Assignment 2: Pavlov’s Dog: An Example of Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is an important theory of learning within the behavioral perspective of learning that you explored in Module 1.
The key to classical conditioning is that we learn through
association, which is quite different from operant conditioning in
which we learn through consequence.
When Ivan Pavlov was studying the process
of salivation in dogs, he made an accidental, but really important
discovery—classical conditioning. He discovered that after pairing the
appearance of the researcher with the delivery of food a number of
times, the dogs began to salivate as soon as the researcher walked into
the room even when he or she was not carrying any food.
Here is a list of the steps of the classically conditioned learning process:
Stimulus / Response
|Neutral stimulus (NS)||The researcher enters the room—prior to the dog learning that the researcher is associated with food.||There is no response.|
|Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)||Food—the dog naturally responds to the food.||
No learning needed.
|Unconditioned response (UCR)||The dog salivates because of the food.||The dog did not need to be taught to salivate.|
|Conditioned stimulus (CS)||The researcher enters the room.||Now, after being paired with the food, the appearance of the researcher has become a learned stimulus.|
|Conditioned response (CR)||Salivation now occurs because of the researcher.||The dog has now learned to salivate in response to the mere presence of the researcher.|
Here is another example of the steps of the classical conditioning process:
You have moved into a new apartment
building. The first time you take a shower happens to correspond with
the time when someone flushes the toilet. As a result of this flushing,
the water in the shower becomes very hot. Now, because of this
experience, each time you hear the toilet flush, you jump out of the
shower before the temperature of the water changes.
- NS: Sound of the flushing of the toilet
- UCS: Hot water
- UCR: Jumping out of the shower because of the hot water
- CS: Sound of the flushing of the toilet
- CR: Jumping out of the shower because of the sound of the flushing toilet
Now, complete the following:
Think of a classically conditioned response
you have experienced and describe the process of learning this
response (what was the process you went through in becoming classically
conditioned in this response). Be sure to identify the following:
- Neutral stimulus (NS)
- Unconditional stimulus (UCS)
- Unconditional response (UCR)
- Conditioned stimulus (CS)
- Conditioned response (CR)
Address the following questions:
- Describe a practical application that
demonstrates this classically conditioned association from your own
life. What function does this classically conditioned association
- Explain what would happen if you no longer responded to this conditioned stimulus.
- Describe the manner in which generalization works to maintain classical
- Identify the stimulus that has been generalized or could be generalized in your classically conditioned response.
Write a 2–3-page paper in Word format. Apply
APA standards to citation of sources. Be sure to also include a title
page and a reference page. Use the following file naming convention:
By Wednesday, September 21, 2016, deliver your assignment to the M2: Assignment 2 Dropbox.
Assignment 2 Grading Criteria
Identified an appropriate
classically conditioned response and described in detail the process of
acquiring the response showing an understanding of the classical
Accurately identified the different steps of the classically conditioned response.
Provided an example of a
practical application that demonstrates a classically conditioned
association and identified the function served by it.
Explained the purpose of a
practical application of a classically conditioned association in your
own life, providing details of the effects of not responding to the
Explained the role of generalization in maintaining classical conditioning.
Identified the generalized stimulus in the classically conditioned response identified earlier.
Wrote in a clear, concise,
and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate
representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling,
grammar, and punctuation.