The Effects Of Classical Conditioning On Operant Conditioning

1648 Words May 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Reinstatement is a phenomenon that describes the return of an extinguished response following presentation of the US in classical conditioning (Bouton & Nelson, 1998). This phenomenon is dependent upon experimental context, as context promotes an association between the CS and US (Bouton, 2004). A lever pressing response was trained in rats to study the context-dependency of extinction and reinstatement in operant conditioning. The current study demonstrates that reinstatement occurs in operant conditioning, and remains context dependent, as reinstatement only occurred when subjects were presented with a reinforcer following extinction and were kept in the same context for all experimental phases.

Reinstatement of an Extinguished Response is Context-Dependent in Operant Conditioning

Learning processes by which stimulus-specific behaviours are developed have been studied in great depth in recent psychological literature. One such process is that of classical conditioning; the presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (US) e.g. food, with a conditioned stimulus (CS) e.g. a tone, that will elicit a response (UR), e.g. salivation. Following repeated simultaneous exposure to the CS and US, the subject will eventually exhibit a response (CR) in the presence of the CS alone (Bouton & Nelson, 1998). However, the behaviours learned during classical conditioning can be removed in the extinction phenomenon; withdrawal of the US, so that a response to the CS is no…
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