Classical conditioning

  1. Define / explain the difference between classical and operant conditioning (10 points) and give unique example of each.

Classical conditioning can be defined as learning through association (Rehman et al., 2020). This type of conditioning happens unconsciously. With this type of learning a specific stimulus is often paired with an automatic conditioned response which ends up creating behaviours. A good example of classical conditioning is in kids when they go for immunizations. They will associate clinical needles with pain and will start crying at the site of syringes and needles on their next visit.

Operant conditioning on the other hand, is a learning method that makes use of punishments and rewards for behavior. This method makes a connection between a particular behavior and a negative or positive consequence for the same behavior. An example of operant conditioning is in students. They complete homework because they know they will be rewarded upon completion and punished if they don’t complete it.

A professor has been noticing that too many students are coming to class late and it is extremely disruptive to the learning environment. She wants to stop this rude behavior of students showing up late.

Review the various types of reinforcement and punishment in the textbook. How can the professor use reinforcement to get students to show up on time to class? As part of your response, define in your own words positive reinforcement and provide one unique example, as well as your definition of negative reinforcement and one unique example the professor could use.

The professor can introduce bonus points, direct consultations and extra educational materials for students who keep time come to class early. This will be positive reinforcement where students are rewarded for positive actions and will associate the rewards with showing up to class on time. The professor can also introduce extra homework and deduct points for students who show up late in class. This is negative reinforcement where students are punished for coming late to class and will associate the punishment with showing up late for to class and avoid it.

How is negative reinforcement different from positive punishment?

In negative reinforcement, a response is strengthened by removing, a negative consequence or aversive stimulus while positive punishment involves adding anything unfriendly or unpleasant to influence behavior (Spielman & Jenkins, 2020).

A man is jealous and keeps checking up on his partner (to make sure his partner is not cheating). How could negative reinforcement explain why the man continues the “checking up” behavior?

When it comes to negative reinforcement a behavior is strengthened by avoiding a negative outcome.  The man continues the behavior because he suspects his partner is cheating. By trying to avoid being cheated on and heartbroken, the man strengthens his behavior of checking up on his partner.

You cannot stop checking your phone. It’s causing problems in your life; as examples, your instructors keep asking you to put your phone away and you were nearly in an accident because you were texting. Using what you’ve learned in the chapter about reinforcement and punishment, what is a realistic plan to help you control your phone use instead of your phone controlling you!?

I will come up with a reinforcement and punishment system to control my phone usage. I will reward myself when I spent less time on the phone and punish myself when I spend more time on the phone. For instance I would by myself a snack every time I spent less time on phone and miss a meal whenever I spent more time on my phone.

Using a different reinforcement or punishment technique than what you’ve written in the previous phone problem, how can you stop procrastinating when it comes to studying?

 To stop procrastination when it comes to studying, I would spent extra two hours on my next visit to the library if I procrastinate studying. But if I don’t procrastinate, I cut studying time by an hour and go for a walk.





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