What is classic conditioning? What is operant conditioning? Be sure to include the components of each, the major theorist, and provide a comparison between classical and operant conditioning. (Response should be no less than 150 words in length and information from our textbook should be used to support the responses. Citations must be included in the body of the post and a reference section should be included at the end of the post.)
Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two of the most widely recognized theories in the field of psychology. Both theories have made significant contributions to our understanding of how behavior is learned and modified. In this response, I will explain the components of each theory, discuss the major theorist associated with each theory, and provide a comparison between classical and operant conditioning.
Classical conditioning, also known as Pavlovian conditioning, was first introduced by Ivan Pavlov in the late 19th century. This theory focuses on the association between two stimuli and how this association leads to learning. The basic components of classical conditioning include the unconditioned stimulus (UCS), the unconditioned response (UCR), the conditioned stimulus (CS), and the conditioned response (CR). The UCS is a stimulus that naturally elicits a response, such as food producing salivation in Pavlov’s famous experiments. The UCR is the natural response to the UCS, in this case, salivation. The CS is a previously neutral stimulus that is paired with the UCS, such as a bell. Through repeated pairings of the bell (CS) with the presentation of food (UCS), the bell becomes a conditioned stimulus that elicits a conditioned response. The CR is the learned response to the CS, in this case, salivation in response to the bell alone.
On the other hand, operant conditioning, also known as instrumental conditioning, was developed by B.F. Skinner in the mid-20th century. This theory focuses on the relationship between behavior and consequences. In operant conditioning, behavior is shaped through a process of reinforcement and punishment. The major components of operant conditioning include the behavior, the consequence, and the schedule of reinforcement. The behavior refers to the action or response that the individual engages in. The consequence refers to the event that follows the behavior and can either strengthen or weaken the likelihood of the behavior recurring in the future. Reinforcement is a consequence that increases the likelihood of the behavior occurring again, while punishment is a consequence that decreases the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. The schedule of reinforcement refers to the timing and consistency of the delivery of reinforcement or punishment. It can be continuous, where every instance of the behavior is reinforced or punished, or intermittent, where reinforcement or punishment is delivered periodically.
When comparing classical and operant conditioning, there are several key differences to consider. Firstly, classical conditioning involves the association between stimuli, while operant conditioning involves the association between behavior and consequences. In classical conditioning, the individual is a passive recipient of stimuli, whereas in operant conditioning, the individual actively engages in behavior. Secondly, classical conditioning focuses on reflexive, involuntary responses, while operant conditioning focuses on voluntary, goal-directed behavior. In classical conditioning, the response is elicited by the presentation of a stimulus, while in operant conditioning, the behavior is emitted by the individual. Thirdly, classical conditioning is typically a process of acquisition and extinction, where the conditioned response is learned and can be unlearned. In contrast, operant conditioning involves the process of reinforcement and punishment, which can strengthen or weaken behavior over time. Finally, classical conditioning typically involves a relatively automatic and unconscious form of learning, while operant conditioning involves a more conscious and deliberate form of learning.
In conclusion, classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two important theories in the field of psychology that explain how behavior is learned and modified. Classical conditioning focuses on the association between stimuli, while operant conditioning focuses on the relationship between behavior and consequences. These theories have both similarities and differences, and understanding them is essential for understanding human and animal behavior.
– Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex. London: Oxford University Press.
– Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: An experimental analysis. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.