Classical conditioning was accidentally
discovered around the beginning of the 20th century by
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov.
††Pavlov was studying digestive process in dogs when he discovered
that the dogs salivated before they received their food.
In fact, after repeated pairing of the lab attendant
and the food, the dogs started to salivate at the sight of the lab
Pavlov coined this phenomena ďpsychic secretions."
† He noted that dogs were not only responding to a biological
need (hunger), but also a need developed
by learning.† Pavlov
spent the rest of life researching why this associate learning occurred,
which is now called classical conditioning.
†To experiment on classical conditioning,
Pavlov utilized a tuning fork and meat powder.
†He hit the tuning fork and followed the sound with the meat
powder.† Pavlov presented the
sound (tuning fork) with the meat powder at the exact same time increments.
† In the beginning, the dog salivated only to the meat powder,
but after this was repeated, salivated at the sound of the tuning fork.
† Even when Pavlov took away the meat powder, the dog continued
to salivate at the sound of the tuning fork.
PRINCIPLES OF CLASSICAL
In classical conditioning, an organism learns to associate one stimulus
with another.† The organism
learns that the first stimulus is a cue for the second stimulus.
† In Pavlovís experiment above, the tuning fork cued the
dogs that food might be coming.†
Following is an example of classical conditioning.
technical terms, the food is an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the
salivation is the unconditioned response (UCR).
† The bell is a neutral stimulus until the dog learns to
associate the bell with food.†
Then the bell becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS) which produces
the conditioned response (CR) of salivation after repeated pairings
between the bell and food.
WATSONíS BABY ALBERT
Watson was interested in how classical conditioning could be applied
to humans.† In 1921, Watson
and his research assistant Rosalie Rayner experimented on a 11-month-old infant
named Albert.† The goal was
to condition Albert to fear a white rat by paring the white rat with
a loud bang (UCS).† Initially,
Albert showed no fear of rats, but once the rat was repeatedly paired
with the loud noise (UCS), Albert developed a fear of rats.
† The noise (UCS) induced fear (UCR).
† After pairings between the loud noise (UCS) and the rat
(CS), Albert started to fear the rat.
† Watsonís experiment suggested that classical conditioning
could cause some phobias.
CONCEPTS OF CLASSICAL CONDITIONING
Conditioned Response (CR)
A response that is learned by pairing the originally
neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) with the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
The acquisition phase is the consistent parings of the CS (bell)
and the UCS (food) that produces a CR (salivation).
† In the example above, this phase occurs when the dog
begins to salivate at the sound of the bell.
† Conditioning occurs more rapidly when the food follows the
bell by a half a second.
The extinction phase is when the conditioned
response no longer occurs after repeated pairings without the
The dogís response to the bell can be extinguished by repeatedly
presenting the bell (CS) without the food (UCS).
† The dog has not completely forgotten the association
between the bell and the food.
† If the experimenter waits a day, the dog may have a
spontaneous recovery of the conditioned response and salivate
again to the bell.
Occurs when there is a small difference
in the presented stimulus and the original conditioned stimulus.
† If Pavlovís dog heard a bell of a similar tone, the dog
would still salivate.
The opposite of generalization, discrimination happens when
a conditioned response does not occur when there is a difference
between the presented stimulus and the original conditioned stimulus.
† If Pavlovís dog heard a bell with a different tone
and was not awarded the unconditioned stimulus (food), the dog
would learn not to salivate to the second tone.
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