Essay about Consumer Behavior Case Study Do Our Avatars Learn?

851 Words May 2nd, 2012 4 Pages
Case Study: Do Our Avatars Learn?

1) According to the text, classical conditioning occurs when a stimulus that elicits a response is paired with another stimulus that initially does not elicit a response on its own. As time passes, the second stimulus is able to cause a similar response because of the fact that we associate it with the first stimulus. An example of classical conditioning would be one that was demonstrated by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. He conducted research on digestion in dogs. Pavlov was able to induce classically conditioned learning when he paired a neutral stimulus (a bell) with a stimulus that was known to cause a salivation response in dogs (he squirted dried meat powder into their mouths). The powder
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The difference between instrumental conditioning and classical conditioning is that instrumental conditioning deals with the modification of “voluntary behavior” or operant behavior. Operant behavior “operates” on the environment and is maintained by its consequences. On the other hand, classical conditioning deals with the conditioning of reflexive behaviors which are elicited by antecedent conditions. Behaviors that are conditioned via a classical conditioning procedure are not maintained by consequences.
This is a learning process that we most closely associate with the psychologist B.F. Skinner. Skinner demonstrated the effects of instrumental conditioning by teaching pigeons and other animals to dance, play Ping-Pong, and perform other activities when he systematically rewarded them for desired behaviors. Due to the fact that responses in classical conditioning are involuntary and fairly simple, we make those in instrumental conditioning deliberately to obtain a goal, and these may be more complex. The desired behavior might be learned over a period of time as a shaping process rewards our intermediate actions. From all of this research about instrumental conditioning, we conclude that a consumer who purchases a new outfit for his avatar on a virtual world would be modifying the occurrence and form of the avatar’s behavior

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