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A conditioned stimulus leads to a conditioned

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A conditioned stimulus leads to a conditioned response, and a conditionedstimulus–conditioned response pairing is a consequence of learning and training.page 173Anunconditioned response and a conditioned response are similar (such assalivation in Pavlov’s experiment). But theunconditioned response occurs naturally, whereasthe conditioned response is learned.LO15.2Applying ConditioningPrinciples to Human BehaviorAlthough the initial conditioning experiments were carried out with animals, classicalconditioning principles were soon found to explain many aspects of everyday human behavior.Recall, for instance, the earlier illustration of how people may experience hunger pangs at thesight of McDonald’s golden arches. The cause of this reaction is classical conditioning: thepreviously neutral arches have become associated with the food inside the restaurant (theunconditioned stimulus), causing the arches to become a conditioned stimulus that brings aboutthe conditioned response of hunger.
Many emotional responses are learned through classical conditioning processes. For instance,how do some of us develop fears of mice, spiders, and other creatures that are typicallyharmless? In a now infamous case study, psychologist John B. Watson and colleague RosalieRayner (Watson & Rayner, 1920) showed that classical conditioning was at the root of such fearsby conditioning an 11-month-old infant named Albert to be afraid of rats. “Little Albert,” likemost infants, initially was frightened by loud noises but had no fear of rats.In the study, the experimenters sounded a loud noise whenever Little Albert touched a white,furry rat. The noise (the unconditioned stimulus) evoked fear (the unconditioned response). Afterjust a few pairings of noise and rat, Albert began to show fear of the rat by itself, bursting intotears when he saw it. The rat, then, had become a CS that brought about the CR, fear.Furthermore, the effects of the conditioning lingered: five days later, Albert reacted with fear notonly when shown a rat but also when shown objects that looked similar to the white, furry rat,including a white rabbit, a white sealskin coat, and even a white Santa Claus mask. By the way,we don’t know for certain what happened to Little Albert, and his fate remains a source ofconsiderable speculation. In any case, Watson, the experimenter, has been condemned for usingethically questionable procedures that could never be conducted today (Powell et al., 2014;Griggs, 2015; Digdon, 2017).Learning by means of classical conditioning also occurs during adulthood. For example, youmay not go to a dentist as often as you should because of previous associations of dentists withpain. Similarly, some students associate academic tests with negative emotions and anxiety,which can hinder their performance. (For a sense of your own test-taking reactions, complete theTry It!.)In more extreme cases, classical conditioning can lead to the development ofphobias, whichare intense, irrational fears that we will consider later in the book. For example, an insect phobiamight develop in someone who is stung by a bee. The insect phobia might be so severe that theperson refrains from leaving home. In addition,posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sufferedby some war veterans and others who have had traumatic experiences, can also be produced byclassical conditioning. Even years after their battlefield experiences, veterans may feel a rush of

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