6.1 the principcles of learning: classical conditioning Flashcards Preview

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primary research focus of behaviourism

human behaviour and roles that control human behaviour
(we can observe, measure and objectively verify)


behaviourists couldn't think of any reasons that

human behaviour rules would differ from animal behaviour
they experimented on animals and used those results to make claims on human behaviour


behaviourists began by reasoning that organisms are not born knowing what behaviours to engage in

not entirely true- because some species engage in elaborate behaviour that is genetically hardwired into them at birth
ex, mating
but its true that most behaviour is acquired through experience


process of learning

behaviour is acquired through learning
principles of learning is very important
behaviourists were able to maintain observable phenomenon by investigating how features of the environment, which can be directly observed, caused tendency changes some behaviour, which is also directly observable, they used the word stimulus and response



features of the environment



behaviour that arose from the stimuli


to behaviourists learning was...

mainly forming connection b/w environmental stimuli and behavioural responses they called this stimulus response (sr associations)


ivan pavlov

-tools were already available for behaviourist from physiologists
-he did physiological science
-revealed that much that controls the behaviour of animals is unconscious


behaviours can emerge quite automatically and unconsciously in humans and animals

since behaviourists where uncomfortable with research with unconscious thought process.


pavlov meat powder

-dogs started to increase salivating


classical or pavlovian conditioning

new stimulus can generate the physiological response on its own


unconditioned stimulus

getting poked in the back with a pencil
any stimulus that naturally generates some response in a person or animal


unconditioned response

response to unconditioned stimulus


conditioned stimulus

whistling while poking someone in the back everyday, then one day they just whistle, still same arousal
-2 factors


conditioned response

if whistling comes to generate the surprise reaction without feeling a pencil poke


behaviourists took classical conditioning apart to see

how it worked


pairing conditioned stimulus and unconditioned stimulus

acquisition phase
-for classical conditioning to work best, became clear that consistent presentation of the unconditioned stimulus with the unconditioned stimulus was necessary to form a strong enough association for the conditioned stimulus to later succeed in generating the response on its own



gradual loss of the conditioned response after the repeated presentation of the conditioned stimulus alone
stops the strong reaction eventually


spontaneous recovery

renewed reaction of a conditional stimulus after a few days when you have had time to recover


stimulus generalization

does the condition stimulus always need to be the same to generate the conditioned response
-a stimulus that is similar to the condition stimulus will produce a conditioned response, but the effect will be weaker as the stimulus gets further away from the conditioned stimulus


stimulus Discrimination

is it possible to make classical conditioning more refined so that the conditioned response only occurs for a single stimulus and not other similar stimuli
-the right type of learning resulted in more precise conditioned responses that are tuned only to stimuli that are very similar to the condition stimulus


classical conditioning provides an

aspect of psychology that is present in everyone


john b watson

founder of behaviourism


conditioned emotional response

ex. response fear
why we feel the way we do about, people/ obejects


easier to generate fear responses with

snakes rather then flowers or guns
-conditioned fear responses with transitional dangers to our safety are more easier to acquire than non dangerous objects



explaines why certain associations are learned more readily than others
-explains what generates your phobia
-also explains why people have a strong dislike fore certain foods


conditioned taste aversion

associates the taste of certain food with symptoms caused by a spoiled food. generally developed after ingestion of food that causes nausea, sickness, or vomiting


conditioned drug tolerance

person does same drugs same place/equipment every time which tells the body to metabolize the drug, weakening the effect every time, must increase the dosage, could effect an overdose if they change one of the things they do in routine


common sexual fetishes include

foot or shoe
leather or latex
even those these things are not sexy, previous arousal that included these things make it seem sexy



components need to be observable and directly measurable
(memory, feeling and thoughts were ride of)- down fall (missing many aspects of pychology
reveal important phycological principles
john b watson and bf skinner

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