Example and Hints

Psych3K    Chapter 7, Assignment 3


(Note: Because I am providing this example, you are not permitted to use the same combination of air puff/tinkling sound/eyeblink in your assignment.)

Appropriate human my friend, Dave
Appropriate behavior for classical conditioning eye blink to a tinkling sound
UCS puff of air on the eyelid
UCR eye blink
CS tinkling sound
CR eye blink
Type of Classical Conditioning trace conditioning

I will classically condition Dave to blink his eyes to a tinkling sound by following this procedure:
I will strike a water-filled glass with a metal iced tea spoon (originally a neutral stimulus in that it does not trigger the eye blink response, which I hope will become a CS for Dave blinking his eyes).  Immediately after striking the glass with the spoon (this is what makes it trace conditioning),  lightly blow through a straw aimed at Dave's eyelid.  Initially, Dave will blink because of the puff of air striking his eyelid (the UCS, which is an involuntary autonomic response that naturally occurs whenever air hits the eyelids).

After about 10 to 15 pairings of the puff-of-air and clinking-of-the-spoon-hitting-the-glass stimuli, separated by about 1 minute intervals, I will offer Dave something to drink (he can have whatever he wants, but I will take iced tea).  I will add sugar to my iced tea, and begin to vigorously stir my tea. I will watch to see if the tinkling sound produced by the metal spoon rapidly striking the glass as I stir causes Dave to (probably, rapidly) blink.  If he does, I will know that the classical conditioning has occurred.  The tinkling sound (CS) has become capable of producing blinking (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 human being as your learner.
Select, and identify, an appropriate behavior or emotional response 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 person to respond as you wish him/her to respond.