Classical Conditioning vs Operant Conditioning Essay

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CLASSICAL CONDITIONING VS OPERANT CONDITIONING BY: SHERRIE MUNYON Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are different learning methods. The two methods have the word conditioning in common. What is conditioning? Conditioning is the acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence of well-defined stimuli. Both classical and operant conditioning are basic forms of learning (Corey text). Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism learns to transfer a natural response from one stimulus to another, previously neutral stimulus. Manipulating reflexes does this. Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which the likelihood of a behavior is increased or decreased by the use of reinforcement or punishment. Operant conditioning deals with more cognitive thought process. These two forms of learning have similarities and differences. Their similarities are that they both produce basic phenomena. One such phenomenon is acquisition. Both types of conditioning result in the inheritance of behavior (Corey, text). One of the most famous of experiments that illustrates classical conditioning is Pavlov’s Dogs. In this experiment, Pavlov sat behind a one-way mirror and controlled the presentation of a bell (Corey, text). The bell was the conditioned stimulus. A conditioned stimulus was an originally neutral stimulus that could eventually produce a desiresd response when presented alone. Directly after the ringing of the bell, Pavlov gave the dog food (Corey, text). The food was the unconditioned stimulus. This means that the food caused an uncontrollable response whenever it was presented alone. That response would be the salivation of the dog (Corey, text). Extinction can also occur in operant conditioning. The key to operant conditioning is reinforcement.

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