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Historical Influences – Learning (continued) Lecture 3 . Pavlov . Pavlov set out to discover how learning occurred (empirical) INVOLVES LEARNING WHAT EVENTS IN ENVIRONMENT “GO TOGETHER” IS LEARNING OF “ASSOCIATIONS” LEARNED BY HAVING EVENTS PAIRED WITH ONE ANOTHER

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Historical Influences – Learning


Lecture 3

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Pavlov set out to discover how learning occurred (empirical)




E1  E2 or S  S learning (NS  UCS)

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What would happen to your emotions right now if I were to say the following:


Why do we respond this way?

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Use Classical Conditioning to explain behavior:

Scenarios (group discussions)

1. Sound of drill, dentist visit

2. Hospital smell, visiting the hospital

3. Round band aids, visiting the doctor

4. Examples of Second order conditioning &

Counter conditioning

Neutral Stimulus (NS)

Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS)

Unconditioned Response (UCR)

Conditioned Stimulus (CS)

Conditioned Response (CR)

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Pavlovian Conditioning

Just Reflexes?

Does this work in Humans?

Does classical conditioning go beyond basic responses?

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John Broadus Watson


Founder of Behaviorism:

Only study behavior…not concerned with the mind…focus on relationship between environment and behavior

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"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specialized world to bring them up in, and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant chief and yes, even beggarman and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors.”

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VH1 “Behind the Science”

  • Born South Carolina

  • Wild & impulsive

  • Trouble with law

  • 16 yrs – to college

  • 21 yrs – masters

  • Supported himself totally

  • through college

  • 4th year turned in a paper back to front – “F”

  • -Grad school – Univ. of Chicago

  • -Ph.D. in 3 years

  • -1907 offered position - Johns Hopkins $2500

  • -1915 APA President (37 yrs)

“Little Albert” – first CC in humans

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“Little Albert”

“Analysis of a Phobia in a Five Year Old Boy” S. Freud (1909)

  • - “Little Hans” – White horses with black mouth

  • Father sent letters to Freud

  • - “proud, very white, trotted away”

  • Dad away boy slept with Mom  Oedipus Complex

  • Displacement (unconscious conflict)

- Watson…I don’t think so! – Phobia due to conditioning

- Watson set out to show for the first time emotion could undergo classical conditioning

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Little Albert B.

  • Emotionally and physically healthy 9-month old male raised in a hospital environment

    “No one had ever seen him in a state of fear and rage. The infant practically never cried… His stability was one of the principle reasons for using him as a subject in this test. We felt that we could do him relatively little harm by carrying out such experiments.”

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Little Albert B.

  • Actual conditioning started at 11-months

  • Albert was conditioned to cry (fear) a rat

    “The instant the rat was shown the baby began to cry. Almost instantly he turned sharply to the left, fell over on left side, raised himself on all fours and began to crawl away so rapidly that he was caught with difficulty before reaching the edge of the table.”

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Watson & Rosalie Rayner

“Little Albert”

9 mo old boy

UCS: Sound of steel bar & hammer = UCR: crying


1. 2 trials with NS + UCS = CRY (“Fretted”)

2. 2 days later CS alone = no touch

3. 5 more trials of CS+UCS

4. 8th trial …bingo… CS  CRY

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Conditioned Emotional REACTIONS!

What the?

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Watson & Rosalie Rayner (1920)

“Little Albert”

Generalized: responding to a

stimulus as a result of training

with another stimulus (5 days later)

- Rabbit

- Dog

- Seal Coat

- Santa Claus (beard)

“transfer or spread”

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Anybody have issues with his experiment…




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Watson’s Contributions

  • One of the First American Psychologist to

  • apply Pavlov’s work to humans (emotions)

  • Brought the study of behavior (Psych) into a

  • more “scientific” and observable discipline

  • Little Albert in every Psych Textbook

  • Convinced other Psychologist that there was an

  • alternative to Freudian Psychoanalysis

  • Neurotic symptoms (Phobias could be controlled via CC)…Major applied significance

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Contributions to Psychology

  • Generalization of fears

  • Showed that emotions can be learned

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VH1 “Behind the Science”

John B. Watson

Physiological Aspects of Sexual


Attach electrode on subjects during sex

Wife – “NO”

RA – “YES”

Resigned from Johns Hopkins

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Never Published again…Private Industry

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Real-Life Examples of Classical Conditioning

Mowrer & Mowrer (1938) Treatment for enuresis (bed-wetting)

  • Child sleeps on a pad (a wire mesh that is connected to a bell -

  • has been sewn)

  • - Child wets the bed  electrical circuit causes bell to ring (UCS)

  • Child wakes up (UCR)

  • After several repetitions of this cycle (bed-wetting causes him to

  • be awakened by the bell), the child begins to associate the

  • sensation of pressure in his bladder (a previously neutral stimulus)

  • with waking up

  • In a short time, the need to urinate (now a CS) becomes

  • sufficient in itself to awaken the child (now a CR) so he or she can

  • get up and go to the bathroom - no need for PAD with Bell

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Real-Life Examples of Classical Conditioning

Gustavson and Gustavson (1985) – Conditioned Taste Aversion

Coyotes killing sheep – problem to sheep farmers

Study conditioned coyotes not to eat the sheep

Sheep meat (CS) sprinkled with a chemical (UCS) that would produce a stomachache (UCR)

After coyotes ate the treated meat,

they avoided the live sheep (CR)

This humane application of conditioned taste aversion might be used to control other predators as well

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Real-Life Examples of Classical Conditioning

Metalmikov & Chorine (1926, 1928) – Immune System

Injected Guinea Pigs with Foreign agents (non lethal)

 antibodies  boost their immune system

Then paired injections with Lights

Lights + Injections = better immunity

Lights alone = better immunity

Later Injected Cholera: animals with prior conditioning

better survival vs controls with no conditioning

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In A Clockwork Orange, a brutal sociopath, a mass murderer, is strapped to a chair and forced to watch violent movies while he is injected with a drug that nauseates him. So he sits and gags and retches as he watches the movies. After hundreds of repetitions of this, he associates violence with nausea, and it limits his ability to be violent.

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  • Real-Life Examples of Classical Conditioning

    • Drug Tolerance -- Drug Overdose

      • drug users become increasingly less responsive

      • to the effects of the drug

      • tolerance is specific to specific environments (e.g. bedroom)

      • familiar environment becomes associated with a compensatory response (Physiology)

      • taking drug in unfamiliar environment leads to lack of tolerance  drug overdose

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