Saint Francis University Learning Behavior Classical Conditioning Discussion

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Explore examples of learning in the environment around us.


For this written assignment, do all three parts A, B and C below, covering all three models of learning.

A. Classical Conditioning AND

  • Select three commercials currently on TV/radio or three ads in a print medium.
  • Describe the commercial or advertisement very concisely.
  • Identify the UCS, CS and UCR/CR from Pavlov’s model. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU SPECIFICALLY USE THE MODEL TO SHOW ME YOU ARE FITTING THE AD TO THE MODEL. Do not simply describe it; diagram it, please!
  • HINT: the product being advertised always starts as a NS and becomes a CS through the pairing with some stimulus (UCS) that already evokes a positive reaction in the viewer (UCR).
  • HINT: Watson paired products with prestigeous individuals. Most advertising today is based on using attractive models to stimulate interest, or a party atmosphere that perks the viewer up and gets the viewer interested.
  • Is the pairing presented occasionally, frequently or incessantly? For how long?
  • How effective do you think the conditioning is for each commercial or print ad you selected?

B. Operant Conditioning AND

  • Select one example of learning that fits Skinner’s model. Taking it from real life is preferable.
  • Diagram it according to the A-B-C’s. (refer to PowerPoint presentation for Skinner’s A-B-C’s). BE SURE TO USE THE DIAGRAM CLEARLY, do not just describe the sequence, identify which is the antecedent, behavior and consequence, indentifying what sort of consequence it is.
  • Could you realistically improve the subject’s learning by adjusting any part of the model?
  • Identify the schedule of reinforcement for learning (interval/ratio and fixed/variable). Is it optimal for this kind of learning?
  • Is this learning programmed by someone or accidental? 

C. Observational Learning. Remember to do all three parts of the exercise!

  • Select one example of a behavior learned by observation.
  • Describe the process using the terms in the text.
  • Can you improve it with your new knowledge of Bandura’s learning principles?

POST your answers to the three models.


I will look at your work and ask the following:

Does the example fit the model?

Did you diagram or explain it clearly? (Using the S-R or A-B-C model is essential.) THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF ALL!

Did you figure a way to improve or increase the learning?

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