CLASSICAL VS OPERANT CONDITIONING
What procedure (choose either classical or operant conditioning) is
being described or has probably resulted in the following behavior patterns?
Be able to explain why you chose the model you did.
1. In order to be able to punish my cat even when I'm not near enough
to reach him, I have paired the sound of a clicker with getting squirted
with water. Now the sound of the clicker causes him to startle.
- The click is developing the same aversive properties as the water through
Classical Conditioning. The Unconditioned stimulus is the water; the Unconditioned
response is the "jump" as in startle. The click starts our as
a neutral stimulus, but becomes the Conditioned stimulus capable of producing
the Conditioned "jump" response.
2. My cat never gets on the furniture when I am around.
- The behavior being described here is probably the result of Operant
conditioning. When I am around, the cat is probably punished for getting
on the furniture. He has formed a discrimination between when I'm around
and when I'm not and might be getting on the furniture when I'm not around.
3. When I first start teaching about a concept, I'll praise any answer
that is close to the right answer.
- This describes the process of shaping the operant behavior of answering
questions. In shaping you start by reinforcing anything that is close to
the final response. Then you gradually require closer and closer approximations
before giving a reinforcer. So this is an example of Operant conditioning.
4. The smell of fresh bread baking makes my mouth water.
- This is probably the result of Classical conditioning. In the past
the smell of the fresh bread immediately preceded putting a piece in my
mouth, which causes salivation. Through the mechanism of Classical conditioning
the smell itself comes to elicit salivation.
5. In a weight management class, participants earn points for every
healthy meal they eat and every period of exercise they complete. Later
these points result in refunds of their class fees.
- The behaviors being conditioned here are healthy eating and regular
exercise. The reinforcement is the refund of the fees. So this too is Operant
conditioning. The points are a version of a token system since they are
exchanged for the refunds later.
6. When my son has gone for a week without arguing with his sister,
he gets to choose which favorite activity he wants to engage in on Friday
- Here I am using Premack reinforcement by letting my son engage in a
favorite activity when he has been able to refrain from arguing for a week.
This is an example of differential reinforcement of other behavior, anything
other than arguing will be reinforced in this Operant conditioning paradigm.
7. After the bad car accident we had last year, I cringe and break into
a sweat at the sound of squealing brakes.
This is Classical conditioning. The cringing, which is an unconditioned
response to pain or fear, was produced by the accident and its accompanying
pain. That accident was probably preceded by the sound of squealing brakes,
which became a conditioned stimulus for the conditioned response of cringing.
8. To treat alcoholics, we sometimes put a chemical in their drinks
that makes them sick. Eventually the taste of alcohol become aversive.
- This is Classical conditioning. The chemical that makes the drinker
sick is being paired with the taste of alcohol so that the alcohol itself
becomes the conditioned stimulus for being sick.
you like to try some more examples?
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