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Psychology   >   Psychological Approaches – Learning Theories

Classical Conditioning

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Psychological Approaches – Learning Theories

In this course, Mr Martyn Quigley (University of Nottingham) discusses some classic psychological theories of learning. In the first lecture, we think about the research of Ivan Pavlov and his theory of classical conditioning as a form of associative learning. In the second lecture, we take a closer look at factors affecting classical conditioning, focusing in particular on the processes of extinction and generalisation. In the third lecture, we move on to discuss operant or instrumental conditioning and the research of Edward Thorndike. Next, we think about the mechanisms of reinforcement and punishment in operant conditioning. In the fifth lecture, we take a closer look at how the rate at which reinforcement occurs can influence learning. In the sixth and final lecture, we conclude the course with a discussion of social learning theory as an alternative to the behaviourist approach to learning.

Classical Conditioning

In this lecture, we think about classical conditioning, a form of learning by association, focusing in particular on: (i) the research of Ivan Pavlov who showed that dogs can be conditioned to salivate at the presentation of a particular stimulus through a process of associative learning; (ii) definitions of the unconditioned stimulus, the unconditioned response, the conditioned stimulus and the conditioned response, all coined by Pavlov; (iii) how these terms can be applied to other forms of classical conditioning; (iv) the ‘Little Albert Study’ by Watson and Rayner (1920); (v) the use of classical conditioning techniques in advertising; (vi) how the salience of a stimulus (e.g. the amount of food presented) impacts how quickly associative learning occurs.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Quigley, M. (2019, September 27). Psychological Approaches – Learning Theories - Classical Conditioning [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Quigley, M. "Psychological Approaches – Learning Theories – Classical Conditioning." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019,


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Mr Martyn Quigley

Nottingham University