Classical And Operant Conditioning

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Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are different learning methods. The two methods have the word conditioning in common. What is conditioning? Conditioning is the acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence of well-defined stimuli. Both classical and operant conditionings are basic forms of learning. Discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus (Cherry, 2014A). Coined by behaviorist B.F. Skinner, operant conditioning is a type of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior (Cherry, 2014C). Operant conditioning is how we learn to associate our own behavior with a consequence so there are four possibilities. One, positive reinforcement; two, positive punishment; three, negative reinforcement; and four, negative punishment. Let’s break those 2 possibilities down to a more basic component. Positive and negative does not mean “good” or “bad” (De O'Laughlin, 2012). Positive means to give, fo...

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