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

Compare and contrast classical and operant conditioning.

Extracts from this document...


KONTEAS BENNY 10/5/2003 Psychology Compare and contrast classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning focuses on learning associations, and refers to the conditioning reflexes. For example how animals learn to associate new-presented stimuli with bodily functions e.g. Pavlov dog learnt through association that the noise of the bell meant food so when hearing it made it salivate. These principles of classical conditioning were first outlined by Pavlov and then taken on by Watson. Pavlov believed jugging by his experiments that dogs had learnt to associate new external stimuli (sound of the bell), with the first presented stimuli (food) that caused the salivation as a reflex. On the other hand operant conditioning involves learning through the consequences of behavioral responses. The principles of operant conditioning were investigated by Thorn dike, and where taken on by Skinner which he developed. ...read more.


As important as classical conditioning is, it must be recognized that it only deals with how new stimuli come to control existing involuntary responses. While reflexes and the 'gut-level' responses associated with emotions play a role in our everyday experience, most of our behaviour is self-generated, or voluntary. Behaviours are not elicited by conditioned stimuli. Instead, they are emitted - that is, generated by the individual as a way of influencing the surrounding environment. In order to understand such complex behaviour we need to use a different method of approach. This approach is operant conditioning, which is an approach that deals with how voluntary responses change over time as a function of their consequences. For example a starved cat by pushing on a door handle (response) ...read more.


Extinction exists when the unconditioned stimulus is not presented for several consecutive trials then the animal stops responding. On the other hand in classical conditioning if the C.S (bell) is continually presented without the U.C.S (food), then the C.R (salivation) will gradually die out or extinguish. In addition, in operant conditioning if the response is not reinforced, it will gradually extinguish. Nevertheless, in classical conditioning the animals that take place are "passive receivers" they simply stand in a position waiting for the experiment to finish (e.g Pavlov's dog) whereas in operant conditioning the whole experiment is based on the actions of the animals (e.g Skinner's mouse). Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Acquisition Acquisition Extinction Extinction Spontaneous recovery Spontaneous recovery Stimulus generalization Stimulus generalization Association between stimuli and responses Reinforcement Based on involuntary reflexive behavior Based on voluntary behavior ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 University Degree Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Discuss, Compare and Contrast Piaget and Vygotsky’s Learning Theories.

    To create a synthesis of Piaget and Vygotsky on the level of learning theory one must include realism on the level of ontology, as Vygotsky's theory is indispensable without it, but Piaget's epistemology and learning theory still works in a realistic world.

  2. Classical and Operant Conditioning.

    Extinction results if there is a decrease in frequency or strength of a learned response due to the failure to continue to pair the US and the CS. Extinction can also occur in operant conditioning. The key to operant conditioning is reinforcement.

  1. Comparison/Contrast of L1 and L2 Acquisition.

    The following have been put forward by Mangubhai (2004, p.1.18): 1. adults are too committed to other aspects of their lives, thus no time for input 2. adults are more aware of whether they are acquiring/learning the SL than children might be 3.

  2. Psychological and Sociological Perspectives On Human Development and Behaviour.

    Before going out. On the way to school, they will drop into their friends house; this is to walk them to school, as they do not want to walk alone. They arrive at school; they meet other friends and exchange stories from the previous night.

  1. Universal Grammar In Second Language Acquisition: The nature of interlanguage representation.

    3 Indeed, this double requirement (not obvious in L2 input; not present in L1) has been applied as a kind of formula to much UG-SLA research (see Schwartz 1997 for related observations). However, the requirement that L1 and L2 differ in the relevant respects becomes harder and harder to achieve,

  2. Discriminative stimulus training and selective stimulus control in rats

    Werzburg University). Punishment decreases the repetition of behaviour and reinforcement usually increases the likelihood of response being repeated. A stimulus that acts as an indicator to the subject, suggesting that a reinforcer is available is said to be a discriminative stimulus (Gleitman, 1995).

  1. Language acquisition is a considerable achievement.

    Brown and Fraser (1963) proposed that children's telegraphic speech could be regarded as grammatical in that it was correctly formed, omitting only a verb or inflection (e.g., chair broken). Specifically, Chomsky (1957, 199..., 1995, 2000) argues that the children show creativity in their use of language (i.e.

  2. 'Describe the major phenomena of learning that are common to both Classical and Instrumental ...

    with salivation, this therefore is known as the conditioned response. Pavlov made a distinction between an unconditioned reflex and a conditioned reflex (Gleitman et al 1999). He believed that unconditioned reflexes were innate and present at birth, and were mostly independent of any learning.

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