AP Psychology : Classical Conditioning

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Psychology

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Example Questions

Example Question #41 : Learning

The goal of classical conditioning is to pair an unconditioned response with a neutral stimulus to create a conditioned response to that stimulus. Once this is accomplished, the organism's newly-crafted behavioral response is called __________.

Possible Answers:

respondent behavior

classical behavior

operant behavior

classical response

acquisition

Correct answer:

respondent behavior

Explanation:

Coined by Skinner, the term respondent behavior is more generally used to describe any end-result changed behavior in an organism after sufficient exposure to classical conditioning techniques.

Example Question #42 : Learning

The pupils of the human eye dilate when exposed to bright light. This dilation is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Unconditioned response

Conditioned response

None of these

Unconditioned stimulus

Conditioned stimulus

Correct answer:

Unconditioned response

Explanation:

An unconditioned response is a response to a stimulus that takes place automatically as a result of biological or physical processes, without being under the conscious control of the organism. Pairing an unconditioned response with a neutral stimulus can lead to the formation of conditioned responses through association.

Example Question #43 : Learning

In classical conditioning, the process by which an organism learns to associate a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus so that, by degrees, the presence of the unconditioned stimulus to evoke a response is no longer required is called __________.

Possible Answers:

acquisition

generalization

unconditioned response

conditioned response

operant conditioning

Correct answer:

acquisition

Explanation:

Acquisition also refers to the point in operant conditioning where a reinforced response is strengthened via reinforcement, schedule adjustment, or punishment.

Example Question #44 : Learning

From an early age, guard dogs can learn to tell the difference between the approaching footsteps of their handler (which provokes no response or a positive response) from other footsteps (which provoke a negative response). What ability would a behaviorist say this demonstrates?

Possible Answers:

Prosocial behavior

Discrimination

Generalization

Acquisition

Observational learning

Correct answer:

Discrimination

Explanation:

More generally, discrimination occurs when an organism learns to distinguish between those stimuli which provoke the conditioned response and stimuli which do not provoke an unconditioned response.

Example Question #45 : Learning

Changes in prenatal learning and memory have been studied through the following techniques: teaching pregnant women deep muscle relaxation exercises, pairing the exercises with music, and measuring fetal activity. After several weeks, fetal activity was reduced when the music was played. This scenario is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Operant conditioning, using music as the negative reinforcer, and relaxation as the instrumental response

Operant conditioning, using music as the positive reinforcer, and relaxation as the instrumental response

 

Classical conditioning, using music as the conditioned stimulus, and relaxation as the unconditioned stimulus

Classical conditioning, using music as the US, and relaxation as the conditioned stimulus

Correct answer:

Classical conditioning, using music as the conditioned stimulus, and relaxation as the unconditioned stimulus

Explanation:

This is an example of classical conditioning because learning (e.g. changes in fetal activity) occurred when music was played, as a result of several weeks of pairing relaxation exercises with music. This indicates that music was the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the exercises were the unconditioned stimulus (US). With operant learning, there are contingencies between specific behaviors and rewards (e.g. a rat receiving a pellet when pressing a lever). Because there is no contingency or reward here, it cannot be defined as operant learning.

Example Question #41 : Learning

Earning money as a reward is an example of which of the following kinds of reinforcers? 

Possible Answers:

Monetary reinforcer 

None of these

Generalized Reinforcer

Primary Reinforcer 

Correct answer:

Generalized Reinforcer

Explanation:

A “generalized reinforcer” is the correct answer, because a generalized reinforcer obtains reinforcing functionality through its association with other reinforcers (i.e. money can be used to purchase things that may act as reinforcers themselves).

Example Question #42 : Learning

When Peter was a child, he was attacked by a dog. He had to go to the hospital for stitches and was very frightened. Now, as an adult, Peter becomes frightened when looking at pictures of dogs and feels as though he might be attacked, even when he is shown pictures of puppies. 

In this example, the fear in reaction to the pictures of dogs is:

Possible Answers:

Conditioned response

Unconditioned response

Conditioned stimulus

Unconditioned stimulus

Correct answer:

Conditioned response

Explanation:
The conditioned response is a learned reaction to a conditioned stimulus that occurs because of previous conditioning. The learned reaction is a fearful response to the pictures of dogs (conditioned stimulus), which occurred because of his attack (previous conditioning).

 

Example Question #221 : Individual Psychology And Behavior

The first part of the learning process in classical conditioning involves pairing together two stimuli. This phase is called:

Possible Answers:

Acquisition

Spontaneous recovery

Stimulus generalization

Extinction

Correct answer:

Acquisition

Explanation:

The first phase of classical conditioning is called acquisition. This is when the organism begins to learn that the pairing of the two stimuli is not random, and they can expect them to occur together. The organism is acquiring the new learning during this phase.

Example Question #49 : Learning

When Peter was a child, he was attacked by a dog. He had to go to the hospital for stitches and was very frightened. Now, as an adult, Peter becomes frightened when looking at pictures of dogs and feels as though he might be attacked, even when he is shown pictures of innocent puppies. 

In terms of learning, it is likely that Peter's phobia developed through which of the following processes?

Possible Answers:

Operant conditioning

Classical conditioning

Modeling

Spontaneous recovery

Correct answer:

Classical conditioning

Explanation:

"Classical conditioning" is a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus. In this case, fear was originally evoked by a specific dog. Now, Peter feels fear even when looking at pictures of other dogs that are non-threatening. The other choices are incorrect. "Operant conditioning" is learning that occurs through reinforcement (e.g. rewards, punishment), "modeling" is learning that occurs through observation, and "spontaneous recovery" is when a previously extinguished response reappears.

Example Question #50 : Learning

Sandy is an aspiring singer. Even though she loves to sing, she also experiences severe stage fright before and during a performance. Sometimes when she is feeling so overwhelmed or nervous before a performance, she will decide to cancel the show because of her anxiety. Lately, even when she sees a stage or a microphone, she begins to feel panicked and notices her breathing and heart rate increase. 

In the situation, Sandy's physiological reaction to a stage or microphone is an example of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Modeling

Shaping

Operant conditioning 

Classical conditioning

Correct answer:

Classical conditioning

Explanation:

"Classical conditioning" is a type of learning in which a stimulus (e.g. a microphone or stage) acquires to capacity to evoke a response that was originally evoked by another stimulus (i.e. performing in front of a group) due to being paired with one another. 

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