Chapter 10, page 452
There are a number of different theories
of learning, each different from the next.
We will learn about:
Classical Conditioning
Trial and Error Learning
Operant Conditioning
One Trial Learning
Observational Learning
Insight Learning
Latent Learning
CONDITIONING = The process of learning
associations between and stimulus and a
PAVLOV, a Russian physiologist, was
conducting research on the digestive
system in dogs during 1920’s, when he
noted that the dogs salivated before they
received the stimulus (meat powder).
As a result of his research, clear evidence
was provided for a very simple type of
learning which was based on the
repetitive association of different stimuli.
Pavlov paired a bell sound with the meat powder and
found that even when the meat powder was not
presented, the dog would eventually begin to salivate
after hearing the bell.
Since the meat powder naturally results in salivation,
these two variables are called the unconditioned
stimulus (UCS) and the unconditioned response (UCR),
The bell and salivation are not naturally occurring; the
dog was conditioned to respond to the bell.
Therefore, the bell is considered the conditioned
stimulus (CS), and the salivation to the bell, the
conditioned response (CR).
Classical Conditioning = a type of learning that
occurs through the repeated association of two (or
more) different stimuli.
Learning is only said to have occurred when a
particular stimulus consistently produces a
response that it did not previously produce.
ie. The bell consistently produced salivation in the
Neutral Stimulus (NS)
◦ The name given to the conditioned stimulus
before it becomes conditioned.
◦ Referred to as ‘neutral’ stimulus whilst it fails
to produce a response. (Alarm before
Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
◦ Any stimulus which consistently produces a
particular naturally occurring automatic
response. (Wizz fizz before learning)
Unconditioned Response (UCR)
◦ The response which occurs automatically as a
result of the unconditioned stimulus. A reflexive
or involuntary response to the UCS. (Salivation
from eating wizz fizz).
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
◦ The stimulus that would not normally produce
the unconditioned response (UCR), but does so
eventually because of its association with the
unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Starts off neutral
before learning occurs. (Alarm after learning)
Conditioned Response (CR)
◦ The learned or acquired response to the
conditioned stimulus. (Salivation to sound of
alarm after learning).
◦ The most important part of Classical
◦ = the process through which an organism
learns to associate two events (CS and UCS).
◦ When a conditioned response no longer occurs.
= In classical conditioning, extinction occurs
over a period of time after the unconditioned
stimulus (which acts as a reinforcer) is
Spontaneous Recovery
= The reappearance of a conditioned response
after it’s apparent extinction. Usually after a rest
Stimulus Generalisation
= Tendency for familiar stimuli to produce the
same (but not necessarily identical) response.
In classical conditioning, a response that has
been conditioned to a particular CS will often
be produced for other stimuli which resemble
◦ eg. A bell with a slightly higher pitch, duration
Stimulus Discrimination
= The ability to distinguish between two (or more)
different stimuli, even if the stimuli are similar.
Eg. School bell different to alarm used in wizz fizz
A young child reaches out to pat a barking dog,
is bitten by the dog, and cries. Now, every time
she hears a dog bark, she cries.
Dog Bark
Dog Bite
UCR: Crying
Dog Bark
Whenever Lara hears the sound of the “Neighbours”
theme song on TV each night at 6.30pm, she starts to
feel hungry as her family usually sits down to eat at
this time.
NS: Dinner time at 6.30pm
‘Neighbours’ theme song
UCR: Hunger
‘Neighbours’ theme song

Learning 1-Classical Conditioning