Classical Conditioning Concepts Quiz

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What is reinforcement in operant conditioning?

Anything that strengthens or increases an organism's behavior

Which of the following is an example of a positive reinforcer?

Bonus received after completing a project

What type of reinforcer is a teacher giving her student a pat on the shoulder for a job well done?

Social reinforcer

Which type of reinforcement involves giving a reward once the desired behavior is emitted?

Positive reinforcement

What does negative reinforcement involve?

Removing an unpleasant condition after the desired behavior

Which type of reinforcement involves getting rid of something in order to strengthen the behavior?

Negative reinforcement

What could be considered an aversive stimulus?

Physical or psychological pain

Study Notes

Learning and Psychological Theories

  • Learning: relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of practice or experience
  • Psychological Learning: theoretical science that covers various psychological theories related to learning and how a person interacts with their environment

Aristotle's Empiricism

  • Knowledge comes only from sensory experience
  • Learning comes from experience, and all knowledge begins with the senses

Laws of Association

  • Law of Contiguity: things/events that occur close to each other in space or time tend to get linked together in the mind
  • Law of Frequency: the more a person practices the desired behavior correctly, the higher the probability that the behavior will be retained and used
  • Law of Similarity: two things are similar or alike, the thought of one will tend to trigger the thought of the other
  • Law of Contrast: seeing or recalling something may also trigger the recollection of something completely opposite

Socrates and Anamnesis

  • Socrates: believed that knowledge is innate and can be found from within through piloting, or asking questions to arrive at one's own answers
  • Anamnesis: knowledge can be found from within through self-reflection and introspection

Descartes and Dualism

  • René Descartes: studied the relationship between mind and body, proposing a dualism where the mind is different from matter (body) but can influence it

Wundt and Introspection

  • Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt: established the first experimental psychology laboratory, focusing on human conscious experience, including physical sensations, feelings, and images
  • Introspection: self-observation of one's thoughts, feelings, and sensations, focusing on meticulous observation of awareness

Functionalism and William James

  • William James: functionalism focuses on observable experiences, with the mind as an important organ for adaptation to the environment
  • Conscious processes function for the adjustment of the individual to their surroundings, including mental activities like memory, thinking, etc.

Hermann Ebbinghaus and Learning

  • Hermann Ebbinghaus: probed on learning, studying rote memory and forgetting

Edward Thorndike and Operant Conditioning

  • Edward Thorndike: proposed the "law of effect" - humans and other animals learn behaviors through trial and error method
  • Operant Conditioning: learning from the consequences of one's actions and behaviors

Ivan Pavlov and Classical Conditioning

  • Ivan Pavlov: discovered classical conditioning, where an arbitrary external stimulus can elicit a conditioned response
  • Classical Conditioning: learning through association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US)

John B. Watson and Behaviorism

  • John B. Watson: used behaviorism as a method of learning, focusing on observable behaviors and ignoring consciousness
  • Founder of the school of behaviorism, which influenced North American psychology

Conditioning and Extinction

  • Extinction: the decrease or disappearance of a conditioned response
  • Spontaneous Recovery: a learned response can resurface even after a period of extinction
  • Stimulus Generalization: the likelihood of the CS to elicit similar responses after the response has been conditioned
  • Stimulus Discrimination: the ability to differentiate between the CS and other stimuli that have not been associated with the US
  • Disinhibition: the sudden recovery of a response during an extinction procedure when a new stimulus is introduced

Limitations of Classical Conditioning

  • Over Shadowing: one stimulus is presented, and the other stimulus produces a more solid response
  • Blocking Effect: the conditioning of an association between two stimuli, a conditioned stimulus, and the unconditioned stimulus is weakened when during conditioning
  • Latent Inhibition: it is easier to learn something new than to unlearn something acquired for a long period of time

Application of Classical Conditioning

  • Classical conditioning can be applied to alcohol-aversion therapy and control of pain sensitivity

Operant Conditioning and Edward Thorndike's Law of Effect

  • Operant Conditioning: learning from the consequences of one's actions and behaviors
  • Edward Thorndike's Law of Effect: behaviors that lead to a positive consequence for the individual will most likely be repeated, but if the response turned out to be unsatisfying for the person, chances are the behavior/response will not be done again by the individual

Components of Operant Conditioning

  • Reinforcement: anything that strengthens or increases the behavior of an organism
  • Positive Reinforcers: a beneficial outcome presented after the behavior is done
  • Negative Reinforcers: removing an unpleasant condition after the desired behavior is done

Test your knowledge on classical conditioning concepts such as extinction, spontaneous recovery, and stimulus generalization, including the famous 'Little Albert' experiment conducted by John B. Watson.

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