Learning: Classical Conditioning

Topics: Classical conditioning, Operant conditioning, Reward system Pages: 4 (1138 words) Published: October 30, 2001
Learning is more than a person sitting at a desk and studying off a book. Everything that we do is a result of what we have learned. We respond to things that happen to us, we act and experience consequences from our behavior, and we observe what others say and do. Psychologists explain our many experiences with basic learning processes. "Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience (Santrock, p.146)." By learning how to use a computer you will change from being someone who could not operate a computer to being one who can. Learning anything new involves change. You learned how to use a computer through experience with the machine. Once you have learned to use a computer, the skill usually does not leave you. Similar to learning how to drive a car, you do not have to go through the process again at a later time. There are three main types of learning are classical conditioning (responding), operant conditioning (acting), and observational learning (observing).

It is a nice spring day. A father takes his baby out for a walk. The baby reaches over to touch a pink flower and is badly stung by the bumblebee sitting on the petals. The next day, the baby's mother brings home some pink flowers. She removes a flower from the arrangement and takes it over for her baby to smell. The baby cries loudly as soon as she sees the pink flower. The baby's panic at the sight of the pink flower illustrates the learning process of classical conditioning. "Classical conditioning is when a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response (Santrock, p.147)." Thai, 2

Pavlov's dog salivates in response to a number of stimuli related with food, such as the sight of the food dish, the sight of the individual who brought the food into the room, and the sound of the door closing when the food arrives. Pavlov recognized that the dog's association of...

Cited: Blake, Toni. Enduring Issues in Psychology. San Diego: Greenhaven Press Inc, 1995.
Calvin, William H. How Brains Think?. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1996.
James, William. The Principles of Psychology. New York: Dove Publication Inc, 1918.
Santrock, John W. Psychology. San Francisco: The McGraw-Hill Inc, 2000.
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