Classical: Higher Order Conditioning
- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1286
- Category: Behaviorism
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• Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life
When students first learn about Pavlov’s dogs–that dogs learn to salivate to the sound of a bell (the “conditioned stimulus”) when the bell had been sounded before the presentation of food (the “unconditioned stimulus”)–they see it as an odd, laboratory phenomenon, something that is unrelated to everyday life, and with good reason: It is a contrived arrangement involving dogs, bells, and research assistants wearing laboratory coats in a country very far away, a long time ago. (Pavlov’s classic book was published in 1927.) In truth, however, classical conditioning is more prevalent than one normally appreciates. Seldom do people realize that the tasty appearance of unnatural-looking and pretty odorless foods like Twizzlers, lollipops, candy canes, and plastic-looking cakes (see photo at bottom) owe their attractive, incentivized properties to the process of classical conditioning. If one had never tasted these foods, or, better yet, were a baby that had never tasted anything like these foods, the objects would probably not look tasty at all. The sight of a candy cane, for example, may just as well be that of a plastic toy. The same holds true for other incentivized objects, such as the ashtray for the smoker, the bottle for the drinker, and the pipe for the professor (that is, the professor of year’s ago).
Another, seldom appreciated aspect of classical conditioning is that, as sophisticated as it is, much of it is mediated unconsciously, beneath the horizon of our conscious awareness. The circuits in the brain that are responsible for classical conditioning are very different from those responsible for our episodic, autobiographical memories, memories that, at times, can be experienced consciously. Unlike other forms of conditioning, such as operant conditioning–where one, for example, performs an action for a reward–the conditioned response in classical conditioning (e.g., the cravings one experience when looking at a beautiful cake) cannot be suppressed at will; they are ‘involuntary.’ One can suppress behaviors but not the urges associated with them (Morsella, 2005, Psychological Review), especially if they are due to what Pavlov discovered, a long time ago. what is an example of classical conditioning in your every day life? Asked by snowey71 3 years ago Report Abuse
B. Classical Conditioning in Everyday Life
One of the great things about conditioning is that we can see it all around us. Here are some examples of classical conditioning that you may see: 1. Conditioned Fear & Anxiety – many phobias that people experience are the results of conditioning. For Example – “fear of bridges” – fear of bridges can develop from many different sources. For example, while a child rides in a car over a dilapidated bridge, his father makes jokes about the bridge collapsing and all of them falling into the river below. The father finds this funny and so decides to do it whenever they cross the bridge. Years later, the child has grown up and now is afraid to drive over any bridge. In this case, the fear of one bridge generalized to all bridges which now evoke fear. 2. Advertising – modern advertising strategies evolved from John Watson’s use of conditioning. The approach is to link an attractive US with a CS (the product being sold) so the consumer will feel positively toward the product just like they do with the US. US –> CS –> CR/UR attractive person –> car –> pleasant emotional response
3. A Clockwork Orange – No additional information necessary! If you haven’t seen this movie or read the book, do it. You will find it very interesting, and a wonderful example of conditioning in action. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100320095801AAWsvOf
Classical (Pavlovian) conditioning, first studied by Ivan Pavlov, is a four-step learning procedure involving reflexes. Pavlov became curious about the fact that some of his laboratory dogs began salivating before food actually was in their mouths. He then found that if he used the appropriate sequence of events, a dog would salivate at the sound of a buzzer or the appearance of a light. Further experimentation established the conditions essential in producing such a phenomenon. Classical conditioning requires the existence of an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) that elicits an unconditioned response (UCR), that is, that reliably elicits an unlearned response, in the experimental subject. UCRs (unlearned responses) are also known as reflexes. The UCR is usually a physiological response that can reliably be elicited by a UCS, for example, salivation (the UCR) in response to the smell or sight of food (the UCS), particularly if one is hungry, or an eye blink (the UCR) in response to a puff of air (the UCS) blown into the eye.
The classical conditioning procedure also requires a conditioned stimulus (CS), a stimulus of which the subject can be made aware but which initially does not cause the UCR, followed by a conditioned response, the same response as the UCR, but eventually in reaction to a different stimulus. For example, the CS in the puff of air example might be simply the sound of a buzzer, resulting, after conditioning is complete, in a blink (CR) caused by the CS alone. Classical conditioning, then, would proceed as follows, using the four components and four steps. CS: The CS (conditioned stimulus)—for example, the sound of a buzzer—is presented in several trials. UCS: Each presentation of the CS is followed closely by presentation of the UCS (unconditioned stimulus)—for example, the puff of air. UCR: Presentation of the UCS causes a UCR (an eye blink).
CR: After a sufficient number of presentations of the CS followed by the UCS, the experimenter presents the CS without the UCS. If a response, an eye blink, occurs, the UCR is now called a conditioned response (CR). The eye blink response to the buzzer has been conditioned (learned). Shown graphically, the sequence is If the CS now produces a CR, with no presentation of the UCS, it can be said that conditioning (learning) has occurred and Higher order conditioning. Higher order conditioning, that based upon previous learning, may also occur in the classical conditioning paradigm. In higher order conditioning, what was the CS comes to serve as a UCS. For example, if the experimenter always turned on a desk light before sounding the buzzer to begin classical conditioning (to produce an eye blink at the sound of the buzzer), the turning on of the light may eventually itself produce the eye blink, independent of the buzzer. In this case, the buzzer has become a UCS, and the turning on of the light has become a CS. Consequently, although initially (light) → CS(buzzer) → UCS(air puff) → UCR(eye blink) → CR(eye blink) higher order conditioning proceeds And higher order conditioning (learning) occurs:
Classical conditioning terminology. Specific terminology is used to describe the classical conditioning procedure. The process of learning a conditioned response is called acquisition. Usually, conditioning is faster if only a short time elapses between the presentation of the CS and the UCS. The reverse process—that is, unlearning—can occur also and is called extinction. If the CS is presented for a time without the UCS, the CR will eventually cease (be extinguished). If the CS is again presented later, however, the CR will sometimes return temporarily (this temporary return is called spontaneous recovery). But the CR will disappear unless the UCS is at times reinstated. Ex: Example Number 1
Every time someone flushes a toilet in the apartment building, the shower becomes very hot and causes the person to jump back. Over time, the person begins to jump back automatically after hearing the flush, before the water temperature changes. This example is classical conditioning because jumping away from hot water is an automatic response.