CC And OC.

Revision notes for AQA A A2 Psychology, unit 4 comparative psychology, conditioning

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  • Created on: 23-01-08 08:04
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Example CC:
Learning through association of a stimulus with a response. Before conditioning an
unconditioned stimulus gives an unconditioned response. During conditioning the neutral
stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus are paired together which in time will become a
conditioned stimulus producing and conditioned response. Pavlov's dogs. If the stimuli stops
being paired, the conditioned response will disappear (extinction) but can reappear if there is
a rest interval after extinction (spontaneous recovery). A feature of classical conditioning is
generalisation. This is when the conditioned response may occur in response to stimuli that
are similar to the conditioned stimulus (different tone of bell), the more similar they are the
stronger the response (generalisation gradient). The organism can learn to discriminate and
learn which particular stimulus produces the response.
Classical conditioning has shown to be adaptive in male gourami fish (Hollis).
On a red light an aggressive gourami fish was fed into a tank. The fish conditioned to learn
this would happen always got more `bites' on the other fish. Shown that the ability to
respond to Classical Conditioning was an evolutionary advantage. When no light was shown
and a female fish was entered they weren't aggressive. This is reproductively healthy as it
inhibits aggression with female and they have learnt to get ready to fight with other males
on cue.
Garcia et al, taste aversion and CC. Fed coyotes and wolves mutton rapped in raw sheep
hide. The meat had been laced with a lithium chloride substance. They became very ill. They
tried to condition them to be scared of sheep. They put the wolves in with sheep and then
they ran over to the sheep to bite them. When close they ran off and started making
anxious crying noises. The coyotes started being sick straight away. The sheep became
Example OC:
Learning due to consequences of behaviour. Thorndike first described this as the `law of
effect', behaviours stamped in or out depending on consequences and then Skinner
introduced the term operant because the learner operates on their environment. Positive
reinforcement is when a behaviour is encouraged because something good is gained from
doing it. Negative reinforcement is when a behaviour is encouraged because something bad
is taken away by doing it and punishment discourages a behaviour for the obvious reason of
something bad happening as a result. A feature of operant condition is the schedule of
reinforcement (when reinforcement takes place). It can happen either Fixed ratio, Variable
Ratio, Fixed Interval or Variable Interval. These are resistant to extinction as doing the lottery
Learning through operant conditioning has helped cowbirds to mate (West and King).

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Looked into the origins of 2 geographical songs. Rearing of a cowbird alone, the song is very
complex but birds reared with females have simpler songs with only the elements they have
seen that females like (shown by wing stroking).…read more


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