Classical Conditioning Phenomena – Practice Sheet
In Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, she discusses her mother’s spring-cleaning habits. She talks about how her mom every year—in spring–considered leaving her father. Her mom never did leave, annually deciding to stay. It is at this point, each year, her mom would scour their apartment and her great aunt’s apartment with Pine Sol. Michelle states that always, until at least the time she wrote the book, whenever she smells Pine Sol she gets a feeling that everything is alright in the world.
For the scenario described above, describe how each phenomenon below would look
(i.e., be tested or illustrated). You will need to hypothesize events to do this.
Acquisition US: safety/security/content mom UR: (to safety/content mom)
CS: Pine Sol smell CR: (to Pine Sol smell)
Now take the description above and this analysis I provide for acquisition and describe how this could be extended into an example of each of the following. You might want to do the simpler phenomena (e.g., extinction, discrimination) first and then the more complex ones.
Now complete the semi-matching section below by placing your answers in the table provided on this page. Note: There are 13 options and only 11 examples, so you will not use all possible answers.
Name of Phenomenon
Identify the phenomenon (from the list above) best represented by the description.
(I am using and extending an example from a prior student’s homework answers.)
Julie saw the movie Leprechaun where violent scenes are predicted by the presence of the little green man and now Julie cringes at the sight of leprechauns in picture or film.
Although Julie developed fear to the sight of leprechauns from the film, she did not develop a fear to the song “There’s a pot o’ gold for you…” that played every time the leprechaun appeared on screen.
Julie discussed her traumatizing experience during Leprechaun with a co-worker, Tamika. Tamika laughed about Julie’s fear. Tamika said the movie was scary for her at first, but then she got distracted (during the movie) by housetraining her new puppy and didn’t develop any fears to the leprechaun image.
After seeing Leprechaun and learning fear to leprechauns, Julie noticed she also fears any little people.
Julie (for some reason!) decided to go see Leprechaun II – The 4-Leafed Clovers. In this sequel, the leprechaun character is always surrounded by a pack of evil clovers that smother and eat their victims. Yikes! Julie, though still terrified of leprechauns, did not develop any fear to clover.
Julie grew up eating Lucky Charms where she sat eating those marshmallows while staring at the leprechaun on the box. Not long after Julie’s experience with the movie Leprechaun, she visited her sister’s house where her niece was eating a big bowl of Lucky Charms. Julie cringed just looking at the cereal charms in the bowl.
Julie was at a Saint Patty’s party and noticed that she didn’t have any fear to people in green paint (even though the paint was similar to that used in the movie for the main leprechaun character).
Julie was worried about her fear of leprechauns and all little people, so she started hanging images of leprechauns around her home and office. She then joined a Facebook support group for little people and befriended them. In her exposure and interactions, Julie’s fear to leprechauns decreased.
(Building on the last item…) One day Julie came home from work midday to meet the plumber. (She was home at an unusual time and there was a strange person there to do work.) As she walked with the plumber to work site, she saw one of the leprechaun photos she had posted in her home. She got startled and slightly yelped at the scary leprechaun image!
Julie eventually became fairly comfortable around the images, film, and interactions of leprechauns and little people. She removed all the photos from her home and she stopped paying attention to the Facebook support group. Six months later she was in the mall and passed a little person – she then felt her heart rate increase!
Sally, being in the carnival business, worked (happily) alongside a leprechaun for years. Sally did not develop a fear of leprechauns after seeing the film Leprechaun.