Psychological Self-Help

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11
louder next time
social learning
9. observing
model or
receiving
instructions
imitating model
or using
information
success
Learning new associations between the antecedents and
subsequent behavior is classical conditioning (1 & 2 above).
Knowing and/or using the relationships between the behavior and
its consequences usually involve operant conditioning (3, 4, 5 & 6
above). Many behaviors are strengthened by negative
reinforcement, i.e. avoiding some unpleasant experience (7 & 8
above). We often learn new ways of behaving by watching others
(9 above). Some more examples will clarify each type of learning. 
Classical conditioning
The classic examples of classical conditioning are Pavlov's dogs and
Watson's Little Albert. In the 1890's Pavlov, a Russian physiologist,
was observing the production of saliva by dogs as they were fed when
he noticed that saliva was also produced when the person who fed
them appeared (without food). This is not surprising. Every farm boy
for thousands of years has realized, of course, that animals become
excited when they hear the sounds that indicate they are about to be
fed. But Pavlov carefully observed and measured one small part of the
process. He paired a sound, a tone, with feeding his dogs so that the
tone occurred several times right before and during the feeding. Soon
the dogs salivated to the tone, something like they did to the food (1
above). They had learned a new connection: tone with food or tone
with saliva response. 
Similarly, John B. Watson, an early American psychologist,
presented an 11-month-old child, Albert, with a loud frightening bang
and a rat at the same time. After six or seven repetitions of the noise
and rat together over a period of a week, the child became afraid of
the rat, which he hadn't been, something like his fear of the noise (2
above). Actually, although very famous, Watson's experiment didn't
work very well (Samuelson, 1980); yet, the procedure shows how one
might learn to associate a neutral event, called the conditioned
stimulus (strange as it may seem--the rat), with another event to
which one has a strong automatic reaction, called the unconditioned
stimulus (the scary loud sound). (What I find even more amazing is
that Watson described three ways to remove this learned fear but it
was 40 years later before psychology took his therapeutic ideas
seriously.) 
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