Beh 225 Pavlov Essay

460 words - 2 pages

In psychology, two important behavior concepts that are taught are classical and operant conditioning. Operant conditioning, invented by B.F. Skinner, (or instrumental conditioning) is a type of learning that is modified by consequences of an individual’s behavior. Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs establishing associations between different events. Both of these types of conditioning are used to treat phobias. Some say that they both also treat nightmares, obsessions, depression, compulsions, anorexia and anxiety. Both techniques are used by cognitive behavior therapist. An inheritance of a behavior is a result of both types of conditioning. To illustrate classical conditioning, Pavlov used dogs in his famous analysis. When ...view middle of the document...

Operant conditioning’s goal is reinforcement. Reinforcement is any event that increases the chances that a response will occur again. In operant conditioning, extinction occurs if reinforcement is withheld. Also involved in conditioning is a factor called spontaneous recovery. This is the return of a learned response after apparent extinction. An example of spontaneous recovery is the fact that the bell was not heard for a few years by Pavlov’s dogs but hearing it later made them drool. With operant conditioning, an animal’s reinforcement was stopped after they are conditioned to behave in a certain way, that animal could react at a later date. If a bell sound is different and the dogs salivated to the sound of it, this is called stimulus discrimination which also occurs with classical and operant conditioning. Discrimination is evidence that an animal notices the difference between two or more stimuli. Generalization is the opposite. If an animal hears different sounds but only hears one and is given reinforcements for only responding to one, discrimination is used. Some differences of operant and classical conditioning is to what extent reinforcement depends on the learner and their behavior. The learner is automatically reinforced in classical conditioning. The learner is taught to response to a once neutral stimulus. The type of behavior to which each method applies is another difference between classical and operant conditioning. In order to receive reinforcement in operant conditioning, the learner must provide a correct response. Behaviors in classical conditioning are always wanted. Having the dogs salivate on command was Pavlov’s purpose. Learned or extinguished behaviors can happen in operant conditioning. These types of conditioning have some similarities but are still different.

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