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Module 21 - classical conditioning



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  • OBJECTIVE 21-1 | Define learning, and identify two forms of learning.
  • OBJECTIVE 21-2 | Explain how an unconditioned stimulus (US)
  • Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS): A stimulus that automatically and naturally triggers a response. Unconditioned Response (UCR): A unlearned, naturally occurring response to the unconditioned stimulus, like salivation in the dog when food is in the mouth. Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Originally a neutral stimulus that, after association with an unconditioned stimulus, comes to trigger a conditioned response. Conditioned Response (CR): A learned response to a previously neutral conditioned stimulus.
  • OBJECTIVE 21-4 | Summarize the processes of extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination.
  • OBJECTIVE 21-5 | Discuss the survival value of extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization and discrimination.
  • OBJECTIVE 21-9 | Describe some uses of classical conditioning to improve human health and well-being.


  • 1. Classical Conditioning Module 21
  • 2. Classical Conditioning
    • How Do We Learn?
    • Classical Conditioning
      • Pavlov’s Experiments
      • Extending Pavlov’s Understanding
      • Pavlov’s Legacy
  • 3. Definition
    • Learning is a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.
  • 4. How Do We Learn?
    • We learn by association. Our minds naturally connect events that occur in sequence.
    • Aristotle, 2000 years ago, suggested this law of association and then 200 years ago Locke and Hume
  • 5. Stimulus-Stimulus Learning Learning to associate one stimulus with another.
  • 6. Stimulus-Stimulus Learning Learning to associate one stimulus with another.
  • 7.
    • Ivan Pavlov
      • 1849-1936
      • Russian physician/ neurophysiologist
      • Nobel Prize in 1904
      • studied digestive secretions
    Classical Conditioning (Respondent behavior) Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) Sovfoto
  • 8.
    • Classical Conditioning - an organism learns to connect or associate stimuli.
  • 9. Pavlov’s Experiments Before conditioning food (Unconditioned Stimulus, US) produces salivation (Unconditioned Response, UR). The tone (neutral stimulus) does not.
  • 10. Pavlov’s Experiments During conditioning, neutral stimulus (tone) and US (food) are paired resulting in salivation (UR). After conditioning neutral stimulus (now Conditioned Stimulus, CS) elicits salivation (now Conditioned Response, CR)
  • 11. Acquisition The CS needs to come half a second before the US to cause acquisition.
  • 12.  
  • 13.
    • The Water Show
    • Jeannette was happy when she heard her family’s plan to go to a water sports’ show. Then she heard the weather report, which predicted temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. Jeannette suspected that the weather would be hard to bear, but she went anyway to the show. As she watched the water skiers perform their taxing routines to the blaring organ music, she became very sweaty and uncomfortable. Eventually she fainted from the heat. After the family outing, Jeannette could never again hear organ music without feeling dizzy and eventually fainting.
    • What is the unconditioned stimulus (US)? _________________________________
    • What is the unconditioned response (UR)? _________________________________
    • What is the conditioned stimulus (CS)? ___________________________________
    • What is the conditioned response (CR)? ___________________________________
  • 14. Biological Predispositions Even humans develop classically conditioned nausea.
  • 15. Extinction
    • When a US (food) does not follow a CS (tone) CR (salivation) starts to decrease and at some point goes extinct.
  • 16. Spontaneous Recovery
    • After a rest period an extinguished CR (salivation) spontaneously recovers and if CS (tone) persists alone becomes extinct again.
  • 17. Stimulus Generalization
    • Tendency to respond to stimuli similar to CS is called generalization .
  • 18. Stimulus Discrimination
    • Discrimination is the learned ability to distinguish between a CS and other stimuli that do not signal a US.
  • 19. Extending Pavlov’s Understanding
    • Pavlov and Watson considered consciousness or mind not fit for scientific study of psychology. However, they underestimated the importance of cognitive processes and biological constraints .
  • 20. Biological Predispositions Even humans develop classically conditioned nausea.
  • 21.
    • Watson developed advertising campaigns including Maxwell House, making “coffee break” an American custom.
    Applications of Classical Conditioning John B. Watson Brown Brothers
  • 22. Conditioned emotional response Menu
  • 23.
    • Alcoholics can be conditioned (aversively) partly reversing their positive-associations with alcohol.
    • A drug (plus its taste) that affects the immune response, can lead the taste to invoke the immune response through classical conditioning.
    Applications of Classical Conditioning