Difference Between Classical And Operant Conditioning
Classical and Operant Conditioning
Classical and operant conditioning are two significant concepts essential to behavioural psychology. Classical conditioning was studied by Ivan Pavlov and it involves pairing a previously neutral stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus. The unconditioned stimulus triggers a response naturally and automatically. In classical conditioning, learning refers to involuntary responses that result from experiences that occur before a response. Classical conditioning supports the idea that people develop responses to certain stimuli that are not naturally occurring (Lilienfeld, 2011, p. 204).
During the process of operant conditioning, …show more content…
It can be learned and be influenced by the environment. In his article, McLeod (2008) gives the famous experiment of little Albert performed by Watson and Rayner in 1920 as an example of the application of classical conditioning in human. In their experiment, they showed that classical conditioning could be used to create phobias. A phobia is an irrational fear for something. Little Albert, a nine-month-old infant showed no fear when he was showed a white rat and other animals and masks. However, he was afraid of a hummer struck against a steel bar behind his head. The sudden loud noise would make him cry. When he was eleven months old, the white rats were presented to him and almost immediately the hammer was struck against the steel bar. This was repeated seven times over the next seven weeks and each time the boy would cry. By then, the sight of rats showed signs of fear even without the sound of the hammer hitting a steel bar. This experiment showed the creation of phobia through classical conditioning. In the experiment, the boy learnt to associate a certain response (fear) with a previously unrelated object …show more content…
Operant conditioning can be used in behaviour modification, stopping addiction, language acquisition and in many other areas through reinforcement or punishment. Punishment is used to stop bad behaviours while reinforcement stops the bad behaviour and teaches what to do instead. A good example of the application of operant conditioning is a speeding driver. If he gets a ticket on that particular day, chances are, he will not over speed in future. The ticket is the punisher that puts the behaviour of over speeding to an end. Classical conditioning can be used to help a person overcome the fear of something through systematic desensitization. This technique helps a person to overcome fear elicited by something or a situation by approaching the feared situation gradually, in a psycho-physiological state that inhibits the fear. Classical conditioning can also be used in treating substance abuse problems such as alcoholism and smoking through aversion therapy where a paired association is formed between substance abuse and unpleasant experiences. In advertising, classical conditioning can be used successfully by pairing products with stimuli that elicit positive emotions in the targeted