Study questions/objectives for learning--chapter 5
1. Define the following terms: learning; stimulus; US; UR; CS/NS; CR; classical conditioning; reflexes; pairing methods used in classical conditioning; law of effect; reinforcer (positive and negative, and primary & secondary); consequence; Premack Principle; negative reinforcement; positive reinforcement; response cost; punishment; shaping; extinction; reverse chaining; antecedent stimulus/cue; discrimination; generalization; modeling; vicarious learning;
2. What is the difference/similarity between the following: behavioral & cognitive learning theory; classical & operant learning; law of effect and positive reinforcement; 1st and 2nd order conditioning?
a. diagram the following operant processes: negative reinforcement; positive reinforcement; response cost; punishment
3. List and describe the rules for using consequences effectively (hint: immediacy; power; contingency).
4. List and define the types of schedules of reinforcement.
5. Describe how Bandura's social learning theory is similar yet distinct from operant learning. List & describe the four phases associated with observational learning (AReRepMo). How could phase four be related to schedules of reinforcement?
6. Given examples, be able to identify classical and operant conditioning processes.
Learning Review Sheets
I. Learning: any relatively permanent change in beh. resulting from experience
II. Three basic types: classical (simplest), operant, and observational
III. Classical Conditioning.
A. Terms (stated as equivalences): conditioning = learning; behavior = response; elicits = causes; reflexive = involuntary (e.g., involuntary responses cannot be consciously stopped once they start); emitted = voluntary (e.g., voluntary responses can be consciously stopped); innate = inborn; stimulus = environmental event; antecedent = "before" (e.g., before a response); consequent or consequences = "after" (e.g., after a response).
B. Classical conditioning was the lst type of learning to be discovered and studied (hence the name classical); it is called Pavlovian conditioning to honor its discoverer, Ivan Pavlov; it is technically called respondent (by Skinner) conditioning (a more descriptive name) since in this type of learning, one is responding to an antecedent.
C. Classical conditioning is S elicits>R conditioning since the antecedent stimulus (singular) causes the reflexive/involuntary response to occur.
1. classical conditioning starts with a reflex: an innate, involuntary behavior elicited/caused by an antecedent environmental event. Example: if I blow air into your eye, you blink. You have no voluntary/conscious control over whether the blink occurs or not.
2. the specific model for classical conditioning is:
US-->UR represents a reflex
response of interest doesn't occur the NS is a neutral stimulus since
it doesn't elicit the UR.
> CR by
being repeatedly paired with the US, the NS is transformed into a CS that,
when presented by itself, elicits or causes the CR which is the same involuntary
response as the UR.
3. In classical conditioning no new behaviors are learned. Instead, an association is developed (through pairing) between the NS & US so that the animal/person responds to both events/stimuli (plural) in the same way; restated, after conditioning, both the US and the CS will elicit the same involuntary response (the animal learns to respond reflexively to a new stimulus).
4. Pavlov's original experiment (with a hungry dog) shown using the model in # 2 above: meat salivation
US elicits> UR
(e.g., no response)
CS elicits> CR
D. Phenomena associated with classical conditioning:
l. Extinction: if the CS is repeatedly presented by itself (i. e., without the US) the conditioning/association process is reversed, and the CS will become an NS.
a. spontaneous recovery: sometimes, after extinction, if the CS is again presented, it will "spontaneously" elicit the CR.
2. Discrimination: detecting differences between stimuli. In discrimination, which can occur naturally or be taught (using extinction and pairing), the animal learns to respond to some, but not all, similar stimuli.
3. Generalization: treating different stimuli as though they are the same. In generalization, which can be natural or learned (by pairing different NS's with the US), the animal learns to do the same reflexive response to different antecedent stimuli.
4. Higher (or second) order conditioning. Classical conditioning doesn't have to involve pairing an NS with a US. If an NS is paired with an existing CS, the NS will also become a CS.
E. Classical conditioning primarily influences emotional behavior in humans. Things that make us happy, sad, angry, etc. For example, if a particular movie or novel produces emotional feelings in you, those emotions are probably a result of classical conditioning.
Analyzing Examples of Classical
Conditioning: A Task Analysis Approach
Recently (Baron & Sternberg, l987; Rathus, l990; Stanovich, 1989), educators and psychologists have directed extensive effort in their attempt to define and teach critical thinking skills. The increasing emphasis on critical thinking first came to my attention several years ago when I was reviewing psychology texts for adoption consideration. Between l985 and l987, an increasing number of new psychology texts advertised that they taught critical thinking skills. When their test-item manuals were also reviewed (Hummel, Sansoni, & Sedita, l988) it became obvious that many of the texts' test items required critical thinking skills in order to answer the test questions though I could not determine, based on the information provided in the texts and their accompanying manuals, how to teach these skills to students.
My experience with education & psychology students is that many of them have difficulty analyzing examples of classical conditioning. Test-item files for these texts are replete with application-type questions concerned with classical conditioning. The questions typically give an example of classical conditioning and either ask the pairing method used (trace, delay, simultaneous, or backward) or require students to identify the various initializations (US, CS, UR, CR). The purpose of this paper is to share a technique I developed and used successfully to teach students how to accurately analyze examples of classical conditioning.
Using the Approach
The following example is typical of the type one might find in an introductory text. Read through the example carefully since it illustrates how to correctly analyze examples of classical conditioning.
Whenever he walks into the biology lab, Juan is momentarily nauseated by the smell of formaldehyde which is used to pickle the various tissue samples and dead animals used in the lab. After a couple of minutes he exhibits sensory adaptation to the smell (e.g., he no longer could smell the formaldehyde). The instructor distributesthe dead cats that the students are dissecting, and with practice, Juan displays great precision in removing various organs from the animals. One morning while he was backing-out of his driveway, Juan ran over something. When he got out of his car, he discovered that he had squashed a neighbor's cat. The sight of the animal's organs on the driveway and tire made Juan sick to his stomach.
Identifying the Initializations
l. "What involuntary response was caused or elicited in the example?"
The answer (nausea/sickness) is both the UR and CR.
2. "What originally caused the involuntary response in the example? The answer (formaldehyde) is the US.
3. "What stimulus/event
was paired with the US?" The answer (animal organs) is the CS/NS.
PSY 310: Analyzing Classical Conditioning
1. After a big fraternity party, Andrew slept in his buddy's room. He awoke dry-heaving as a result of a hangover. When he could finally open his eyes (still barfing-up bile) he noticed wall-posters of John Denver on the ceiling and walls. Now, whenever he sees a picture of John Denver, he feels mildly ill.
2. As she walked through her neighborhood, Jodie, a 6 yr.-old who has a cockerspanial, saw a large brown dog. She walked-up to the dog to pet it and as her hand approached the dog's head it bit her on the hand doing considerable tissue damage. Jodie immediately began to cry and exhibit other fear responses (e.g., rapid heart beat, "butterflies" in her tummy, etc.). Now when she sees any large dog she gets nervous and frightened.
3. John was raised in a very
rigid home where sexuality was a taboo topic. When he went to college he
lived in a dorm where men and women had rooms on the same floors and shared
common baths. His first morning there, he walked into the bathroom and
saw a strikingly beautiful woman who was nude. John blushed in embarrassment
and quickly backed-out of the lavatory. That night he met his blind date
at the Student Union. He began blushing as sooing/remediating. Sort of
the next step above programmed instruction. While software and hardware
originally were prohibitively expensive (and much software wasn't that
effective), today the costs are reasonable and there are a plethora of
great programs for all grades and disciplines. CAI may not be able to replace
a teacher (yet?) but it's a great supplement to traditional classroom instruction.
Integrated learning systems (such as Josten's) are becoming more widely
available. Five types of software: Drill and practice; tutorials; simulations;
educational games, and utility programs.
Last Updated: May 20, 1997