Psychology Lesson: Classical Conditioning Hopping Activity

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This psychology activity that can be used with a class to show classical conditioning. There will be a few groups who will achieve the desired results, however some will not get great results. These groups can spark a great discussion as to what went wrong. This is a great opportunity to highlight the problems with testing the environment of a school, not an ideal setting.

One problem was when a student’s resting pulse was 80 and his first hopping score 82. Something was not right. One group also did not wait until the resting pulse reached the correct level. Lastly, the students are not going to get accurate readings of the pulse. In a true testing environment, there would be devices like the ones in hospital to get a more accurate reading.

Even though the class results may vary, the concepts of classical conditioning should be strongly reinforced with this activity. This work sheet was adapted from one that required the students to tap a pencil 5 times. I elected to choose 5 claps because it seemed a little more useful.

Below is the worksheet that each student will complete. (For this activity, I allow the students to use their cell phones, since most have a stopwatch. Even though we do not allow students to use cell phones in school, this activity is an opportunity to responsible use of current technology.)

Name: 

Psychology: Hopping Activity

Experiment: Classical Conditioning.

Step 1 Pair up with another student and decide who will be the subject and who will be the experimenter. The subject should sit and relax for 2 minutes. After this is complete the subject should take his / her pulse for 30 seconds. MULTIPLY THIS BY 2! Record this score as the RESTING PULSE 1.

Step 2 As the student is sitting in the chair, the experimenter will clap his / her hand 5 times or tap a pen 5 times. After hearing the 5th clap or tap, the subject will stand up and start hopping on ONE FOOT for 30 seconds (experimenter keeps the score). When the hopping is complete, take the pulse rate again for 30 seconds. Double the score and enter the data in the Hop #1 space in the table. Repeat the procedure four (4) more times and record your data each time.

Step 3 READ CAREFULLY – The subject should sit and relax until the pulse returns to the initial resting pulse 1 rate. Once the resting pulse rate is achieved, the experimenter will clap his / her hands 5 times. After the 5th clap (or tap), the subject will take his or her pulse IMMEDIATELY after the 5th clap / tap. The subject WILL NOT HOP this time. Record your data.

(Simply make a chart with the following information. Sorry I was not able to post it in the blog.)

Resting                                                                                                            Resting      Clap

Pulse 1       Hop #1      Hop #2       Hop #3       Hop #4        Hop #5      Pulse 2     Pulse

DATA          DATA        DATA         DATA          DATA           DATA         DATA      DATA

Remember the steps of Classical Conditioning.

(helpful step) NS ———-X——> UCR

X         +      UCS    ­   ­————> UCR

CS       +      UCS     ————> UCR

CS       +      X           ————> CR

ON THE BACK, WRITE OUT THE EQUATION FOR THIS ACTIVITY!

This activity was adapted from a previous worksheet. *

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