Classical conditioning is a type of learning based on association of stimuli, while operant conditioning is a kind of learning based on the association of consequences with ones behaviors. In classical conditioning Pavlov designed an experiment where he would ring a bell when he feed his dog causing the dog to associate the bell with his feeding time. Another famous experiment associated with classical conditioning would be Little Albert, this was where little Albert was introduced to a pet rat and when he would play with the rat they would hit a gong causing an aversion conditioning (negative response can lead to phobias). The most famous experiment linked with operant conditioning is the Skinner Box. This was were a rat was placed in a box with to levers one of which was programmed to give food when pressed.
Some of the differences between operant and classical conditioning lie in the extent to which reinforcement depends on the behavior of the learner. In classical conditioning, the learner is automatically reinforced. For example, the dogs in Pavlov's experiment automatically learned the association of the bell and food. In operant conditioning, the learner must provide a correct response in order to received the reinforcement. For instance, in the Skinner Box the rat had to learn which lever to press to receive its reward. Another difference between the two forms of conditioning is the type of behavior to which each method applies. Classical conditioning applies to a behavior that is always wanted. During Pavlov's experiment is his goal was to have the dogs salivate on command. In operant conditioning, a behavior can be learned or extinguished. Since Skinner wanted the rat to see the rat to choose a lever in order to receive its reward.
Both classical conditioning and operant conditioning are forms of learning, each having many similarities and differences. The similarities include acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document