Classical Conditioning And Operant Conditioning

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The study of behaviorist psychology have allowed us to understand how we subconsciously engage in the learning process. As demonstrated by notably experiments conducted by Ivan Pavlov, B.F Skinner, and various others, our learning process can be--and normally is--significantly influenced by the social and physical world around us. Two particular examples of this are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. “Classical conditioning occurs when a natural stimulus produces a response after being paired with a stimulus that naturally produces a response” (Schacter). For example, in horror movies suspenseful music tends to precede dramatic events. If you get scared during horror movies, your fear is a natural response to the horror (the stimulus). When music (unconditioned stimulus) is paired with the horror, the music becomes a conditioned stimulus. So when we you hear the music, we feel a sense of fear. (Another example will be provided later on to elaborate on this concept). On the other hand, operant conditioning is “a type of learning in which the consequences of an organism’s behavior determine whether it will be repeated in the future” (Schacter). For example, being put on a time out will decrease the probability of a particular behavior, while being given an allowance for washing the dishes will increase the probability of that behavior. From studying these learning processes, various institutions in our society have begun utilizing them in their marketing

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