Essay Operant Conditioning

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Ivan Pavlov

Classical conditioning is a method used in behavioral studies. It is known as classical because it is the first study of laws of learning/conditioning, It is a learned reaction that you do when evoked by a stimulus.

Ivan Pavlov was the scientist who discovered classical conditioning. Ivan Pavlov was born in Russia. He lived from 1849 - 1936 . Pavlov’s field of study was physiology and natural science.

One of Pavlov’s discoveries was the conditioning of dogs. While working with the dogs he investigated the salivation reaction when food was present. He discovered that the dogs would salivate when he entered the room with and without food. Pavlov then went on to training the dogs. He would ring a bell
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The animal would response. It would then be rewarded. The response is then learned. If the response was not rewarded then it would disappear over time. The animals would be placed into the puzzle boxes and would only be able to escape by making certain responses such as pushing a button. The experiment with the cats entailed placing a hungry cat into the puzzle box. He then observed its behaviour. The cat would try and escape in order to obtain food. The cat in most cases would act on a “trial and error” method. When the cat obtained the food the trial and error behaviour decreased and the cat soon learnt how to escape quickly. The learnt behaviour took time and did not improve quickly. The amount of time the cat spent in the box slowly shorted. Upon completion of his experiment Thorndike learnt that certain stimuli and responses became associated or dissociated from each other. He developed his law of effect.

Thorndike concluded that animals learn by trial and error, or most importantly by reward and punishment. He then linked the behavior of the cats to all beings. His work with animals was the founding principle of Instrumental Learning. His most famous work was on the learning theory that lead to the development of operant conditioning by a psychologist called Burrhus.Frederic Skinner.

Skinner was born in Pennsylvania on March 20, 1904. Skinners first studied English at Hamilton College. He often wrote for the college newspaper. He
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