Example and Hints

Psych3K   Chapter 7, Assignment 1


(Note: Because I am providing this example, you are not permitted to use the same combination of food/flashing light/salivation in your assignment.    You also are prohibited from using Pavolv's original design.)

Appropriate animal dog
Appropriate behavior for classical conditioning salivation to a flashing light
UCS food
UCR salivation
CS flashing light
CR salivation
Type of Classical Conditioning trace conditioning

I will classically condition my dog to salivate to a flashing light by following this procedure:
I will turn on a flashing light (originally a neutral stimulus in that it does not trigger the salivation response, which I hope will become a CS for salivation) for about five seconds, then turn it off.  About one second later (this is what makes it trace conditioning the CS is removed before the UCS is presented), I will give my dog a small treat to eat (very small, because I do not want to satiate his hunger too quickly).  Initially, the dog will salivate because of the food in his mouth (the UCS, which is an involuntary autonomic response that naturally occurs whenever food is in the mouth).

After about 15 pairings of the flashing light and treat stimuli, separated by approximately 5 minute intervals, I will turn on the flashing light (without presenting a treat) and see if the dog begins to salivate.  If so, I will know that the classical conditioning has occurred.  The flashing light (CS) has become capable of producing salivation (CR) as a result of learning.  If not, I will continue with several more pairings of the CS and UCS and then test again.


The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the principles of classical conditioning, using appropriate terminology.

Select, and identify, an appropriate animal.
Select, and identify, an appropriate behavior for classical conditioning.
the Unconditioned Stimulus you are using
the Unconditioned Response you are using
the Conditioned Stimulus you are using
the Conditioned Response you are using
the type of Classical Conditioning you are attempting to employ

Describe, in detail, the procedure you would follow to condition the animal to respond as you wish it to respond and how you will know that the desired response has been classically conditioned.