classical conditioning

• A relatively permanent change in
– behavior,
– knowledge,
– capability, or
– attitude
– that is acquired through
– and cannot be attributed to
illness, injury, or maturation
• Infants do not ‘learn’ how to walk as
basic motor skills and maturation
govern every species.
• Learning---– Is a relatively permanent change in
 People’s behaviors are largely the result of their
experiences with environmental stimuli
 Person is born as a blank slate (Locke’s Tabula Rasa)
 Environment writes on this slate – conditions individual
 Learning can be described in terms of relationships
among observable event – Stimuli and responses
 Learning is a change in behavior
 Learning is most likely to occur when stimuli and
responses occur close together in time.
 CONTIGUITY – events occur together
 Many species of animals, including humans, learn in
similar ways
 Rats, pigeons,
Classical Conditioning
A type of learning through which, by association, an
organism learns to associate one stimulus with another.
• working with emotional component, INVOLUNTARY
operates on the
– involuntary nervous system
– endocrine system
– smooth muscles
– When you are conditioned, you can’t help yourself!
You just respond.
• Stimulus
– Any event or object in the environment to
which an organism responds
• Response
– Any reaction evoked by a stimulus
Classical Conditioning
The Process of Classical
• Discovered by accident
during saliva experiment
• Observed salivary response
occurring before
presentation of food
• when dogs heard footsteps
of lab assistants
• heard food dishes rattle
• saw the attendant who fed
• Or spotted their food.
Classical Conditioning
• Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)
– A stimulus that elicits a specific unconditioned response
without learning
Loud noise
Light in eye
Puff of air in eye
• Unconditioned Response (UCR)
– A response that is elicited by an unconditioned stimulus
without prior learning.
Contraction of pupil to light
eye blink response
Classical Conditioning
• Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
– A neutral stimulus that, after repeated pairing with an
UCS, becomes associated with it and elicits a CR
• Conditioned Response (CR)
– The learned response that comes to be elicited by a CS
as a result of its repeated pairing with an UCS.
• Higher-Order Conditioning
– Occurs when the CS are linked together to form a series
of signals
• The steps leading to a blood draw at a clinic
Steps to a Conditioned Response
• Neutral Stimulus (NS) alone  No Response
– Tone (NS)  NR
• Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)  UCR
– Food
 Salivation
• Tone + Food  Salivation
Paired often enough  Tone MEANS FOOD
Steps to a Conditioned Response
• The Tone becomes a CONDITIONED
• We can get a response without the food ( UCS )
• We now have
Changing Conditioned Responses
• Extinction
– The weakening and eventual
disappearance of the CR as a result of
repeated presentation of the CS
• Spontaneous Recovery
– Reappearance of an extinguished
response after exposure to the original
CS following a rest period.
Changing Conditioned Responses
• Generalization
– The tendency to make a CR to a
stimulus that is similar to the original
• Discrimination
– The learned ability to distinguish
between similar stimuli so that the CR
occurs only to the original CS but not to
similar stimuli
John Watson
and Emotional Conditioning
• In 1919 initiated experiment to prove fear could be
classically conditioned.
– ‘Little Albert’
– Conditioned to be
afraid of
• White rats
• Other white objects
Classical Conditioning in Daily Life
Smell and taste are closely
associated because the
smell of a particular food
is a signal for its taste
and the physical
sensation associated
with eating it.
You can imagine how the
fresh bread smells,
tastes, and its texture by
viewing the picture.
Classical Conditioning in Daily Life
• What happens when you smell food?
– Stomach rumbles due to
digestive processes that
typically follow the smell
and taste of food
– Pancreas responds to
counteract conditioned rise
in blood sugar after a sweet
taste on the tongue
Classical Conditioning in Daily Life
• Taste Aversion
– The intense dislike and/or avoidance of a
particular food that has been associated with
nausea or discomfort.
• Chemotherapy
– Chemotherapy treatments can result in a
conditioned taste aversion,
– Providing a “scapegoat” target can help
patients maintain a proper diet
Classical Conditioning in Daily Life
• Dental visits
– Sound of the drills and suction
– Smell of the office
– Sight of the chair and light
• Drug use
– The CS associated with drug use lead
individuals to seek out those substances
– Counselors urge recovering addicts to avoid
any cues (people, places, and things)
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