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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Notes

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York University
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Readings- Chapter 6 Classical Conditioning Learning: a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge that’s due to experience Conditioning: learning associations between events that occur in an organism’s environment Classical conditioning: a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus Pavlov’s Demonstration: Psychic Reflexes Ivan Pavlov; Russian Psychologist Did experiments on dogs, with meat powder (unconditioned stimulus) & a bell (conditioned stimulus); as soon as they heard the bell, they would create salivation Terminology & Procedures Unconditioned stimulus: (meat powder & salivation) a stimulus that evokes an unconditioned response without previous conditioning. The unconditioned stimulus response is an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning Conditioned stimulus: (bell & salivation) a previously neutral stimulus that has, through conditioning, acquired capacity to evoke a conditional response. The conditioned response is a learned reaction to conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning Unconditioned response & conditioned response often consist of the same behaviour, with minor differences When evoked with the meat powder, salivation ws an unconditioned response; when evoked by the bell, salivation was a conditioned response Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life Most researchers work with extremely simple responses, ie, eyelid closure, knee jerks, flexing of limbs, & fear responses Phobias are a good example of emotional responses (fear) Fears can be traced back to experiences that involve classical conditioning Conditioning & Physiological Responses Immunosuppression: decrease in the production of antibodies Study animals are given a drug (the US) that chemically causes Immunosuppression while they are given an unusual tasting liquid to drink (the CS). Days later, some of the animals www.notesolution.com are re-exposed to the CS by giving them the liquid again. Measurements of the antibody production indicate that animals exposed to the CS have a reduced immune response Continued use of drugs may lead to an increased drug tolerance; more drugs needed for a response Classical conditioning can influence sexual arousal one can be conditioned to become sexually aroused by a neutral, nonsexual stimulus- such as a phone- if paired with opportunities Conditioning of human sexual interactions such as sexy nightgowns, candles, mood Conditioning & Drug Effects Compensatory CR: partially compensate for some drug effects; they help maintain balance in the physiological processes Most drug users have routines that lead to consistent pairing of drug administration & certain stimuli (syringes, cocaine bottles, specific settings etc) Eventually the environmental cues bring out the compensatory CRs that partially cancel out some of the anticipated drug effects As the compensatory CRs strengthen, they neutralize more of a drug’s pleasurable effects, producing a decline in the user’s tolerance When drug users break away from their routines – taken in new ways or new places- the usual compensatory CR may not occur The drugs now have a stronger impact than usual, increasing the risk of an overdose When people try to quit, exposure to drug-related cues may trigger compensatory CRs that increase drug cravings & relapse Acquisition: Forming New Responses Acquisition: the initial stage of learning something The acquisition of a conditional response depends on the stimulus contiguity Contiguity alone does not produce conditioning Stimuli have more potential to become CSs than routine stimuli because they are more likely to stand out among other stimuli Extinction: Weakening Conditioned Responses Extinction: the gradual weakening & disappearance of a conditioned response www.notesolution.com The consistent presentation of the conditioned stimuli alone, without the unconditioned stimulus Ie, when Pavlov only presented the bell to a previously conditioned dog, the bell gradually lost its capacity to bring out the response of salivation Spontaneous Recovery: Resurrecting Responses The reappearance of an extinguished response after a period of non-exposure to the conditioned stimulus After experimenting with the dog, Pavlov made him rest. The next day the bell rang and the salivation response appeared The salivation amount was less than before If a response is extinguished in a different environment that it was attained, it will return if put back in the original environment “renewal effect” Extinction suppresses a conditioned response; doesn’t fully erase it Stimulus Generalization After conditioning, organisms will also respond to stimuli similar to the exact CS used Stimulus generalization: occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus responds in the same way to new stimuli that are similar to the original stimulus Ie if you got into a accident on a specific bridge, ALL bridges will scare you now Stimulus Discrimination Occurs when an organism that has learned a response to a specific stimulus doesn’t respond in the same way to a new & similar stimulus Higher-order Conditioning A conditioned stimulus functions as if it were an unconditioned stimulus; meat powder is a conditioned stimulus to a dog. If meat powder paired with a red light become a conditioned stimulus, if you show the dog just the red light, it will respond Recent Directions in Pavlovian Conditioning Neuroscience of learning in responses Some have used conditioning to raise peoples self-esteem Operant Conditioning aka Instrumental Learning Originally came from B. F. Skinner www.notesolution.com Operant conditioning: a form of learning in which responses come to be controlled by their consequences Thorndike’s Law of Effect Thorndike studied animal learning to determine whether they could think A hungry cat was placed in a small cage with food outside. The cat could escape to obtain the food by performing a specific response (pulling down lever). After each escape, the cat was rewarded with a small amount of food. He monitored how long it took for the cat to get out each time. If the cat could think, he would be able to escape faster He observed a gradual decline in the amount of time it took the cats were learning It depended on the “law of effect”: if a response in the presence of a stimulus leads to satisfying effects, the association between the stimulus & the response is strengthened Skinner’s Demonstration: It’s All a Matter of Consequences Reinforcement: occurs when an event following a response increases an organism’s tendency to make that response A response is strengthened because it leads to rewarding consequences Terminology & Procedures Skinner usually used pigeons or rats They are placed in a operant chamber or skinner box (a small enclosure in which an animal can make a specific response that’s recorded while the consequences of the response are systematically controlled) For rats, the main response available is pressing a small level; for pigeons, they must peck a small disk Reinforcement contingencies: are the circumstances or rules that determine whether responses lead to the presentation of reinforcers The experimenter manipulates whether positive consequences occur The main positive consequence is a small amount of food The animal’s response rate is recorded continuously by a device cumulative recorder: creates a graphic record of responding & reinforcement in a Skinner box as a function if time Results are usually portrayed in graphs Basic Processes in Operant Conditioning- Acquisition & Shaping www.notesolution.com Shaping: consists of the reinforcement of closer & closer approximations of a desired response (ie, making a dog ring a bell every time they want to go outside for a run) Shaping can include giving small portions of food to the rat as they move closer to the bell; this way they know if they continue moving closer, they will receive more food Basic Processes in Operant Conditioning- Extinction Usually when experimenter stops giving the rat food when they press the lever Resistance to extinction: o
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