Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

Topics: Classical conditioning, Behaviorism, Reward system Pages: 1 (345 words) Published: November 18, 2012
Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning
Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. The process relies on the idea that organisms respond to stimuli, and that if they can be taught to associate a specific stimulus with a particular behavior, they will be more likely to engage in or avoid the behavior, depending on the type of stimulus involved. In the other hand, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through association between an environmental stimulus and a naturally stimulus. It involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. While operant conditioning and classical conditioning techniques share some similarities, it is important to understand the differences between them. One of the major differences involves the types of behavior that are conditioned. While classical conditioning is centered on involuntary, automatic behavior, operant conditioning is focused on voluntary behavior. An example of classical conditioning could be when: someone flushes a toilet in your apartment building or your house, the shower becomes very hot and causes you to jump back. Over time, you will begin to jump back automatically after hearing the flush before the water temperature changes. As a child my mother would always tell me to go to the store and buy fresh baked bread first thing in the morning, and I would immediately put a piece in my mouth, years has past and the smell of fresh bread baking makes my mouth water. We have a lion in a circus. It learns to stand up on a chair and jump through a hoop to receive a food treat, this example is operant conditioning because standing on a chair and jumping through hoops are voluntary behavior. You check the coin return slot on a pay telephone and find a quarter. You find yourself checking other telephones over the...
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