Chapter 9

Chapter 9
Section 2: Classical
Conditioning in Real Life
• Example
Learning to Like
• Classical conditioning plays a big role
in our emotional responses to
objects, events, or places
Learning to fear
• A person can learn to fear just about
anything if it is paired with something
that elicits pain, surprise, or
–Humans are susceptible to certain kinds
of acquired fears
• Spiders, snakes, or heights
• Can be dangerous to your health,
tendency to learn quickly to be wary
of them
• When fear of an object or situation
becomes irrational & interferes with
normal activities, it qualifies as a
• An 11-month old boy – named “Albert” –
was conditioned to fear a white
laboratory rat
–Each time he reached for the rat,
Watson made a loud clanging noise
right behind Albert
• Albert’s fear generalized to anything
white & furry
–Including rabbits & Santa Claus
Was this study ethical?
• In classical conditioning, the process of
pairing a conditioned stimulus with a
stimulus that elicits a response that is
incompatible with an unwanted
conditioned response.
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Prentice Hall
Accounting for Taste
• Many people have learned to dislike a
food after eating it & then falling ill, even
when the food was not the reason for the
–Usually takes only one time because of
the existence of greater biological
readiness to associated sickness with
Reacting to Medical Treatments
• Can create unexpected misery or relief from
symptoms for reasons that are entirely
unrelated to the treatment itself
• Unpleasant reactions to a treatment can
generalize to a wide range of other stimuli
• Patient may also have reduced pain & anxiety
when they take placebos
–Role of expectations