Classical conditioning is the process of linking an instinctive reaction with a stimulus, whereas operant conditioning is the process of associating a purposeful activity with a consequence. The learner is additionally rewarded with incentives in operant conditioning, whereas classical conditioning does not. These theories describe how humans and animals learn through experience to link certain objects or events with feelings or actions.
Implications for practice: Classical conditioning and operant conditioning theories help us to understand why some people or animals develop habits that can be problematic. For example, if food is paired with a feeling of pleasure, then someone who has never eaten anything else before may find it difficult to resist the temptation of the chocolate cake. This person might try to solve this problem by avoiding foods that taste good but instead choose foods that do not taste good at all. This solution works for a while but eventually the person will give up and eat something that tastes really good instead. Operant conditioning helps explain why this person would keep doing this over and over again despite knowing better. It's because being given sweets every time he or she walks by the cake cabinet is a powerful incentive that makes resisting them easier said than done.
Implications for research: Classical conditioning and operant conditioning theories have helped scientists come up with experiments to test their ideas about learning. For example, researchers have used these theories to explain why it is so hard for some people to break bad habits and start new good ones.
Traditional vs. The primary distinction between classical and operant conditioning is the manner in which the behavior is conditioned. A neutral stimulus is matched with a conditioned response in classical conditioning. A desired behavior is linked with a consequence in operant conditioning.
In classical conditioning, a neutral stimulus (such as a light or sound) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (such as water being sprayed on you). The neutral stimulus becomes associated with the unpleasant feeling of getting wet. In operant conditioning, a desired behavior is paired with a consequence (such as your child receiving a reward). The desired behavior is then linked with the reward. Operant conditioning can be used by parents to train their children by giving them a reward for good behavior and removing the reward when they do something wrong.
Classical conditioning works best with fear, disgust, and pain because these emotions are easy to match with stimuli that produce an unpleasant experience. Operant conditioning can be used to train any behavior by pairing it with a reward or punishment. This method is useful for training children to eat their vegetables, say please, thank you, and excuse me, and many other things.
Classical conditioning requires three elements: a conditioned stimulus (CS), an unconditional stimulus (US), and subsequent stimulation (or lack thereof) called extinction.
Classical conditioning is currently recognized as an essential behavioral phenomena as well as a strategy for studying simple associative learning. Similar to Pavlovian conditioning A conditioned response that opposes, rather than being the same as, the unconditioned response in classical conditioning. For example, when you see a dog walk by, your heart rate increases because you associate the sight of the dog with danger. If you continue to be exposed to dogs while at school, then you will develop a conditioned response to increase your heart rate every time you see a dog.
So, classical conditioning is currently accepted as an important tool for studying behavior. The term "classical" refers to the fact that this type of conditioning was first described by Ivan Pavlov in his research on digestion. He used food as the conditioned stimulus and salivation as the conditioned response. Classical conditioning can also be referred to as "unconditioned stimulus/unconditioned response."
In addition to helping scientists understand how organisms learn, this method has been used to study memory processes in humans. Memory processes such as encoding, storage, retention, and retrieval can be examined using classical conditioning techniques. Scientists have been able to show that these processes can be disrupted by impairments such as those found in patients with Alzheimer's disease or amnesia.
Finally, classical conditioning has been used to create behavior changes in animals.