AQA GCSE Psychology - Learning


Classical conditioning, Operate conditioning, applications of conditioning procedures !!

excuse spelling never been a strong point :)

HideShow resource information

Classical Conditioning

Learning is a relativley permanent change due to expierience.

Classical conditioning is a procedure in which an animal or person learns to associate a reflex response with a new stimulus. (learning through association)

Pavlov - realised dogs learnt to slivate(reflex response) to the sound of the food buckets(new event). Set up series of trial - bell rung, saliva measured, dog fed. Then bell rung and dog not fed and same amount of sliva poduced.

- Extinction - continued ring the bell and dog not fed and after time dog stopped salivating.

-Spontaneous recovery - After time of no bell the bell would ring and dog would immediatly salivate.

- Generalisation - different tone of bells dog fed in all and salivate at all .

- Discrimination - different tone of bells fed at one and dog only alivate at this one.

1 of 5

Classical conditioning continued

Watson and Rayner -

Aim - to see if fear culd be conditioned in a human.

Method - Little albert liked white lab rats, these shown to albert, when reached for it metal bar hit hard.

Results - after 7 times when rat presented albert screamed and tried to get away even though bar not hit. Also screamed at santa beard etc.

Conclusion - Fear responses can be learnt even young children could learn byclassical conditioning theory.

Evaluation - unethnical because small child, only one child and more evidence needed.

Practicle applications - Advertising agencies build up association between people and products.

2 of 5

Operate conditioning

Law of effect - Behaviours which recieve rewards are often repeated, thouse with punishments are not

Operate conditioning - Learning due to consequencces of behaviour + or - reinforce

Thorndike - Cat box only escape if loop inside was pulled by cat. When trialed for first 20 trials cat pulled by string by mistake but then got quicker at escaping and thorndike said it learnt to escape by pleasent consequence (escaping) - law of effect.

Skinner - Skinner added reinforcement to the law of effect this can be + or - ive. Set up trials of a hungry rat in a box if rat pulled lever pellet of food dropped +ive. Then skinner gave elctric shock when lever pressed -ive. Reinforcement can be used to teach complex behaviours by using behaviour chaping. THis means breaking down preocedure into small steps e.g. pigeons playing ping pong. inc touching ball, hitting ball. move ball in right diection by using grain to direct the pigeon.

3 of 5

Applications of conditioning procedures

Treatment of phobias

Flooding - Person exposed repeatedly and rapidly to the fear by thoughe or expieriences without escape. They unlearn the connection and realise not in danger. Ethinical implications = no right to withdraw, physical harm - stress.

Systematic Desensitisation (SD) - person relaxes, heirachy of fears constructed (list of things to do from least to most firghtening), person relaces after each stage on hierachy and only moves up the hierachy if been relaced at previouse stage.      Ethnical Implications = none have right to withdraw, no deveption etx

SD take longer than flooding and can cost more as there are more sessions needed however most thearipists prefer SD as it is much less anxiety arousing and less stressful for their clients.

4 of 5

Applications of conditioning procedures continued

Aversion therapy - A tratment for additction eg. alcohol or drug dpendicies which makes the addict have an extremely negative reaction to the substance by using an emetic. The patients desire is lost because they immediatly become violently sick and vomit everywhere!! Evaluation - can be unpleasent because being sick and this is an ethnicl issue and this therapy is not always proven to work or works for only a small perios and then the addict goes back to the addiction.

Token economy programmes - Primary reinforcer = something we need, Secondary reinforcer = something we want. TEP set up in hospitals to reward social acceptable behavior in psychiatric wards so everytime they produce good behaviour they get a token which can then be used to pay for activities like TV. Evaluation - critised that the patient only wants the reward rather than wanting the behaviour to improve. ethnics cvannot watch the TV if not tokens. Do not become social or kind because all they focus on is the reward.

5 of 5




hanks a lot for these notes

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Learning resources »