Chapter 4
Classical Conditioning Applications
Emotional Conditioning
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Wide range of emotional responses
Emotions universal
Positive and negative
Emotional response to stimulus reflexive
Conditioned Emotional Responses (CERs)
John Broadus Watson
• Hard-line Behaviorism
• British Empiricism
(nurture over nature)
• Early work with rats
• Shifted to infant research
Conditioning of Fear
• Watson & Raynor (1920)
• Albert B.
– Mother a wet nurse at Harriet Lane Home
(attached to Johns Hopkins University)
– Albert first assessed at about 8 months
– Emotionally stable, healthy
Method
• Present white rat
– No fear
• Present white rat and bang metal bar
– Produces CER of fear, avoidance, withdrawl
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US = noise, UR = startle
CS = rat CR = fear
CER generalizes to other furry objects
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMnhyG
ozLyE
• Study went for several months
• Intended to reverse CER conditioning, but
Albert B’s mother ended her job at hospital
• Mary Cover-Jones; counter-conditioning
with Peter
What Happened to Albert
• Beck, Levinson & Irons (2009)
• Historical detective work
• Albert B.’s mother probably Arvilla Irons Merritte
– Douglas Merritte, born 9 March 1919
• Arvilla Merritte left Johns Hopkins
• Worked as assistant for ill wife of farmer
• Douglas Merritte died 10 May 1925, probably from
meningitis
Name
• Why Albert B.?
– Ethical concerns with confidentiality not firmly
established
– Watson may have played “name games”
– His sons William and James
– His name from John Albert Broadus, Baptist
minister… Albert B.
What Happened to Watson
• Affair with Rosalie Raynor, his grad student
• Divorce, fired, resigned as president of APA
• Worked for J. Walter Thompson advertising agency; vicepresident within two years
• Ponds Cold Cream, Maxwell House coffee
• Published books and articles on childcare
– Psychological care of infant and child (1928)
– Criticized by many modern child experts/advocates, but no more
extreme than other childcare texts of the time
– Strongly advocated against spanking and corporal punishment
Nonhuman Studies of Fear
• Usually shock as US
• Rats freeze
• Train operant response; train CS+ for aversive US,
test suppression of operant response in presence
and absence of CS
• Suppression video
Suppression Ratio
Suppression Ratio =
CS Responding
CS Responding + pre-CS Responding
• 0 if behaviour entirely suppressed
• 0.5 if no suppression
Pre-CS
CS
Calculation
S.R.
25
25
25/(25+25)=25/50
0.5
25
0
0/(0+25)=0/25
0
25
15
15/(15+25)=15/40
0.375
Prejudice
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Prejudice related to hate
Hate conditionable
Staats & Staats (1958)
Subjects rate nationalities
Paired positive, negative, neutral words
with nationalities
Association
• Political speeches
• Media coverage
• Negative images, words, impressions paired
with identifiable group
Counter Conditioning
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Mary Cover Jones (1924)
Eliminate phobia via classical conditioning
Peter feared rabbits
Peter eats snack (US) … present rabbit (CS)
Associate positive US with CS
Systematic Desensitization
• Relaxation techniques
• Gradual introduction of phobic stimulus
• Imagination up to real situation
Flooding
• “Flood” patient with exposure to fearinducing stimulus
Advertising
First-Order C.C. in Ads
• Product (initially neutral --> CS)
• Pair with stimulus that elicits positive
emotion (US)
• Consumer sees product, has positive CR
Example
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Postbank
US = funny situation
UR = happiness
CS = brand
CR = happiness, amusement, positive
emotion
Second-Order C.C.
• Use previously conditioned celebrity,
situation, etc.
• CS1 & US
• Now, pair brand (CS2) with CS1
Example
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Chanel No. 5
Nicole Kiddman = CS1
Positive feeling = CR
Attractive, successful, lifestyle = US
Positive feeling = UR
Chanel No. 5 = CS2
Assumption: buy perfume, be rich, popular,
get the cute guy, romance
Example
• Japander.com
• Brad Pitt and 503 Jeans
– Pitt (CS1), leading man, celebrity, rich, pretty =
desirable (US), 503s (CS2)
• Pierce Brosnan and VISA
– Bond persona (CS1), excitement, adventure,
sophistication = desirable (US), VISA (CS2)
Paraphilia
Paraphilia
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“Incorrect love”
Fetishism, masochism, pedophilia, rape, etc.
More common in males
Freud: unconscious forces
Classical conditioning: association formed
Example: Masochism
• Generally, CS is previously neutral
• But, a US, by pairing with another strong
US, can become a CS
• Pavlov: shock (CS) for food (US)
• Masochism: painful stimulus (CS) for
stimulus eliciting sexual pleasure (US)
Counter Conditioning
• Pair undesired CS with strongly aversive
US (resulting in, e.g., nausea)
• Aversion therapy
• Treatment difficult with some forms of
paraphilia (e.g., pedophilia)
Taste Aversion
Typically
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Long-delay or trace conditioning
US is food poisoning, illness, etc.
UR is nausea induced pain
CS is novel food/flavour
CR is avoidance, nausea
Violation of contiguity?
Explanations?
• Sensitization
• Aftertaste
• Biological preparedness
– Taste aversion a special case
Biological Preparedness in
Taste-Aversion
• Garcia & Koelling (1966)
Foot shock
Water intake
Water intake
X-ray
Pre-cond.
Post-cond.
Flavoured water
Pre-cond.
Post-cond.
“Bright-noisy” water
Explanation
• Biological predispositions
• Must know about CS-US relationship
before predicting nature of CR
• Certain stimuli more easily associated than
others
Immune Function
Allergic Reaction
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Release of histamines
Body’s immune response to allergens
Not all allergic responses biological
Can be learned
Examples
• Pollen and artificial flowers
• My allergy to cats
Russell et al. (1984)
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Expose guinea pigs to BSA
Becomes allergen (US for histamine release)
Pair BSA with odour of fish or sulphur (CSs)
Expose guinea pigs to odours and get
increased histamines (CR) in bloodstream
• Preparatory value of classical conditioning
Schaller et al. (2010)
• Subjects see photo sets of guns (G) or people with
infectious diseases (ID)
• Stress test given : G more stressful than ID
• Blood drawn, incubated with bacteria
• ID subjects’ white blood cells produced 24%
increase in cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) over
baseline
• G subjects only show 7% increase in IL-6 over
baseline
• Photos = CS, IL-6 production = CR