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Chapter 4

Learning and Behavior-Chapter 4

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Anneke Olthof

Learning and Behavior-Chapter 4 Classical Conditioning Mechanisms What Makes Effective Conditioned and Unconditioned Stimuli? -question was originally addressed by Pavlov and continues to attract the attention of many researchers Initial Response to the Stimuli -the conditioned stimulus (CS) does not elicit its conditioned response(CR) initially, but comes to do so as a result of being associated with the unconditioned stimulus (US) -whether something is considered a US or a CS depends on its relation to other stimuli in the situation Novelty of Conditioned and Unconditioned Stimuli -the behavioural impact of a stimulus depends on its novelty, highly familiar stimuli do not elicit as vigorous reactions as do novel stimuli -if either the conditioned or the unconditioned stimuli is highly familiar, learning proceeds more slowly than if the CS and US are unknown Latent Inhibition or CS Pre-exposure -latent inhibition effect/CS-pre-exposure effect: if a stimulus is highly familiar, it will not be associated with a US as a novel stimulus -do experiments where they present the CS alone multiple times and then pair it with the US using conventional classical conditioning procedure, where they see that it takes much longer to acquire responding because the CS pre-exposure -habituation serves to bias elicited behavior in favor of novel stimuli; latent inhibition serves to bias learning in favor of novel stimuli -in experiments they have found that pre-exposure to the CS reduces attention to the CS and in turn disrupts subsequent learning about this stimulus The US Pre-Exposure Effect -subjects are given repeated exposure to the US presented by itself, then the US is paired with a CS -US pre-exposure effect: subjects familiarized with the US before its pairings with the CS are slower to develop a conditioned responding to the CS CS and US Intensity and Salience -important stimulus variable for classical conditioning is the intensity of the CS and US -more vigorous conditioned responding occurs when more intense conditioned and unconditioned stimuli are used -stimulus salience: the significance or noticeability of a stimulus-generally conditioning proceeds more rapidly with more salient conditioned and unconditioned stimuli -can make a stimulus more salient by making it more attention getting, or more relevant to the biological needs of the animal or organism -make the stimulus more similar to the kinds of stimuli that an animal is likely to encounter in its natural environment CS-US Relevance, or Belongingness -another variable that governs the rate of classical conditioning is the extent to which the CS is relevant or belongs with the US -did the study with the rats where they would have taste and audiovisual CS and then be shocked, or have taste and audiovisual CS and then were made to get sick found that the rats suppressed their drinking much more when the taste CS was presented than when drinking produced audiovisual stimulus -this occurred because learning depended on the relevance of the CS to the US that was employed, therefore taste became associated with illness, and audiovisual cues were associated with peripheral pain -shock conditioned stronger aversions, only when the audiovisual cue served as the CS -stimulus-relevance effects have been demonstrated in other situations, such as when a pigeon associates visual cues with food much more easily than they associate auditory cues with food therefore if the conditioning situation involves shock, auditory cues are more effective as the CS than visual cues -stimulus-relevance effects are also prominent in the acquisition of fear and that fear conditioning occurs most readily in situations that provide recurrent survival threats in mammalian evolution Learning Without an Unconditioned Stimulus -Pavlovian conditioning can also take place in situations where you do not encounter a US—with higher order conditioning and sensory preconditioning Higher Order Conditioning -irrational fears often develop through higher order condition 1 -higher order conditioning: a 2rocedure in which a previously conditioned stimulus (CS ) is used to condition a new stimulus (CS ) -example: a lady suffered an injury (US) by being pushed in a crowded place (CS), therefore she avoids crowds, however when she went to the movies it became crowded and the lady became scared, thus 2
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