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classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through

associations between an environmental stimulus and a

naturally occurring stimulus.
Classical Conditioning
Classical Conditioning can be defined as a type of learning in
which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke
a reflexive response that was originally evoked by a different

Terminology (if you are still confused by these definitions,
please look in the non-Psychology jargon glossary on the
AlleyDog.com homepage):
a) Unconditioned Stimulus (US) - a stimulus that evokes an
unconditioned response without any prior conditioning (no
learning needed for the response to occur).
b) Unconditioned Response (UR) - an unlearned
reaction/response to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs
without prior conditioning.
c) Conditioned Stimulus (CS) - a previously neutral stimulus
that has, through conditioning, acquired the capacity to evoke a
conditioned response.
d) Conditioned Response (CR) - a learned reaction to a
conditioned stimulus that occurs because of prior conditioning.
*These are reflexive behaviors. Not a result from engaging in
goal directed behavior.
e) Trial - presentation of a stimulus or pair of stimuli.

1. delayed conditioning (forward) - the CS is presented before
the US and it (CS) stays on until the US is presented. This is
generally the best, especially when the delay is short.
example - a bell begins to ring and continues to ring until food
is presented.
2. trace conditioning - discrete event is presented, then the US
occurs. Shorter the interval the better, but as you can tell, this
approach is not very effective.
example - a bell begins ringing and ends just before the food is
3. simultaneous conditioning - CS and US presented together.
Not very good.
example - the bell begins to ring at the same time the food is
presented. Both begin, continue, and end at the same time.
4. backward conditioning - US occurs before CS.
example - the food is presented, then the bell rings. This is not
really effective.
5. Temporal conditioning
Temporal conditioning is when a US is presented at regular
intervals, for instance every 10 minutes. Conditioning is said to
have occurred when the CR tends to occur shortly before each
US. This suggests that animals have a biological clock that can
serve as a CS. This method has also been used to study timing
ability in animals.