How is classical conditioning defined, and how is it different from other forms of conditioning?

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

  • Competency 1: Use information technology and tools to identify information in the domain of learning and cognition.▪Summarize a scholarly research article regarding the treatment of phobias.
  • Competency 2: Assess the important theories, paradigms, research findings, and conclusions in human learning and cognition. 
▪Describe aspects of a scholarly research article that reflects behaviorist principles. ▪ Analyze how behaviorism is relevant today.
  • Competency 5: Apply knowledge of theory and research in learning and cognition to inform personal behavior, professional goals, and values in order to understand social policy. 
▪Apply behaviorist theory and research to personal learning experiences.
  • Competency 6: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.
▪Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate APA format with correct grammar, usage, and 
mechanics as expected of a psychology professional.
  • Context
  • Stimulus Learning 
Psychologists who study learning in humans and other animals examine an event’s relationship (or association) to a stimulus or stimuli. Some argue that this associative relationship underlies all instances of learning; others make distinctions between associative and non-associative, or stimulus, learning. This assessment focuses on the latter—single-event, non-associative learning and the waxing and waning of habituation. 
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The Assessment 2 Context document contains additional key information about stimulus learning, covering the following topics: 
• Classical Conditioning.
• Instrumental Conditioning
Questions To Consider
To deepen your understanding, you are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of the business community. 
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  • How do non-associative learning and associative learning differ? That is, how is each defined, studied, and 

How has associative learning (that is, stimulus learning), including habituation and sensitization, been studied? • What is the difference between habitual learning and perceptual learning?
• Is habituation a form of learning?
• What is the connection between exposure therapies and habituation?

  • How is classical conditioning defined, and how is it different from other forms of conditioning? • What are the basic phenomena involved in classical conditioning?
• What is learned through classical conditioning?
• What are some real-world applications of classical conditioning?
  • How can classical conditioning theory be used to alleviate fears and phobias?
• What is instrumental conditioning, and how does it differ from classical conditioning? • What are reinforcers and punishers?
• What is the connection between instrumental conditioning and learning?
• How is instrumental conditioning applied to real-world settings?
• Has cognitive psychology overthrown behaviorism?
• What applications are there today for behaviorism?

Resources Suggested Resources

The following optional resources are provided to support you in completing the assessment or to provide a helpful context. For additional resources, refer to the Research Resources and Supplemental Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom.


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