Sie sind auf Seite 1von 6

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

Interviews
Questionnaire
LikertScales
Observations
ConductingResearch

Hypotheses
Sampling
ScienificApproach
LabReport
EthicalGuidelines
Data
QualitativeQuantitative
Reliability
Validity
Correlation
Statistics

HomeBehaviorismClassicalConditioning

ClassicalConditioning
bySaulMcLeodpublished2008,updated2014

Behaviorismasamovementinpsychologyappearedin1913whenJohnBroadusWatsonpublishedthe
classicarticlePsychologyasthebehavioristviewsit.
JohnWatsonproposedthattheprocessofclassicalconditioning(basedonPavlovsobservations)was
http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

6/15

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

abletoexplainallaspectsofhumanpsychology.

Everythingfromspeechtoemotionalresponsesweresimplypatternsofstimulusandresponse.Watson
deniedcompletelytheexistenceofthemindorconsciousness.Watsonbelievedthatallindividual
differencesinbehaviorwereduetodifferentexperiencesoflearning.Hefamouslysaid:

"Givemeadozenhealthyinfants,wellformed,andmyownspecifiedworldtobringthemup
inandI'llguaranteetotakeanyoneatrandomandtrainhimtobecomeanytypeofspecialist
Imightselectdoctor,lawyer,artist,merchantchiefand,yes,evenbeggarmanandthief,
regardlessofhistalents,penchants,tendencies,abilities,vocationsandtheraceofhis
ancestors(Watson,1924,p.104).

ClassicalConditioningExamples
Classicalconditioningtheoryinvolveslearninganewbehaviorviatheprocessofassociation.Insimple
termstwostimuliarelinkedtogethertoproduceanewlearnedresponseinapersonoranimal.Thereare
threestagesofclassicalconditioning.Ateachstagethestimuliandresponsesaregivenspecialscientific
terms:

Stage1:BeforeConditioning:
Inthisstage,theunconditionedstimulus(UCS)producesanunconditionedresponse(UCR)inan
organism.Inbasicterms,thismeansthatastimulusintheenvironmenthasproducedabehavior/
responsewhichisunlearned(i.e.unconditioned)andthereforeisanaturalresponsewhichhasnotbeen
taught.Inthisrespectnonewbehaviorhasbeenlearnedyet.

Forexample,astomachvirus(UCS)wouldproducearesponseofnausea(UCR).Inanother
exampleaperfume(UCS)couldcreatearesponseofhappinessordesire(UCR).

Thisstagealsoinvolvesanotherstimuluswhichhasnoeffectonapersonandiscalledtheneutral
stimulus(NS).TheNScouldbeaperson,object,place,etc.Theneutralstimulusinclassical
conditioningdoesnotproducearesponseuntilitispairedwiththeunconditionedstimulus.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

7/15

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

Stage2:DuringConditioning:
Duringthisstageastimuluswhichproducesnoresponse(i.e.neutral)isassociatedwiththe
unconditionedstimulusatwhichpointitnowbecomesknownastheconditionedstimulus(CS).
Forexampleastomachvirus(UCS)mightbeassociatedwitheatingacertainfoodsuchas
chocolate(CS).Alsoperfume(UCS)mightbeassociatedwithaspecificperson(CS).

OftenduringthisstagetheUCSmustbeassociatedwiththeCSonanumberofoccasions,ortrials,for
learningtotakeplace.However,onetraillearningcanhappenoncertainoccasionswhenitisnot
necessaryforanassociationtobestrengthenedovertime(suchasbeingsickafterfoodpoisoningor
drinkingtoomuchalcohol).

Stage3:AfterConditioning:
Nowtheconditionedstimulus(CS)hasbeenassociatedwiththeunconditionedstimulus(UCS)tocreate
anewconditionedresponse(CR).
Forexampleaperson(CS)whohasbeenassociatedwithniceperfume(UCS)isnowfound
attractive(CR).Alsochocolate(CS)whichwaseatenbeforeapersonwassickwithavirus(UCS)is
nowproducesaresponseofnausea(CR).

LittleAlbertExperiment(Phobias)

IvanPavlovshowedthatclassicalconditioningappliedtoanimals.Diditalsoapplytohumans?Ina
http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

8/15

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

famous(thoughethicallydubious)experiment,WatsonandRayner(1920)showedthatitdid.

LittleAlbertwasa9montholdinfantwhowastestedonhisreactionstovariousstimuli.Hewasshown
awhiterat,arabbit,amonkeyandvariousmasks.Albertdescribedas"onthewholestolidand
unemotional"showednofearofanyofthesestimuli.However,whatdidstartlehimandcausehimtobe
afraidwasifahammerwasstruckagainstasteelbarbehindhishead.Thesuddenloudnoisewould

cause"littleAlberttoburstintotears.
WhenLittleAlbertwasjustover11monthsoldthewhiteratwaspresentedandsecondslaterthe
hammerwasstruckagainstthesteelbar.Thiswasdone7timesoverthenext7weeksandeachtime
LittleAlbertburstintotears.BynowlittleAlbertonlyhadtoseetheratandheimmediatelyshowed
everysignoffear.Hewouldcry(whetherornotthehammerwashitagainstthesteelbar)andhewould
attempttocrawlaway.

Inaddition,theWatsonandRaynerfoundthatAlbertdevelopedphobiasofobjectswhichshared
characteristicswiththeratincludingthefamilydog,afurcoat,somecottonwoolandaFather
Christmasmask!Thisprocessisknowasgeneralization.

WatsonandRaynerhadshownthatclassicalconditioningcouldbeusedtocreateaphobia.Aphobiais
anirrationalfear,i.e.afearthatisoutofproportiontothedanger.Overthenextfewweeksandmonths
LittleAlbertwasobservedand10daysafterconditioninghisfearoftheratwasmuchlessmarked.This
dyingoutofalearnedresponseiscalledextinction.However,evenafterafullmonthitwasstillevident,
andtheassociationcouldberenewedbyrepeatingtheoriginalprocedureafewtimes.
The Little Albert Experiment

http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

9/15

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

ClassicalConditioningintheClassroom
Theimplicationsofclassicalconditioningintheclassroomarelessimportantthanthoseofoperant
conditioning,butthereisastillneedforteacherstotrytomakesurethatstudentsassociatepositive
emotionalexperienceswithlearning.
Ifastudentassociatesnegativeemotionalexperienceswithschool,thenthiscanobviouslyhavebad
results,suchascreatingaschoolphobia

Forexample,ifastudentisbulliedatschooltheymaylearntoassociatetheschoolwithfear.Itcould
alsoexplainwhysomestudentsshowaparticulardislikeofcertainsubjectsthatcontinuethroughout
theiracademiccareer.Thiscouldhappenifastudentishumiliatedorpunishedinclassbyateacher.

CriticalEvaluation
Classicalconditioningemphasizestheimportanceoflearningfromtheenvironment,andsupports
nurtureovernature.However,itislimitingtodescribebehaviorsolelyintermsofeithernatureor
nurture,andattemptstodothisunderestimatethecomplexityofhumanbehavior.Itismorelikelythat
behaviorisduetoaninteractionbetweennature(biology)andnurture(environment).
Astrengthofclassicalconditioningtheoryisthatitisscientific.Thisisbecauseit'sbasedonempirical
evidencecarriedoutbycontrolledexperiments.Forexample,Pavlov(1902)showedhowclassical
conditioningcanbeusedtomakeadogsalivatetothesoundofabell.
Classicalconditioningisalsoareductionistexplanationofbehavior.Thisisbecausecomplexbehavioris
brokendownintosmallerstimulusresponseunitsofbehavior.
Supportersofareductionistapproachsaythatitisscientific.Breakingcomplicatedbehaviorsdownto
smallpartsmeansthattheycanbescientificallytested.However,somewouldarguethatthereductionist
viewlacksvalidity.Thus,whilstreductionismisuseful,itcanleadtoincompleteexplanations.

Afinalcriticismofclassicalconditioningtheoryisthatitisdeterministic.Thismeansthatitdoesnot
allowforanydegreeoffreewillwillintheindividual.Accordingapersonhasnocontroloverthe
reactionstheyhavelearnedfromclassicalconditioning,suchasaphobia.

Thedeterministicapproachalsohasimportantimplicationsforpsychologyasascience.Scientistsare
interestedindiscoveringlawswhichcanthenbeusedtopredictevents.However,bycreatinggeneral
http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

10/15

7/17/2016

ClassicalConditioning|SimplyPsychology

lawsofbehavior,deterministicpsychologyunderestimatestheuniquenessofhumanbeingsandtheir
freedomtochoosetheirowndestiny.

References

Pavlov,I.P.(1897/1902).Theworkofthedigestiveglands.London:Griffin.
Watson,J.B.(1913).Psychologyasthebehavioristviewsit.PsychologicalReview,20,158177.
Watson,J.B.,&Rayner,R.(1920).Conditionedemotionalreactions.JournalofExperimental
Psychology,3(1),pp.114.
Watson,J.B.(1924).Behaviorism.NewYork:People'sInstitutePublishingCompany.

Howtocitethisarticle:
McLeod,S.A.(2014).ClassicalConditioning.Retrievedfromwww.simplypsychology.org/classical
conditioning.html

FurtherInformation
Behaviorism
PavlovandClassicalConditioning
OperantConditioning
Naturevs.Nurture
Mysterysolved:WenowknowwhathappenedtoLittleAlbert
ClassicalConditioning
JohnWatsonandLittleEmotionalAlbert
LearningandBehavior
TeachPavlov'sDog'stoDrool
LearnClassicalConditioningKeyTerminology
http://www.simplypsychology.org/classicalconditioning.html

11/15