Learning Through Classical and Operant Conditioning to Cause a Change in an Organism

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Learning can be defined as an experience that causes a relatively permanent change in an organism. There are two broad types of learning, classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning has to do with associating a stimulus with a response and this was promoted by Ivan Pavlov. Operant conditioning has to do with the consequences of a behavior determining its future occurrence and was promoted by B. F. Skinner (Schater, Gilbert, Wegner, 2011). Each psychologist has examples of what they developed, but many other examples can be found in everyday life. In classical conditioning there are four different associations; the unconditioned stimulus, unconditioned response, conditioned stimulus and conditioned response. An …show more content…

In operant conditioning trainers will use reinforcement and punishment as outcomes to increase or decrease the likelihood of the behavior that led to it. An example of Skinner’s is when he put rats in “operant chambers” that contained a lever for the rat to manipulate. If they pressed the lever at the right time they would be rewarded with food, and if pressed at the wrong time they could be punished with electrocution. There are many behaviors a trainer could teach because there are many options for reinforcement and punishment, and they could be done in different time intervals (Schater, Gilbert, Wegner, 2011). There are also positive and negative reinforcements and punishments. A positive reinforcement would be adding something such as food and a negative reinforcement would be subtracting something such as using sunscreen so that you avoid getting sunburnt. A positive punishment would be adding something such as a shock and a negative punishment would be taking something away such as a toy from a child when in trouble. An example of operant conditioning in my life is when I was younger and would talk back to my mom. If she told me to do something and I talked back she would either spank me or put me in time out. Getting spanked would be an example of a positive

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