• According to the University of Indiana, psychology is both a natural and a social science. "Psychology, as a natural science, investigates the relationship between brain and behavior; as a social science it focuses on the relationship between environment and behavior." Psychology allows people to understand both themselves and others better. It can help you communicate, adapt, react, and interact better (College of Arts and Sciences).
  • Simply put, psychology is the study of the human mind. What makes us act how we do? Psychology can help us to understand ourselves and other people better, in turn, improving our relationships in society. For a more in-depth definition click **here**.
  • There are five main goals that psychology is trying to accomplish. They are:
    1. Describe: what is observed?
    2. Explain: why do we do what we do? Explain the behavior.
    3. Predict: future behavior.
    4. Control: Once we know the cause of the problem, we can then fix it.
    5. Improve: the subject's life.

  • Definition of Classical Conditioning- Controlling an animal or a persons behavior/responses in a way that an old response becomes attached to a new stimulus.
    • "Pavlov began pairing a bell sound with the meat powder and found that even when the meat powder was not presented, the dog would eventually begin to salivate after hearing the bell. Since the meat powder naturally results in salivation, these two variables are called the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) and the **unconditioned response** (UCR), respectively. The bell and salivation are not naturally occurring; the dog was conditioned to respond to the bell. Therefore, the bell is considered the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the salivation to the bell, the **conditioned response** (CR)" (Heffner Media Group).

**Try Classical Conditioning for yourself!!**

  • Now that you know one of the first studied examples of Classical Conditioning, watch this video and apply the vocabulary terms. The clip is from the television show The Office.

In the video, can you identify the: unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response.
    • The unconditioned stimulus is the altoids, because when offered one, Dwight would have naturally salivated.
    • The unconditioned response is the salivation in response to the altoids. This is a natural reaction and is not manipulated by use of another stimulus.
    • When Jim has to restart his computer, that would not normally result in Dwight's salivation. However, once Dwight has been unknowingly conditioned, he wants an altoid. This is why the computer restarting is called the conditioned stimulus.
    • Finally, the conditioned response is Dwight responding to the computer restarting by putting his hand out for an altoid.
  • FOR VISUAL LEARNERS **Click Here**
  • Other Terms to know dealing with Conditioning:
    • Generalization- subjects respond to a second stimulus similar to the original conditioned stimulus with out prior training with second stimulus.
    • Discrimination- ability to respond differently to different stimuli.
    • Extinction- conditional response gradually dies out overtime. Can also be manipulated.
    • Taste Aversions- guy likes strawberry shakes, gets sick after one and never drinks strawberry shakes again because it brings back the feeling he had with that one shake.
  • When doing classical conditioning you have to have a neutral (or unconditioned) stimulus.
  • A Neutral stimulus is a stimulus that has no specific response other than to focus attention. In Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiment the meat powder was the neutral (or unconditioned) stimulus until the bell was added along with it. The meat powder then becomes a conditioned stimulus.
  • To help you further understand classical conditioning here are some experiments you can try here.

  • Definition: Learning from the consequences of behavior.
    • Example: Billy commands his dog Fido to sit. If Fido sits, he gets a treat. If Fido doesn't sit, he does not get the treat. The dog learns by either reveiving the treat or having it withheld.
  • Terms To Know:
    • Reinforcement- a stimulus or event that affects the likelihood that an immediately proceeding behavior will be repeated. A Reinforcement is not necessarily positive.
    • Aversive control- when unpleasant consequences influence behavior.
      • Example: A child goes up to a hot stove, his mother would scream "No!" in a very unhappy and unpleasant tone. The child learns to not touch the stove through aversive control (He doesn't like it when his mother yells, and she will yell if he tries to touch the stove.)
    • Negative reinforcement- a painful or unpleasant stimulus is removed or is not applied at allexternal image image006.jpg. It follows and takes away an aversive stimulus.
      • Example: A stone is in your shoe, you will take it out.
        1. Escape conditioning- when a person's behavior causes an unpleasant event to stop. (Example: If you have an annoying sibling, you will give him attention to cause the unpleasant behavior to stop.)
        2. Avoidance conditioning- when a person's behavior has the effect of preventing an unpleasant situation from happening. (Example: When children have temper tantrums, if the adult avoids the behavior and ignores it, this behavior will prevent the unpleasant temper tantrum from happening again.)
    • Punishment- An unpleasant consequence that occurs and decreases the frequency of the behavior that produces it.
      • Rewards and punishment come immediately after behavior.
John Watson- The case of little Albert (1920)
  • The Case of Little Albert was an experiment to see if people could be conditioned to fear things. John Watson began with an orphaned baby. They Conditioned Baby Albert to fear first a white rat, by using a terrifying noise every time the rat came near. Once the psychologists successfully taught Albert to fear the rat, they continued to teach him to fear a rabbit and found that Albert had transferred his fear to even Santa Claus. Baby Albert was removed from John Watson's availability before he could reverse the permanent conditioned fear. For more information on the case of little Albert **Click Here**.

Stephanie L.
Gina V.

Works Cited:

College Of Arts And Scien. "Why Study Psychology? What is the Value of a Liberal Arts Degree?" The Psychology Major's Site. 2002. Indiana University. 17 Jan. 2008 <>. |>.

Fredholm, Lotta. "Pavlov's Dog." Nobel Prize. The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, NobelPrize.Org. 18 Jan. 2008 <>.

Heffner Media Group Inc., and Allpsych . "Psychology 101 Chapter 4: Learning Theory and Behavioral Psychology." AllPsych Online- the Virtual Psychology Classroom. 21 Mar. 2004. 14 Jan. 2008 <>.

Heffner Media Group Inc., and Allpsych . "Psychology 101Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychology and Research Methods." AllPsych Online- the Virtual Psychology Classroom. 21 Mar. 2004. 15 Jan. 2008 <[[>.