Classical Conditioning Experiment

Topics: Classical conditioning / Pages: 2 (397 words) / Published: Jan 13th, 2015
Classical Conditioning Experiment

Hypothesis:
If the spoon taps the glass of water after several trials of chiming and switching off the light, then the participant’s pupils should dilate to the chime of the glass without turning off the light.
Procedure:
First, I sat on the bathroom counter with my sister and had a spoon and a glass of water. The light switch was nearby and the room was dimly lit. Then, I turned off the light to see how much her eyes would dilate under normal conditions. After this, I began the trials by chiming the glass of water and turning off the bathroom light simultaneously. I let her eyes adjust, then I turned on the light and repeated this 15 times.
Results:
What should have happened in this experiment was that the participant’s eyes dilated after the multiple trials without the aid of turning off the light.
Conclusions:
Hypothesis supported. Classical conditioning is the process of learning by association which signals the approaching arrival of a significant event. It involves pairing a neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus that will elicit an unconditioned response. With repeated pairings, the neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus that evokes a conditioned response similar to the original unconditioned response. In this experiment, the chime of the glass is a neutral stimulus because it does not elicit the dilation of the pupil. The dark room on the other hand, will result in the pupil dilation, a reflexive reaction. Since pupils naturally dilate and constrict according to the amount of light intensity and that no prior learning is required, the darkness of the room is the unconditioned stimulus that leads to the unconditioned response of pupil dilation in the dark. A learning trial is formed each time the bell and darkness are paired. After 15 learning trails, or repeated pairings, the bell has become a conditioned stimulus that elicits the conditioned response of pupil dilation while the lights are on.

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