PSYCHOLOGY CHAPTER 6.docx - PSYCHOLOGY CHAPTER 6 6-1 Classical Conditioning Learning is defined as a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge


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PSYCHOLOGY CHAPTER66-1 Classical ConditioningLearning is defined as a relatively durable change in behaviour or knowledge due to experience. Classical conditioning explains how a neutral stimulus can acquire the capacity to elicit a response originally elicited by another stimulus. This kind of conditioning was originally described by Ivan Pavlov, who conditioned dogs to salivate in response to the sound of a tone.In classical conditioning, the UCSis a stimulus that elicits an unconditioned response without previous conditioning. The UCRis an unlearned reaction to an unconditioned stimulus that occurs without previous conditioning. The CS is a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired the capacityto elicit a conditioned response. The CR is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus. Classically conditioned responses are said to be elicited. Many kinds of everyday responses are regulated through classical conditioning, including phobias, mild fears, and pleasant emotional responses. Even subtle physiological responses such as immune system functioning respond to classical conditioning.Stimulus contiguity plays a key role in the acquisition of new conditioned responses. A conditioned response may be weakened and extinguished entirely when the CS is no longer paired with the UCS.In some cases, spontaneous recovery occurs, and an extinguished response reappears after a periodof non-exposure to the CS. Conditioning may generalize to additional stimuli that are like the original CS (stimulus generation). The opposite of generalization is discrimination, which involves not responding to stimuli that resemble the original CS. When an organism learns a discrimination, the generalization gradient narrows around the original CS. Higher-order conditioningoccurs when a CS functions as if it were aUCS. Robert Rescorla’s work on signal relations showed that the predictive value of a CS is an influential factor governing classical conditioning. When a response is followed by a desirable outcome, the response is more likely to be strengthened if it appears that the response caused the outcome. Studies of signal relations in classical conditioning suggest that cognitive processes play a larger role in conditioning than originally believed.
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