Classical Conditioning

Mindmap for the Classical Conditioning section of the 2015 specification of Edexcel AS Psychology

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  • Created by: ak98
  • Created on: 31-03-16 16:06
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  • Classical Conditioning
    • Main Features
      • Extinction
        • Over a period of time, if a CS isn't paired with an UCS, then association is lost and the CR is lost.
      • Spontaneous Recovery
        • the reappearance of the CR after a rest period or period of lessened response
      • Stimulus Generalisation
        • A CR can be generalised to other stimuli that are similar to the CS.
      • SR Unit - Stimulus Response Unit
        • A stimulus is detected by an organism. The organism emits a response. Also known as a reflex
    • Key Terms
      • UCS - Unconditioned Stimulus
      • UCR - Unconditioned Response
      • CS - Conditioned Stimulus
      • NS - Neutral Stimulus
      • CR - Conditioned Response
    • Pavlov 1927
      • Aims
        • To find out if a reflexive behaviour can be produced in new situations through learning
      • Reliabiliy
        • Had a standardised procedure. Used different experimenters. Gives the experiment inter-rater reliability and test-retest reliability
      • Ecological Validity
        • Dogs raised in a lab and kept in unusual environments.
          • Their behavior can't be generalised to other environments, for example, in a home.
      • Internal Validity
        • Use of dogs meant there wasn't a worry about demand characteristics.
        • Inter-rater reliability ensures no bias is present when collecting data
        • High level of control due to laboratory setting.
          • placed each dog in a sealed room that didn't allow the dog to see, smell or hear anything outside. Prevented other stimuli making the dogs salivate. Eliminated extraneous variables.
      • Findings
        • The dogs started to salivate before the food bucket arrived, often at the sights of the food bucket or the sound of the bell. The conditioned dog started to salivate 9 seconds after hearing the sound and, by 45 seconds, had produced 11 drops of saliva.
      • Objectivity
        • Used scientific measurements of amount of saliva which would reduce bias.
      • Sampling Validity
        • 35 dogs of a variety of breeds, raised in kennels in the lab
          • Behaviourists assume you can generalise from animals to humans but other psychologists do not.
      • Conclusion
        • The dogs had learnt to associate a NS (bell) with the UCS (food). This shows us that animals can learn by association.
      • Procedure
        • A dog was placed in a harness and fed food in a bucket. Each time the dog ate, a bell rang for the experimental condition. No bell rang for the control condition. A salivation recording device measured salivation
      • Ethics
        • Highly unethical as their were no ehthical guidelines for psychologists in the early 20th century
          • Dogs were kept in inhumane conditions
          • Animal research should aim to have a clear benefit to society but Pavlov was just satisfying scientific curiosity.
    • Uses an existing SR Unit to create a new SR Unit.
      • Pairs a NS with a UCS to create a UCR. The organism now associates the NS with the UCR, The NS is no longer neutral and has become a CS. It elicits a CR.


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