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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 6 LearningClassical Conditioning Learningrelatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge thats due to experienceincludes acquisition of knowledgeskills shaping personal habits emotional responses etc Superstitions are often the result of obtaining a reward after engaging in some behaviour type of learning is called operant conditioning ex athletes wear certain things if they do good with itPhobiasirrational fears of specific objects or situationsex to elevators dogs tunnels heights bugs snakes strangers chances are you acquired it through classical conditioningClassical conditioningtype of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus first described by Ivan Pavlov sometimes called Pavlovian conditioning Pavlovs Demonstration Psychic ReflexesPavlov was studying the role of saliva in the digestive processes of dogs psychic reflexes subjects were dogs restrained in harnesses in an experimental chamberpresent meat powder and then collect resulting saliva with a surgically implanted tubeNoticed that dogs accustomed to the procedure would start salivating before the meat was shownex salivate in response to a clicking sound used to present the meat powderKey is that the tone started as a neutral stimulus didnt produce saliva before but then changed that by pairing the tone with a stimulus meat powder that produced saliva Tone acquired the capacity to trigger the response of salivation learned associations were formed by events in an organisms environmentTerminology and ProceduresBond between meat powder and salivation was natural unlearned association not created through conditioningtherefore called an unconditioned associationUnconditioned stimulus UCSstimulus that evokes an unconditioned responsewithout previous conditioning Unconditioned response UCRan unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulusthat occurs without previous conditioningLink between tone and salivation made through conditioning called a conditioned associationConditioned stimulus CSpreviously neutral stimulus that has through conditioningacquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response Conditioned response CRlearned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning UCR and CR often consist of the same behaviour although with subtle differences In Pavlovs experiment UCR and CR were both salivationwhen evoked by UCS meat powder salivation was an UCR When evoked by CS the tone salivation is a CRpsychic reflex came to be called conditioned reflex Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life Conditioned FearsClassical conditioning often plays a key role in shaping emotional responses such as fearEx girl has bridge phobia because when she was younger her dad would scare her with the bridge to the grandmothers housebridge became a conditioned stimulus eliciting great fear Other Conditioned Emotional Responses Many pleasant emotional responses are also acquired through classical conditioningex associate a smell with someone and years later those smells remind you of themIn advertising the most common strategy is to present a product in association with an attractive person or enjoyable surroundings in hope to condition stimuli to evoke good feelings Conditioning and Physiological Responses CC also affects physiological processesex when an infectious agent invades your body your immune system attempts to repel it by producing specialized proteins called antibodiesCC procedures can lead to immunosuppression decrease in production of antibodiesCC can also elicit allergic reactions add to drug tolerance and withdrawal symptoms Ex if a drug user always takes the drug in a specific setting alone in a park at night by the swingssetting predrug CS may become associated with the drugs effects UCS and the bodys compensatory responses UCRs Featured Study Sex and the Single Quailmale Japanese quail could be conditioned to become sexually aroused with a neutral stimulus red lightthey copulated more quickly if females were there in the presence of the red light experimental group learned to associate the distinctive chamber white walls with wire mesh floor with sexual reinforcementthey ejaculated a greater volume of semen then the control group CS may have elicited greater muscular contractions during ejaculation shows that stimuli routinely paired with sex such as seductive nightgowns mood music lit candles etc probably become conditioned stimuli that elicit arousalBasic Processes in Classical ConditioningAcquisition Forming New Responses Acquisitionrefers to the initial stage of learning somethingacquisition of a CR depends on stimulus contiguity stimuli are contiguous if they occur together in time and space Contiguity alone doesnt automatically produce conditioning Stimuli that are novel unusual or especially intense have more potential to become CSs than routine stimuli probably because theyre more likely to stand out among other stimuli
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