Chapter 6: Classical Conditioning: Learning by Association

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A process by which behavior or knowledge changes as a result of experience
Classical Conditioning
Learning that occurs when a neutral stimulus elicits a response that was originally caused by another stimulus

Ex: the neutral stimulus was the tone because it initially did not elicit any sort of response. It wasn’t until after the tone was presented along with the meat powder that it count elicit salivation

What is the key to classical conditioning?
The formation of an association between events
An external event or cut that elicits a response
Unconditioned Stimulus (US)
A stimulus that elicits a reflexive response without learning

Ex: Dog food

Unconditioned Response (UR)
A reflexive, unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus

Ex: Salivation in response to dog food

What is the link between US and UR?
What is the defining characteristic of classical conditioning?
A neutral stimulus comes to elicit a response
Conditioned Stimulus (CS)
A once neutral stimulus that elicits a conditioned response because it has a history of being paired with an unconditioned stimulus

Ex: The tone that signals food is coming

Conditioned Response (CR)
The learned response that occurs to the conditioned stimulus

Ex: Salivating after hearing the tone

The initial phase of learning in which a response is established

Ex: The conditioned salivary response was acquired with numerous pairings of tone and food

Therefore, it is the phase in which a neutral stimulus is repeatedly paired with the US

The loss or weakening of a conditioned response when a conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus no longer occur together
Spontaneous Recovery
The reoccurrence of a previously extinguished conditioned response, typically after some time has passed since extinction
A process in which a response that originally occurs to a specific stimulus also occurs to different, though similar stimuli

Ex: Pavlov’s dogs salivated not just to the original tone, but also to very similar tones as well

Occurs when an organism learns to respond to one original stimulus but not to new stimuli that may be similar to the original stimulus

Ex: Pavlov’s dogs didn’t salivate to any sound, only the tone and tones that sounded similar to the original

Refers to the biological predisposition to rapidly learn a response to a particular class of stimuli (we learn to fear snakes more readily than flowers or guns)
Conditioned Taste Aversion
The acquired dislike or disgust of a food or drink because it was paired with illness
The desired effect lessons with repeated use, and this leads users to increase the dosage
Conditioned Drug Tolerance
Develops as the body begins associating environmental cues that accompany drug use with the drug itself
Operant Conditioning
A type of learning in which behavior is influenced by consequences

Involves voluntary actions such as speaking or listening

The consequences of our behavior, whether it is reinforced or punished, determine our operant behavior

A process in which an event or reward that follows a response increases the likelihood of that response occurring again
Skinner Boxes (aka Operant Chambers)
Include a lever or key that the subject can manipulate
A stimulus that is contingent upon a response and increases the probability of that response occurring again
A process that decreases the future probability of a response
A stimulus that is contingent upon a response and results in a decrease in behavior
Primary Reinforcers
Consist of reinforcing stimuli that satisfy basic motivational needs (food, water, shelter, and sexual contact)
Secondary Reinforcers
Consist of reinforcing stimuli that acquire their value through learning (money or good grades)
Nucleus Accumbens (brain circuit)
Is activated during the processing of all kinds of rewards, including primary ones such as eating and having sex, or using cocaine and smoking a cigarette, as well as secondary rewards
Positive Reinforcement
The strengthening of behavior after potential reinforcers such as praise, money, or nourishment following that behavior
Negative Reinforcement
Involves the strengthening of a behavior because it removes or diminishes a stimulus
What are the 2 subcategories of Negative Reinforcement?
1. Avoidance Learning
2. Escape Learning
Avoidance Learning
Removes the possibility that a stimulus will occur

Ex: paying bills on time to avoid a late fee

Escape Learning
Occurs if a response removes a stimulus that is already present

Ex: covering your ears upon hearing very loud music (because the music is already present, you can’t escape it)

Positive Punishment
When a behavior decreases because an unpleasant stimulus was introduced as a consequence of the behavior

Ex: when cat owners spray their cats with water when the cats jump on the counter

Negative Punishment
Occurs when a behavior decreases because it removes or diminishes a particular stimulus

Ex: a parent who “grounds” a child does so because this action removes something of value to the child

Refers to the weakening of an operant response when reinforcement is no longer available
Discriminative Stimulus
A cue or event that indicates that a response, if made, will be reinforced
A procedure in which a specific operant response is created by reinforcing successive approximations
Schedules of Reinforcement
Rules that determine when reinforcement is available
Continuous Reinforcement
Every response made results in reinforcement (vending machines should deliver a snack every time the correct amount of money is deposited)
Partial (intermittent) Reinforcement
Only a certain number of responses are rewarded, or a certain amount of time must pass before reinforcement is available (texting a friend may not always get a response for some period of time)
Fixed-Ratio Schedule
Reinforcement is delivered after a specific number of responses have been completed.

Ex: a rat may be required to press a lever 10 times to receive food

Variable-Ratio Schedule
The number of responses required to receive reinforcement varies according to an average

Ex: slot machines

Fixed-Interval Schedule
Reinforces the first response occurring after a set amount of time passes

Ex: If your professor gives you an exam every 3 weeks, your reinforcement for studying is on a F-I S

Variable-Interval Schedule
First response is reinforced following a variable amount of time

Ex: if you were watching the nighttime sky during a meteor shower, you would be rewarded for looking upward at irregular times

Partial Reinforcement
Refers to a phenomenon in which organisms that have been conditioned under partial reinforcement resist extinctions longer than those that are reinforced continuously
Latent Learning
Learning that is not immediately expressed by a response until the organism is reinforced for doing so
Cognitive Maps
Mental representation of physical locations

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