What is Acquisition in Psychology?

Acquisition in Psychology acquisition is more concretely defined as the term, although often used interchangeably with learning, although not behavior by an individual. Acquisition of information or skill or the process by which it occurs Progressive measurable changes are seen in response to acquisition. We will go into further detail about the acquisition, and what it is.

Acquisition refers to in psychology the first stage of learning when a response is established. In classical conditioning, acquisition refers to the period when the stimulus arrives to produce the conditioned response.

Classical conditioning is a learning process that involves associating a previously neutral stimulus with a stimulus that naturally produces a response. After a response is received, the previously neutral stimulation will induce the reaction.

Consider Ivan Pavlov’s classic experiment with dogs. Pavlov conditioned the dogs to salivate for the sound by associating food presentation with a vowel sound. The stage at which dogs begin to salivate for the sound is the acquisition period.

How is the acquisition made in psychology? In classical conditioning, repeated pairing of the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) eventually leads to acquisition.

An unconditioned stimulus naturally evokes an unconditioned response (UCR). After repeatedly pairing the CS with the UCS, the CS alone will elicit a conditioned response (CR) reaction.1

Once the connection between the CS and the UCS is established, the answer is said to have been achieved.

During acquisition, the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli are repeatedly combined to form an association. Multiple pairs are required, but the number of trials may vary depending on what is being learned.2

For example, imagine that you are teaching a dog to fear the sound of a rattlesnake. This type of learning will likely happen more quickly because the animal may have already been prepared to make such associations. As a result, the acquisition will happen much faster than teaching a dog to play dead.

  • The strength of the conditioned response will continue to increase up to a certain point before it levels off
  • Reinforcement can strengthen the response.

Once a behavior is acquired, it is often reinforced to strengthen the association. For example, imagine that you are teaching a pigeon to peck the key whenever it rings the bell. Initially, you place some food on the key and make a vowel sound just before the pigeon licks the key.

After several trials, the pigeon starts pecking the key whenever it hears the tone, which means it has acquired the behavior. If you stop reinforcing the behavior at this point, the bird will quickly stop engaging in the action (this is known as extinction). 3 If you continue strengthening the connection between the bell and the food, the reaction will become much more substantial.

In most cases, the neutral and naturally occurring stimuli must be linked together several times for acquisition. Once a response has been received, continuing to add to them can help strengthen the response.

Several factors can affect how quickly an acquisition occurs. You may need to change these if you are trying to create a conditioned response.

The conditioned stimulus’s prominence (strength or novelty) may play an important role. If the CS is too subtle, the learner may not notice it well enough to associate it with the unconditioned stimulus. More noticeable incentives usually lead to better acquisition.3

For example, if you train a dog to salivate for a sound, the acquisition will be more likely if the sound is noticeable and unexpected. The sound of a bell will produce better results than the calm tone or neutral sound that the animal hears regularly.

Second, timing plays an important role. If there is too much delay between the presentation of the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the learner cannot make a connection between the two.

The most efficient approach is to present the CS and then quickly introduce the UCS, so there is an overlap between the two. As a rule, the longer the delay between the UCS and the CS, the longer the acquisition will take.4

It may be helpful to examine some examples of how acquisition can occur in different settings.

A classic example of acquisition is the famous Little Albert experiment conducted by John B. Watson and Rosalie Renner. In the experiment, Watson and Rainer combined the sight of a white rat with a loud sound that frightened their subject, a nine-month-old boy.

While the child was initially oblivious to the white rat, repeatedly associating the sight of the rat with the sound of the ringing sound eventually elicited the child’s fear response. Once achieved, the child showed a fear of the rat. Today, this type of experiment would be considered immoral because it caused harm to the child (he experienced a fear he had not had before).

In real-world settings, school fear could be another example of this.

What is Acquisition in Psychology With Examples?

What is Acquisition in Psychology?

As an example of the acquisition of psychology, imagine that you are teaching a pigeon to peck the key when it rings the bell. Initially, you put some food on the key and make a vowel sound just before the pigeon bangs the key; after many tests, whenever he hears the vowel now starts hitting the answer key, which means he has behaved. If you stop reinforcing the behavior at this point, the bird quickly stops engaging in the action. This is considered extinct if you continue strengthening the connection between the bell and the food. Then the reaction becomes extreme.

Another prominent example is about acquisition when a pigeon is sitting near someone’s house, or it is sitting like that, there is a movement of humans or the sound of trains flying away at a very high speed, it means in their behavior, we get to know that if there is some movement going on, then they become very alert about their safety. By the way, if we consider the acquisition of pigeons, it happens to their habits because it is a birds. It sees all the security around them. If there is any movement, then suddenly they fly away, and they like to be independent, and He wants them very much, what used to happen in earlier times when people used to send messages to them. From one place to another, there was no holiday, etc., then first-floor white pigeons were used for the postman, and now white pigeon is one of the most extinct species in the world, and people are mostly now hunting them. It is believed that according to psychology, animals also have the same right to live as humans, so they Prefer to avoid people for safety.

Another Example is Classical conditioning, which begins by taking a previously neutral stimulus and repeatedly pairing it with an unconditioned stimulus. An unconditioned stimulus produces a response naturally and automatically without any learning.

For example, imagine you want to teach a mouse to be afraid of the sound of a cat hiss. You may begin to associate the sound of a cat hissing with a loud bang. The loud bang would naturally trigger a fear response in the rat.

You go through it repeatedly, each time hissing and then banging loudly. Eventually, a connection will be made between the naturally frightening sound and the cat sound.

When the rat reacts with fear to the sound of his alone, you can now say that acquisition has occurred.

By Saksham Chopra

Hi, My name is Saksham Chopra and I am a Digital Marketer and Blogger. My favorite part of the Internet is sharing information via blogs on Psychology, Human Psychology, Mental Health, and Stress Management.

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