Thursday, 24 March 2016

Define conditioning and what its significant types are

Conditioning means modification of the natural response. The natural stimulus results in the natural response. According to the conditioned response, the natural stimulus is substituted by an artificial stimulus. In this way, a new connection between the artificial stimulus and the natural response is created and consequently,
conditioning takes place. Conditioning is a kind of learning that involves associations between environmental stimuli and the organism responses. To me, conditioning refers to the ways in which events, stimuli and behavior become associated with one another.

Classical conditioning (conditioned response learning) : 

Classical conditioning refers to the conditioning process in which an originally neutral stimulus, by repeated pairing with a stimulus that normally elicits a response comes to elicit a similar response. This conditioning is also termed as ‘Pavlovian conditioning’.

  • Classical conditioning refers to a basic form of learning in which existing reflex responses come to be elicited by new stimulus.The theory Of classical conditioning was introduced by the Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov. His contribution to the field of learning is highly regarded throughout the world. He arrived at the theory of learning by Conditioning following his experiments on hungry dogs. He is interested in the process of digestion in dogs. He developed a surgical technique whereby the dog’s salivary secretions could be collected in the tube attached to the outside of its check so that the drops of saliva could be easily measured. In the course of his investigations, he noticed that the dog would often start salivating before any food was given to it, for example, it looked at the food, or saw the feeding bucket or even when it heard the footsteps of the person who was coming to feed it. These observations led to the study of what is now called classical conditioning, whereby a stimulus (a bell) which would not normally produce a particular response (salivation) eventually comes to do so by being paired with another stimulus (food) which normally does produce the response. This learning theory has wide ranging educational implications. Love and hatred, fear and freedom, respect and disrespect all are the results of classical Conditioning. It is often observed that children develop a particular kind of distaste for a certain Subject and an equal amount of interest in another subject of study. This is the result of conditioning. 

Operant conditioning (instrumental conditioning) : 

Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by reinforcement or
diminished if followed by punishment.

  • Operant conditioning is the conditioning in which the probability that an organism will emit a response is increased or decreased by the subsequent delivery of a reinforcer or punisher. To me, operant conditioning refers to the learning based on the consequences of responding. The Operant conditioning is also called instrumental conditioning for the reason-that some act of behavior of the learner is instrumental in bringing about a change in the environment that makes the action get repeated. Prof. Skinner coined the term Operant conditioning for instrumental conditioning. He indicated that ‘when a response operates on the environment, it may have Consequences that can affect the likelihood that the response will occur again. Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning dominated the scene for many years. Skinner came forward to challenge the theory of Pavlov. He was not rejecting the discoveries of Pavlov but arguing that most animal and human behavior is not elicited by specific stimuli in the way they described. Instead, he was interested in how animals operate on their environment and how this operant behavior is instrumental in bringing about certain consequences Which then determine how probable that behavior is to be repeated. Skinner’s view of learning saw the learner as much more active than Pavlov had, for whom behavior was automatically brought about by stimuli-unconditioned stimuli before learning and conditioned stimuli after learning. The most essential feature of operant behavior is that it can be made more likely or more appropriate to occur in the situation by the appropriate use of reinforcement. The response is, therefore, changed according to need, and demand of the individual: The response is made and determined by the organism itself. This is the most distinguished feature of operant behavior. The operant conditioning is not as simple as the classical conditioning.


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