Conditioning

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  • Conditioning
    • Another form of learned behaviour
    • Classical conditioning
      • Happens when an animal learns passively (without trying to) to associate a 'neutral stimulus' with an important one
        • The response is automatic and reinforced by repetition
        • EXAMPLE: Ivan Pavlov - Classical conditioning in dogs - he rang a bell before the dogs were given their food and they would salivate (drool)
    • Operant Conditioning
      • 'Trial and error' learning = where an animal learns actively to associate an action with a reward or punishment
      • EXAMPLE: Burrhus Skinner - Operant behaviour in pigeons and rats
        • Skinner trained rats and pigeons to obtain a food reward using  small cage (Skinner box) - the pigeons and rats would use trial and error to see which button to press to gain reward
    • Conditioning is used to train animals
      • EXAMPLES
        • Training guide dogs to stop at a roadside and wait for a command
        • Training police sniffer dogs to retrieve dogs
        • Training police horses to only respond to commands from their riders
  • * Classical conditioning is used in combination with operant conditioning when the reward can't be given at the exact time the act is carried out

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