\IDENTIFYING THE COMPONENTS OF A CLASSICALLY CONDITIONED RESPONSE: For each of the following identify the UCS, UCR, CS and CR.
1.Alexander is four years old. One night his parents decided to light a fire in the family room fireplace. A burning ember jumped out of the fireplace and landed on Alexander’s leg, creating a nasty burn. He cried because the burn hurt. A week later, when Alexander’s parents start to light another fire in the fireplace, Alexander begins to cry. (UCS: burn; UCR: crying; CS: fire in the fireplace; CR: crying)
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2.Emily is driving to work during a heavy snowstorm when the brake lights on the car ahead of her come on. She hits her brakes but is unable to avoid hitting the car. She is badly shaken up in the accident. The next time she is driving in the snow she notices that she tenses up every time she sees brake lights come on ahead of her. (UCS: accident; UCR: shaken up; CS: driving in the snow; CR: tensing up)
3.Bill’s mom followed the same routine before serving dinner–she would put ice in the glasses and then call “come and get it, dinner’s ready”. Immediately upon hearing those words, Bill would quickly run down the stairs. After awhile, Bill would come running down the stairs when he heard the ice hitting the glasses. (UCS: mom calling “come and get it, dinner’s ready”; UCR: running down the stairs; CS: ice hitting the glasses; CR: running down the stairs)
4.Gary is the client relations officer at his firm. The phone in his office has “caller id” so that the client can be identified before he answers the phone. After receiving a call with a rude client, Gary would be very annoyed and agitated. He began to notice that the rude calls tended to come from clients that were identified by a “1-800” number on the caller id. Therefore, whenever a “1-800” number appeared, he would become annoyed. (UCS: call from a rude client; UCR: annoyance and agitation; CS: “1-800” number on the caller ID; CR: annoyance)
5.When Ann was a college freshman, she was assigned to live in a very old dormitory. The old plumbing system produced a problem when one person was taking a shower and one person need to flush the toilet–shortly after a person flushed the toilet, all of the cold water left the shower leaving only the hot water. The first time this happened, Ann was scalded by the hot water. She yelped and jumped back. The next day, as soon as she heard the toilet flush she jumped back. (UCS: hot water on body; UCR: jumping back; CS: toilet flushing; CR: jumping back)
IDENTIFYING OUTCOMES IN OPERANT CONDITIONING: Indicate whether each situation involves positive punishment, negative punishment, positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement. 1.Fred gets a speeding ticket. (positive punishment)
NOTE: This example can be used to demonstrate one of the limitations of punishment–suppressing behavior but not eliminating it. Students will usually indicate that getting a speeding ticket leads some people to buy a radar detector!
2.Emily’s professor compliments her writing ability. (positive reinforcement)
3.Zachary is expelled from school for cheating on an exam. (negative punishment) NOTE: This example can be used to demonstrate that one person’s punishment is another person’s reinforcement. Expulsion from school is intended to be negative punishment–removing the privilege of attending school, presumably a pleasant stimulus. However, students could view it as negative reinforcement–removing the annoying constraint of being forced to attend school, known (at least to some students) to be an unpleasant stimulus!
4.Leon goes to the health club for a rare workout and pushes himself so hard that his entire body aches and he throws up. (positive punishment)
5.Linda buys her daughter a candy bar so that she will not be embarrassed by her daughter’s temper tantrum. (negative reinforcement for Linda, positive reinforcement for the daughter) NOTE: This example can be used to demonstrate that parents can unintentionally reinforce a child’s behavior–a nice warning for the students in class who may some day be parents.
6.George shoots up heroin to ward off the symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal. (negative reinforcement) NOTE: Some students will misidentify this as an example of positive reinforcement. They will indicate that shooting up heroin is pleasurable and presentation of a pleasant stimulus is the definition of positive reinforcement. Tell students that a situation can be viewed as either positive or negative reinforcement depending on how it is viewed. Shooting up heroin could be considered positive reinforcement if it is viewed from the perspective of producing a pleasurable “high” feeling. However, if it is viewed from the perspective of avoiding the aversive stimulus of withdrawal symptoms then it is an example of avoidance conditioning–a type of negative reinforcement.
7.Edna constantly complains about her husband to colleagues at work. Her co-workers get tired of her and no longer provide her with sympathy. (negative punishment)
TYPES OF FORGETTING: For each of the following indicate which type of forgetting is responsible for each situation: Alexander is having trouble using his new computer program because he keeps entering commands from the program he used to use. (proactive interference) Carolyn is in a serious boating accident. Afterwards, she cannot remember her name or where she lives. (retrograde amnesia) Although Scott used to drive a stick shift car, he can not remember much about how to shift gears manually since lately he has been driving an automatic car. (retroactive interference) Jerry is unable to remember the name of a restaurant when his friend, George, comes by and says, “I feel like I have died and gone to heaven because Joan has finally agreed to go out with me”. Suddenly, Jerry remembers the name of the restaurant–Taco Heaven. (lack of an appropriate retrieval cue) Robert was the passenger in a car involved in a head-on collision. He has been unable to remember anything that has happened since the day of the accident. (anterograde amnesia)