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Explain how you would evoke a startle

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Essay 1 Questions


Answer these questions in essay format, using the instructions provided in the Assignment Instructions folder. Review the Essay 1 Grading Rubric to see how your essay will be graded.


1.      In this question you will make up an experiment using classical conditioning. Please create an example using the following scenario.


Explain how you would evoke a startle response (reflex) using classical conditioning in an unsuspecting friend using an abnormal signal (produces the reflex). Describe your friend’s reflex response and a signal that will produce that reflex response; then choose another signal for the reflex and predict the outcome of using that signal. Clearly label the Unconditioned Stimulus (UCS), Unconditioned Response (UCR), Conditioned Stimulus (CS), and Conditioned Response (CR). Include a description of the setting and process for this hypothetical situation.  Below is an abbreviated example.


For example, every time your roommate opens the refrigerator door you make an alarm goes off on your phone and the roommate jumps. After this happens several times, the roommate will jump when they open the refrigerator door even without the alarm going off.


Signal (NS)

Opening the refrigerator


Sound of an alarm




Opens refrigerator




2.      Describe how you would use operant conditioning, with a program of shaping, to get a messy roommate to make his/her bed neatly. Include and label the antecedent stimulus, response, and reinforcement of the changing program standards, and a method of self-regulation for the roommate.


3.      In a hypothetical psychology internship, you have encountered a child with destructive tendencies. She bites herself, her dog, and your bag of supplies. Being afraid for her safety and your own well-being, you institute a plan to change her behavior. Suggest a punishment, with her possible reactions to that punishment. Then, try substituting an alternative behavior by reinforcing an incompatible response. Label the antecedent stimulus for the biting response, Punishment I or II, escape or avoidance, and the reinforcement for the new named response. What do you consider to be the best theory or method for improving this child’s behavior?


4.      Give an example of a situation where you can model more effective behavior for someone whom you could positively influence. Describe in detail: yourself (the model), the observer, the behavior, and the reinforcement using at least 5 principles of Social Learning Theory.


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