a stronger fear of lightening if the lightening  is exceptionally bright and the thunder is exceptionally loud than if either  or both are relatively weak HIGHER ORDER CONDITIONING • Suppose that before playing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and following it with  food, a yellow light is added before the song. The light is a neutral stimulus for  salivation and is never paired with food. However after a number of pairing with  the light and the music, the light itself begins to elicit salivation. • Higher order conditioning: the procedure in which a neutral stimulus becomes a  conditioned stimulus by being paired with another conditioned stimulus instead of  with an unconditioned stimulus • The pairing of the music with the food is referred to as conditioning of the first  order • Pairing the light with the music is referred to as the second order • Higher order conditioning beyond the second order appears to be difficult o Example: a child experiences painful stimuli each time he touches the  stove.  Each painful stimulus is a US causing fear as an UR.  However, if  just before the painful event, a parent yells “you’ll hurt yourself”, then that  warning will become a CS eliciting fear. If a parent keeps uttering that  same sentence every time the child climbs a ladder or stands on a chair,  then this will influence the child to develop a general fear of heights  through high­order conditioning. • The conditioning stages were, First: the warnings were followed by a painful  stimuli; second: being in high places was followed by warnings; result: being in a  high place now elicits a response of fear similar to that elicited by painful stimuli RESPONDENT EXTINCTION • Respondent condition doesn’t stay forever, it can be reversed by: • Respondent extinction: involves the procedure of presenting a CS while  withholding the US with the result that the CS gradually loses it capability of  eliciting the CR • Many of the fears we acquire during childhood (fears of the dentist, barking,  lightening) undergo respondent extinction as we grow older as a function of  repeated exposure to these things in the absence of dire consequences • Respondent exposure is the reason that higher­order conditioning is difficult to  obtain beyond the second order COUNTERCONDITIONING • Counterconditioning: a conditioned response may be eliminated more effectively  if a new response that is incompatible with the conditioned response is  conditioned to the conditioned stimulus at the same time that the former  conditioned response is being extinguished o A CS will lose its ability to elicit a CR if that CS is paired with a stimulus  that elicits a response that is incompatible with the CR o Example: a child who likes playing with his friend (CS) elicits feelings of
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