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Chapter 3
Theories of Learning

CHAPTER 3

CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

 

Classical Conditioning is a form of learning in which a formerly neutral stimulus is repeatedly presented with a stimulus that evokes a specific reflexive response.  After repeated pairing, the neutral stimulus elicits a response similar to the reflexive response

 

 

PAVLOVS EXPERIMENT

 

There are some terms that should be clarified to understand Pavlovs Classic Conditioning.   Page 32

 

(NS)      Neutral Stimulus:  a stimulus to which organism does not respond.

 

(UCS)   Unconditioned Stimulus a stimulus that evokes a response prior to (manipulation)

 

(CS)      Conditioned Stimulus:  a manipulated response as a result of repeated systematic association (pairing)

 

(UCR)   Unconditioned Response: response that occurs absent of manipulation

 

(CR)      Conditioned Response: response evoked by a stimulus as a result of repeated, systematic association.

 

Having been stung by a bee, you might, understandably be frighten, when you are around bees. 

 

If a bee flies near you, you might scream, swipe at the bee, or run around like a wild person.  You know that you would be better off if you remain calm and perfectly still, but because of previous stings you cant control yourself.

 

Your involuntary reaction to this stimulus (the bee) is an example of learning known as classical conditioning.

 

CLASSICAL CONDITION IN HUMANS

Can you give examples

 

Darkness / SleepCould not stay awake during Astronomy Night

Food  /  Upset Stomach  Creamy Cucumber Salad made me sick

Fear  /   Failure. Nervous taking Drivers Test                                                                                                         

 

SOME BASIC CONCEPTS IN CLASSIC CONDITIONING

                                                               Page 36

EXTINCTION

SPONTANEOUS RECOVERY

STIMULUS DISCRIMINATION

STIMULUS GENERALIZATION

Extinction: Repeatedly presenting a condition stimulus (ringing the bell) without a unconditioned stimulus (giving the dog meat, or bee sting) will cause the conditioned response (salivating) to cease. This is a phenomenon Pavlov called extinction.

 

 

Spontaneous Recovery: Even though Pavlov quickly extinguished his dogs conditioned salivation response by repeatedly presenting the bell in the absence of meat, when he entered the laboratory the following day he discovered that the bell once again elicited salivation as if extinction never occurred.   The reappearance of the salivation response after it had previously been extinguished is called spontaneous recovery.

 

 

Stimulus Generalization. When individuals respond to other stimuli in the same way they respond to conditioned stimuli, stimulus generalization is said to occur.  Example

 

     A child who fears an abusive father may generalize that fear to other men but

     not to women.

 

 

Stimulus Discrimination.  When one can differentiate between a positive (CS +) stimulus as oppose to a negative (CS -) without generalizing the response.  Example

Pavlov conditioned a dog to salivate in response to a high pitched tone, however, the dog would do the same and salivate with a low pitched tone which means that the dog had generalized the sound and was responding to the sound rather than tone.

 

 

To teach the dog stimulus discrimination, Pavlov repeatedly presented the high pitched tone in conjunction with meat and presented the low pitch tone without meat.  After several such presentations the dog learned to salivate only to the high tone.  (Again, a child who is abused by her father, but simultaneously has positive interaction with other adult men, is not likely to generalize her fear of her father to all other men.

 

 

 

EDUCTIONAL IMPLICATION OF CLASSICAL CONDITIONING

Page 45

 

Far the most part we have been discussing learning and behavior as it relates to animals.  So whats the implication or importance of classical conditioning with regard to people?

 

 

            ARE THE PRINCIPLES REGARDING LEARNING DIFFERENT FOR HUMANS THAN ANIMALS?

 

Research Scientist have concluded that although much of the research was conducted using animals, the same principles apply to humans: Example

 

 

      If a Childs early experience with books is enjoyable, he or she is more likely

      to read more frequently in later years.

 

This generalization from classical conditioning points to the need for a positive classroom climate for students beginning with day one.

 

 

 

IF YOU WERE A TEACHER, HOW MIGHT THIS KNOWLEDGE ASSIST YOU IN YOUR CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT?

 

 

  • Students should experience academic task in an environment that promotes

      pleasant emotions-------feelings of enjoyment, enthusiasm, or excitement.

 

 

        Students should never have to associate school with punishment, humiliation,

      failure, or frustration.

 

 

        Educators have often argued that school should be a place where a student

Encounters more success than failure, and classical conditioning provides a

            Justification for this argument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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