• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Contrast Principles of Classical and Operant Conditioning

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Contrast Principles of Classical and Operant Conditioning. Learning is a very important part of Psychology and it has been defined as 'any relatively permanent change in behaviour, or behaviour potential, produced by experience' (Baron, p.169). Learning is a key process in human behaviour; it can play an important role in most of the activities we do. Even though the effects of learning are extremely diverse, most psychologists believe that learning occurs in several basic forms: conditioning - classical and operant and observational learning. Myers defined conditioning as 'the process of learning associations'. Classical conditioning is where the stimulus serves as a signal for the occurrence of a second stimulus. (Learning to associate two stimuli's together). In classical conditioning we are able to acquire information about the relations between various stimuli and not just simple associations between them. The most famous research for classical conditioning comes from Ivan Pavlov in 1927. During Pavlov's research into salivary secretion in dogs he noticed that when he put food into a dog's mouth it would salivate. He then found that if he worked repeatedly with the same dog it would salivate to stimuli associated with food such as the sight of food, the food dish or the presence of the person who brought the food. ...read more.

Middle

Between 1874 and 1949 Edward Thorndike studied animal learning and he believed that learning could take place through trial and error and just by association. In his experiment to prove this he placed a hungry cat in a 'puzzle box' and left a fish hanging nearby where the cat could see it. The door on the box was then locked by could be opened by a lever which was inside the box. Eventually, and by accident, the cat knocked the lever and escaped to eat the fish. The next time the cat was placed in the box it continued with same behaviours as before but took less time to escape from the box. After a few tries the cat had learned what to do and would escape immediately. Thorndike believed the cat's ability to escape from the box involved no understanding of the relationship between pulling the lever and the door opening but simply by trial and learning, where actions, which lead to success are 'stamped in' by the positive consequence. Thorndike also concluded, that the response must lead to a positive consequence otherwise it would gradually fade. He called the 'Law of effect' where an action, which produces a positive effect, will become stronger. ...read more.

Conclusion

Behavioural therapies have also been developed with the help of operant conditioning, these include extinction whereby a maladaptive behaviour is performed by a patient because it's positively reinforced this gradually then becomes reduced and eventually extinct so that the behaviour no longer occurs, as there is no reward. However, in order for this technique to work the therapist must be able to find the positive reinforcement in order for them to extinguish it. Selective punishment is where the patient is punished each time they try to perform the unnecessary behaviour. Although this behaviour has been proven to be effective it has many ethical issues surrounding it and so it's generally preferred to use positive reinforcement in their therapies. Overall, operant conditioning in both behaviour shaping and therapies, shows that reinforcements are continually needed to help the behaviour remain positively changed where as in classical conditioning both behaviour changes and therapies concentrate on different stimuli that causes a new response that does not need reinforcing and so prove to be more effective in the long run. Because in operant both people and animals would only be changing their behaviour due to a reinforcer and are only likely to show the desired behaviour if it's reinforced and so this behaviour is unlikely to be a permanent change compared to classical conditioning which has much high chances of remaining. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Summary

The writer has gone into quite a lot of detail about both classical and operant conditioning and has included various studies. It would be helpful in future if the writer tried to condense the work into paragraphs since this would help structure the essay.

It would also be advisable to practice referencing correctly. Also a little more time could be spent on the introduction and the conclusion.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/05/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Humanistic Psychology

    From here, this concept of materialism, which assumes both behaviour and consciousness has a physiological basis, has increasingly gained acceptance. In essence, the brain is the mind. Thus, the task is to identify the structures and processes, which produce conscious awareness.

  2. discuss freud's psychodynamic theory and compare and contrast to the humanistic theory

    (Mcilveen & Grogs, 1999) The humanistic perspective focuses on unique unpredictable events in human lives and states that we are individuals striving for growth and improvement which gave the need for self-actualisation. These help develop the human personality. This is a big contradiction to Freud's theory which argued that "a

  1. Classical conditioning in human behaviour.

    up in, and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select - doctor, layer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, beggar man and thief." (Watson, 1913) This was an extremely revolutionary view for its time.

  2. In Britain today, most people live in nuclear families - The aim of this ...

    Unlike the first source these sources are extremely biased in being for or against the family, as they are personal opinions. The quote by the Archbishop of Canterbury promotes the family. He as believes that there is no excuse ands that a family should stay together no matter what.

  1. Describe processes for initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a counselling relation.

    A client can also request to be referred. The client may not like their counsellor, or they may feel that the counsellor is not doing enough for them. P6- Describe the organisations to which referrals may be made In this part of the assignment I will look at four different organisations which clients can be referred to.

  2. Nature VS nurture - Issues, perspectives and debates in psychology.

    Of course this is only a correlation and this relationship could be caused by another variable. Twin studies are hard to conduct because the necessary situation doesn't occur particularly frequently in the population, therefore the sample is limited and difficult to generalise.

  1. The Nature of Groups & Group Behaviour

    relationships as everybody now had to work together to achieve an end result, regardless of whether we had previously 'got on' as a group. As the appointed leader, I was looked upon to provide the lead, and achieve the best possible result for all involved.

  2. Discuss problems inherent to diagnosis and classification of abnormality

    the behaviours they exhibit prevent them from being able to work or conducting satisfying relationships, for example. Rosenhan and Seligman (1989) suggested range of characteristics such as suffering, maladaptiveness, vividness and unconventionality, unpredictability and loss of control, irrationality and incomprehensibility, observer discomfort and violation of moral/social standards.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work