PS102 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Classical Conditioning, Reinforcement, Drug Tolerance

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4 Mar 2015
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Chapter 6 - 1
Chapter 6: Learning
Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to
evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus (Pavlovian conditioning)
Terminology and Procedures
Neutral stimulus is a stimulus that does not originally produce a response
The unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response
without previous conditioning
-The bond between meat powder and salivation
The unconditioned response (UCR) is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus
that occurs without previous conditioning
The conditioned stimulus (CS) is a previously neutral stimulus that has, through
conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a conditioned response
-Link between tone and salivation
The conditioned response (CR) is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs
because of previous conditioning
The unconditioned response and conditioned response often consist of the same behaviour
-UCR and CR were both salivation
-UCS was meat powder and CS was the tone
Classically conditioned responses have traditionally been characterized as reflexes and are said
to be elicited (drawn forth) because most of them are relatively automatic or involuntary
A trial in classical conditioning consists of any presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli
-How many trial are required to establish a particular conditioned bond
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Chapter 6 - 2
Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life
Evaluative Conditioning of Attitudes
A subtype of classical conditioning is evaluative conditioning refers to changes in the liking of
a stimulus that result from pairing that stimulus with other positive or negative stimuli
Evaluative conditioning involves the acquisition of likes and dislikes, ore preferences, through
classical conditioning
-A neutral stimulus is paired with unconditioned stimuli that trigger positive reactions so
that the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits similar positive
reactions
Conditioning and Physiological Responses
Classical condition procedures can lead to immunosuppression- a decrease in the production
of antibodies, allergic reactions, drug tolerance, and sexual arousal
Conditioning and Drug Effects
When drug administration serves as a US,
-The conditioned responses are physiological reactions that are opposite of the normal
effects of drugs
oCompensatory CRs because they partially compensate for some drug effects
oCCRs help to maintain homeostasis (internal balance) in physiological processes
oAdaptive in short-term, counterbalance some of the potentially dangerous effects
of drugs
Drug administration process can become a CS
-Environmental cues eventually begin to elicit compensatory CRs that partially cancel out
some of the anticipated effects of abused drugs
Basic Processes in Classical Conditioning
Acquisition: Forming New Responses
Acquisition refers to the initial stage of learning something
-The acquisition of a conditioned response depends on stimulus contiguity
oStimuli are contiguous if they occur together in time and space
Stimuli that are novel, unusual, or especially intense have more potential
to become CSs than routine stimuli
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Chapter 6 - 3
Extinction: Weakening Conditioned Responses
Extinction is the gradual weakening and disappearance of a conditioned response tendency
-The consistent presentation of the conditioned stimulus alone¸ without the unconditioned
stimulus leads to extinction
oThe tone (CS) being presented without the meat powder (UCS)
Spontaneous Recovery: Resurrecting Responses
Spontaneous recovery is the reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of non-
exposure to the conditioned stimulus
-The tone was presented after a rest interval and the rejuvenated response was weak
oThe CS can be extinguished easily
The renewal effect- if a response is extinguished in a different environment than it was
acquired, the extinguished response will reappear if the animal is returned to the original
environment where acquisition took place
-Extinction does not appear to lead to unlearning
Stimulus Generalization and the Mysterious Case of Little Albert
Stimulus generalization occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific
stimulus responds in the same way to a new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus
-The more similar new stimuli are to the original CS, the greater the generalization
oQuantified by generalization gradients
Generalization contributes to the development of panic disorders
-Panic patients have a tendency to overgeneralize
Stimulus Discrimination
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
Higher-order conditioning- in which a conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an
unconditioned stimulus
-New conditioned responses are built on the foundation of already established conditioned
responses
oRed light paired with tone, also triggering CR
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