Classical Conditioning: Barbies Kittens
Please read the following story about Barbie and her kittens. Next, answer the following questions in 1 – 3 sentences; make sure to explain why this is your answer. Each answer must be in your own words.
Barbie’s cat has just given birth to 4 new kittens: Tim, Angie, Kathy, and Susan. Barbie wants to train them all to come to her when she calls for them and has decided to try Classical Conditioning to get them to do so. She starts by saying, “Here Kitty Kitty!” to the group of kittens, but they don’t seem to be paying attention. So then she opens a can of fresh tuna, which the kitties all get very excited about, rushing into the kitchen. She decides that she will start saying, “Here Kitty Kitty!” every time she opens a can of tuna. After a few days, all Barbie has to do is say “Here Kitty Kitty!” and the cats will run right to her. Eventually, she just has to walk into the kitchen and all of her kittens are right on her heels.
Barbie has also decided to try a few different Operant Conditioning techniques to encourage some behaviors and discourage others. She doesn’t always catch them behaving a certain way, so when she will use these techniques can change each day. Tim doesn’t like to socialize with the other kittens, so Barbie has started giving him catnip every time she sees him playing with the others. Angie, on the other hand, is just a little too comfortable sharpening her nails on the couch. Barbie has started spraying her with a water bottle every time she catches her scratching up the furniture. Kathy seems to be the boss of the kittens and enjoys being around them, so whenever she misbehaves Barbie takes her to another room for a few minutes. Susan is a very sweet kitten but doesn’t like eating her food with the others. When Susan has been especially good, Barbie will move her dish to a different room so that she can eat in peace.
After a couple of weeks of all of this training, Barbie noticed a few interesting developments. Tim had become a little more sociable since the training began, but because Barbie wasn’t consistent with giving him catnip he very quickly stopped playing with the other kittens again. Angie developed a healthy fear of all spray bottles and would race out of the room even when Barbie was just watering her plants. Barbie’s husband tried to call for the kitties himself, but Kathy refused to answer the “Here Kitty Kitty!” call unless it was Barbie that did it. Susan preferred to eat her food away from the other kittens, so she stopped answering the “Here Kitty Kitty!” call completely. Barbie thought that the training had failed with Susan, but about a month later (much to her surprise) Susan showed up when Barbie called!
Q1: What is the Unconditioned Stimulus?
Q2: What is the Unconditioned Response?
Q3: What is the neutral stimulus?
Q4: What is the conditioned stimulus?
Q5: What is the Conditioned Response?
Q6: All of the kittens were influenced by Higher-Order Conditioning. What became the second Conditioned Stimulus?
Q7: Who received Negative Punishment?
Q8: Who received Positive Punishment?
Q9: Who received Negative Reinforcement?
Q10: Who received Positive Reinforcement?
Q11: What kind of reinforcement schedule was used for all four kittens?
Q12: Which cat(s) displayed Generalization?
Q13: Which cat(s) displayed Discrimination?
Q14: Which cat(s) displayed Extinction?
Q15: Which cat(s) displayed Spontaneous Recovery?
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