Classical and Operant Conditioning
Conditioning is the act of being trained or accustomed to behave a certain way. Classical conditioning is, “learning to make an involuntary response to a stimulus other than the original, natural stimulus that normally produces the reflex” (Ciccarelli, 2012). Classical conditioning applies to situations in which we respond automatically. These kinds of actions or responses are determined in the amygdala which is where our “fight or flight” responses take place. A Russian physiologist named, Ivan Pavlov was who first discovered and pioneered classical conditioning. There are several factors involved in classical conditioning. Ivan Pavlov first came about this idea while he was studying his dogs. He noticed that when they were fed a natural reflex was for them to begin producing saliva. Ivan Pavlov created a device that measured the amount the precise amount of salivation occurring with each dog. He began to notice that the dogs were salivating before they had even received the food. He decided the food was the unconditioned stimulus and the salivating was the unconditioned response. Ivan Pavlov then began presenting the dogs with food while turning on a metronome. Normally the metronome alone would not produce salivation with the dogs but when paired with the food it did. After consistent repetition of pairing the food and while turning on the metronome, Ivan Pavlov tested his theory. He turned only the metronome on and in response the dogs began to salivate without the food being present. This was then termed the conditioned response. Operant conditioning is voluntary behavior learned via the effects of positive or negative consequences to responses. Essentially, operant conditioning works by either reinforcing or punishing in order to increase or decrease a behavior. Operant conditioning responses involve the basal ganglia in the brain and the release of dopamine. The anticipation of the dopamine is a driving factor for the...
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