Classical Conditioning Assignment

Classical Conditioning Assignment

In this assignment, you will devise a method to classically condition your friend to respond to a previously neutral stimulus.  First, pick a behavior/emotion that can be conditioned (i.e. a reflex or emotion that is not consciously controlled) and describe the stimulus/stimuli that naturally elicit the behavior/emotion.  Then describe the method you would use to condition your friend to respond to a different stimulus that normally would not elicit the behavior/emotion.  Also, determine which temporal relationship (e.g. delayed, trace, backward, simultaneous, and temporal conditioning) would optimally pair your stimulus and response.  Finally, explain what extinction and spontaneous recovery would look like in your mini-experiment.

In your paper, be sure to Identify the:

  • Unconditioned stimulus (UCS)
  • Unconditioned response (UCR)
  • Neutral stimulus (NS)
  • Conditioned stimulus (CS)
  • Conditioned response (CR)


Do NOT actually conduct the experiment, this is a critical thinking exercise only.



10 (50.00%)

No errors in identifying the UCS, UCR, CS, and CR


5 (25.00%)

Identified optimal temporal relationship & described why


5 (25.00%)

Correctly explained both extinction and spontaneous recovery


About the assignment: Information:


In this module we discuss Pavlovian Conditioning, also called Classical Conditioning, which involves the association of two environmental stimuli.  One of the stimuli, the Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS), automatically elicits a response, the Unconditioned Response or UCR. The other stimulus, the Conditioned Stimulus (CS), is neutral until it becomes associated with the first stimulus. After several pairings with the UCS, the CS will elicit the response. This response is called the Conditioned Response (CR). The strength of the association depends on several factors, such as salience, novelty, and intensity of the CS and UCS. Pavlovian Conditioning is the basis for the behavior modification technique, Systematic Desensitization. 

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