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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Psychology
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Learning: Intro & Classical Conditioning

  • Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of experience (does not include instincts, reflexes or maturation
  • The primary ways of learning that are focused upon in psychology are classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning and cognitive learning
  • Classical conditioning is learning that takes place when an originally neutral stimulus comes to produce a conditioned response due to an association with and unconditioned stimulus
  • Ivan Pavlov discovered the process of classical conditioning
  • The parts of CC are the unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus, and conditioned response—they form a series of steps in relation to one another
  • Early research was done by John Watson on a child called “Little Albert” in which various stimuli were paired with a loud sound creating fear in the child

Learning: Intro & Classical Conditioning

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Learning (7-9%)
    • Objectives
    • Objectives, Continued
    • Learning = Conditioning
    • Learning
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Pavlov and Contiguity
    • Terms
    • Diagram of Classical Conditioning
    • Pavlov and the Dogs
    • Watson, Ramer, and Little Albert
    • Watson and Little Albert
    • Stimulus Generalization
    • Restaurants, The Flu, and Nausea
    • Food, Blood Sugar, Hunger, and Time
    • Classic Puff of Air and Tone Example
    • Trauma (Bomb), Context, and Fear
    • Review
    • Intro 0:00
    • Learning (7-9%) 0:19
      • Classical Conditioning
      • Operant Conditioning
      • Cognitive Processes
      • Biological Factors
      • Social Learning
      • This Section of the Course Introduces Students to the Differences Between Learned and Unlearned Behavior. The Primary Focus is Exploration of Different Kinds of Learning, Including Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, and Observational Learning. The Biological Bases of Behavior Illustrate Predispositions for Learning.
    • Objectives 1:15
      • Distinguish General Differences Between Principles of Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, and Observational Learning (e.g. Contingencies).
      • Describe Basic Classical Conditioning Phenomena, Such as Acquisition, Extinction, Spontaneous Recovery, Generalization, Discrimination, and Higher Order Learning.
      • Predict the Effects of Operant Conditioning (e.g. Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, Schedules of Reinforcement).
      • Predict How Practice, Schedules of Reinforcement, and Motivation Will Influence Quality of Learning.
    • Objectives, Continued 2:45
      • Describe the Essential Characteristics of Insight Learning, Latent Learning, and Social Learning
      • Apply Learning Principles to Explain Emotional Learning, Taste Aversion, Superstitious Behavior, and Learned Helplessness
      • Suggest How Behavior Modification, Biofeedback, Coping Strategies, and Self-Control Can Be Used to Address Behavioral Problems
      • Identify Key Contributors in the Psychology of Learning (e.g. Albert Bandura, John Garcia, Ivan Pavlov, Robert Rescale, B.F. Skinner, Edward Thorndike, Edward Dolman, John B. Watson)
    • Learning = Conditioning 3:43
      • Relatively Permanent Change in Behavior
      • As a Result of Experience
      • Does NOT Include Instincts, Reflexes, and Maturation
      • In This Unit, We Will Examine Learning By Association by Consequence and By Observation
      • Lots of Terms and Relationships to Each Other
      • Learning is Inferred From a Change in Behavior/Performance
      • Learning Results in an Inferred Change in Memory
    • Learning 5:22
      • This Means That Behavior Changes That are Temporary or Due to Things Like Drugs, Alcohol, etc. are NOT Learned
    • Classical Conditioning 5:46
      • One Type of Learning
      • Learning That Takes Place When an Originally Neutral Stimulus Comes to Produce a Conditioned Response Because of its Association With an Unconditioned Stimulus.
      • History: Discovered by Russian Psychologist, Ivan Pavlov.
      • Studied Dogs and Salivation
    • Pavlov and Contiguity 8:34
      • Temporal Association Between Two Events That Occur Closely Together in Time.
      • The More Closely in Time Two Events Occurred, the More Likely They Were to Become Associated; as Time Passes, Association Becomes Less Likely
    • Terms 10:22
      • Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS or US) -- Any Stimulus That Creates an Autonomic/Automatic/Reflexive Response in an Organism
      • Unconditioned Response (UCR or UR) -- Response That Occurs Due to Autonomic or Reflective Stimulus
      • Conditioned Stimulus (CS) -- Anything That Can Be Perceived
      • Conditioned Response (CR) -- Anything That Can Be a UCR/UR Can Become a CR. For AP Psych, the UR is ALWAYS the Same as the CR
    • Diagram of Classical Conditioning 11:56
      • Unlearned S-R (Relationship) + (Association Formed/Pairing Made) --> Learned S-R
    • Pavlov and the Dogs 13:28
      • Same Diagram Using Examples from Pavlov's Research -- Food --> Salivation + Bell rung with food eventually becomes Bell Rung --> Salivation
    • Watson, Ramer, and Little Albert 16:20
      • Baby Albert -- 8 Months Old
      • Use of Metal Bar on Metal Bar
      • Paired Loud Noise With Rat, Rabbit, and More
      • Questions:
    • Watson and Little Albert 20:24
      • Unlearned S-R (Relationship) + (Association Formed/Pairing Made)
      • Loud Sound --> Fear then Rat+ Loud Sound eventually becomes Rat --> Fear
    • Stimulus Generalization 21:50
      • Little Albert Generalized His Fear of Rats Into Fear of Anything With White Fur, Including a Santa Claus Mask, a Rabbit, etc.,
    • Restaurants, The Flu, and Nausea 23:23
      • Flu (UCS) --> Nausea/Vomiting (UCR) then Jack in the Box + With Flu Eventually Becomes Jack in the Box --> Nausea
    • Food, Blood Sugar, Hunger, and Time 24:52
      • Needing Food/Having Low Blood Sugar (UCS) --> Hunger (UCR) then Time on Clock or In Class Right Before Lunch --> Associate Class With Hunger Eventually Becomes Time on Clock --> Hunger
    • Classic Puff of Air and Tone Example 27:46
      • Puff of Air (UCS) --> Blink (UCR) then Tone + Puff of Air Eventually Becomes Tone --> Blink
    • Trauma (Bomb), Context, and Fear 29:11
      • Bomb Explosion (UCS) --> Fear (UCR) then Art Museum + Bomb Explosion Eventually Becomes Art Museum --> Fear
    • Review 32:23
      • What is Learning? How is it Different From Taking a Psychoactive Substance?
      • Describe the Relationship Among the US, the UR, the CS and the CR
      • What Can Be a Conditioned Stimulus?
      • What Can Be an Unconditioned Stimulus?
      • Come Up With Your Own Examples of Classical Conditioning in Your Life -- Label the Parts