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Classical Conditioning - A Review and Test

In classical conditioning, the type of learning investigated by Watson & Pavlov, an originally neural stimulus (NS) is paired with another stimulus that causes a particular reflex or emotional response, the unconditioned stimulus (UCS). After several pairings, the NS will cause an unconditioned response (UCR) to occur. When the NS begins to cause the response, it is then called the conditioned stimulus (CS).

In higher order conditioning, the NS is paired with a CS to which the subject has already been conditioned, rather than with an unconditioned stimulus. In classical conditioning, extinction occurs when the UCS is repeatedly withheld & the association between the CS & the UCS is broken. Spontaneous recovery occurs when a CR that had been extinguished spontaneously reappears. Generalization occurs when stimuli similar to the original CS elicit the CR. Discrimination occurs when only the CS elicits the CR.

True Or False?

1. Classically conditioned responses are like reflexes in that they occur involuntarily to specific stimuli.

2. Prior to conditioning an unconditioned stimulus is called a neutral stimulus.

3. Classical conditioning is sometimes called Pavlovian conditioning.

4. If a puff of air is delivered to your eye & you blink, your blink is considered a conditioned response.

5. Neutral stimuli must physically resemble the conditioned stimuli for them to elicit the conditioned response.

6. Fear can be classically conditioned.

7. The timing of an unconditioned stimulus does not influence conditioning.

8. The most consistent the pairings of the UCS to the NS, the more quickly the CR will be learned.

9. Spontaneous recovery shows that extinction leads to permanently forgotten behaviors.




1. True

2. True

3. True

4. False

5. False

6. True

7. False

8. True

9. False


  1. A relatively permanent change in behavior as a result of practice of experience is the definition of ________________
    1. Learning
    2. Modeling
    3. Spontaneous recovery
    4. Stimulus generalization
  2. Suppose a boy learns to fear bees by being stung when he touches a bee. In this situation the unconditioned stimulus is the _________.
    1. Bee
    2. Sting
    3. Fear
    4. Crying
  3. Higher order conditioning results when a(n) _______.
    1. Previously neutral stimulus elicits a conditioned response
    2. Neutral stimulus is paired with a conditioned stimulus
    3. Neutral stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus
    4. Unconditioned response is paired with a conditioned stimulus
  4. In classical conditioning, extinction occurs when the _________.
    1. Conditioned stimulus is no longer paired with the UCR
    2. CS is no longer paired with the UCS
    3. CR is no longer paired with the UCS
    4. The unconditioned stimulus is ambiguous
  5. Once classical conditioning has occurred, the CR may be elicited by stimuli that are similar to the CS. This is called _________.
    1. Generalization
    2. Discrimination
    3. Spontaneous conditioning
    4. Replication of the effect
  6. Spontaneous recovery occurs when a __________.
    1. Previously generalized response discriminates
    2. Previously extinguished response reappears
    3. Behavior increases in frequency
    4. Behavior has been learned & not conditioned
  7. Vicarious conditioning occurs when a person or an animal __________.
    1. Learns from experience
    2. Exhibits latent learning
    3. Becomes conditioned by watching a model being conditioned
    4. Learns and then relearns the same behavior after extinction
  8. An emotional response that is evoked by a previously neutral event is called a(n) _________.
    1. Conditioned emotional response
    2. Gut reaction
    3. Emotional reaction
    4. Elicited emotional response
  9. Spontaneous recovery occurs when _____________ suddenly reappears.
    1. Your lost wallet
    2. A previously extinguished response
    3. An extinct instinct
    4. A forgotten stimulus-response sequence
  10. Billy was shocked while changing a light bulb. Now, every time that Billy sees a light bulb he cringes. Billy's cringing illustrates ____________.
    1. Positive reinforcement
    2. Classical conditioning
    3. Extinction
    4. Stimulus discrimination







1. a

2. b

3. b

4. b

5. a

6. b

7. c

8. a

9. b

10. b