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The Classical Conditioning

The Pillar of Behaviourism


OBJECTIVES:

• To identify the proponents of classical conditioning


• To discuss the concept of classical conditioning
• To explain the features of classical conditioning
What is learning?

- Any relatively permanent change in behaviour as a result


of practice or experience.

How do we stimulate learning?


1. Rewards (operant conditioning)
2. Punishments
3. Classical conditioning
Ivan P. Pavlov

• Pavlovian or respondent conditioning refers to a learning procedure in


which a biologically potent stimulus (e.g. food) is paired with a
previously neutral stimulus (e.g. bell).
• It also refers to the learning process that results from this pairing,
through which the neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response (e.g.
salivation) that is usually similar to the one elicited by the potent
stimulus.
STIMULI
• Something that elicits a response.

• NEUTRAL STIMULUS:
Initially does not elicit a response.
• UNCONDITIONED STIMULUS (UCS):
elicits a predictable response w/o training.
• UNCONDITIONED RESPONSE (UCR):
automatic or natural reaction to a stimulus w/o training
STIMULI cont.

• CONDITIONED STIMULUS (CS):


elicits a response due to being paired with an US.
• CONDITIONED RESPONSE (CR):
the learned reaction to a CS
Pavlov’s Experiment

(US) Unconditioned Stimulus - food


(UR) Unconditioned Response - saliva
(NS) Neutral Stimulus - tuning fork
(CS) Conditioned Stimulus - tuning fork
(CR) Conditioned Response - saliva to tuning fork
John B. Watson & Baby Albert

1. Little Albert
a. (US) - loud noise
b. (UR) - fear, crying
c. (NS/CS) - white rat
d. (CR) - fear, crying
Features of Classical Conditioning
Generalisation
- When a stimulus similar to the C.S. also elicits a response. E.g., if a dog is
conditioned to salivated to the sound of a bell, it may later salivate to a similar
sounding bell.
Discrimination
- The opposite of generalisation i.e. the ability of the subject to tell the
difference between two similar stimuli.
E.g., Eventually Pavlov’s dog learns the difference between the sound of the 2
bells and no longer salivates at the sound of the non-food bell.
Extinction
- The dying out of a conditioned response by breaking the association
between the CS and the UCS
E.g., When the bell was repeatedly rang and no food presented Pavlov’s dog
gradually stopped salivating at the sound of the bell.
Spontaneous Recovery
- The return of a conditioned response (in a weaker form) after a period of
time following extinction.
E.g. When Pavlov waited for a few days and then rang the bell once more the
dog salivated again.