Phobias and Addictions

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Distinguish between classical and operant conditioning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, described classical conditioning as a type of learning under which a neutral stimulus acquires the ability to induce a reaction that was originally evoked by another none neutral stimulus. It is sometimes referred to as Pavlovian conditioning, or respondent conditioning. The contribution to learning by Pavlov began with the study of his dogs.

On the other hand, operant conditioning was described by an American psychologist B. F Skinner. Operant conditioning is learning where responses are controlled by their consequences. The major Focus in operant conditioning is magnification or weakening of deliberate behaviors. In classical conditioning, Pavlov used his dogs. While, on the other hand, under operant conditioning, skinner used animal boxes. A cage is set up known as a Skinner box. The animal inside gets a food reward after making a particular stimuli response (Dodge and Petit, 2003).

Under classical conditioning, there is the pairing of a neutral stimulus and unconditioned stimulus. The neutral stimuli here represent the sound of a bell while the unconditioned stimulus represents the food taste. Meanwhile operant conditioning targets on the use of reinforcement or retribution to magnify or shrink behavior.

The major distinction between classical and operant conditioning is on behavior. Operant conditioning involves a voluntary behavior with its consequence. Classical conditioning shows an association that involves stimulus and an involuntary response.

Explain how phobias can be developed through classical conditioning

Phobias are an uncontrollable, unreasonable fears or uncertainties about a given situation or object and can develop in various ways, including conditioning (APA, 2000). It has come to the attention of psychology that some phobias develop under classical conditioning as Pavlov’s dogs. For example...