Classical and Operant Conditioning Case Study

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Learning is the act of changing an organism’s behavior in response to an experience. Associative learning is when an organism links two events that occur close in time. When an organism learns to make associations, it is being conditioned. There are two types of conditioning. Operant conditioning is when an organism associates an action and the consequence of that action. It results in the organism adapting its behavior to maximize rewards and minimize punishment (Skinner). On the other hand, classical conditioning is a type of learning where an organism associates a certain stimulus and the response to it with a different stimulus. A neutral stimulus is associated with an unconditioned response to an unconditioned
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After not receiving a reward, and flicking herself several times, improvement was noted the following day. She maintained good posture for nine hours, and was rewarded at dinner. On the last day, she maintained good posture for twelve hours.
The behavior that the girl was trying to minimize is a problem that many people suffer from. However, like the girl, many people also change their behavior in certain circumstances. The girl has learned to stand up straight through classical conditioning. When the girl was younger, the girl was complimented by her parents when she sat up straight. The praise of her good posture was the unconditioned stimulus, and the pleasure that she felt at this praise was the unconditioned response. As the girl grew older, she would notice that her parents would praise her even more when she had good posture and impressed an authoritative figure, such as a teacher or principal. The authoritative figures that she associated praise with were the conditioned stimuli. As such, her conditioned response was to sit up straighter when talking to an adult of authority. So, when she is with an authoritative figure, she modifies her posture in an attempt to impress them. If nobody cared whether someone had good or bad posture, then the action of straightening up would go extinct. Extinction is when a conditioned response
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