Michael Matthews January 10, 2012
Difference between classical and operant conditioning.
Classical- behavioural changes due to association of two stimuli (CS-UCS) presented prior to the response
Operant- Behaviour changes as a result of consequences that follow it.
We learn through consequences
Thorndike’s Law of Effect- response by satisfying consequences becomes more likely to occur.
Response followed by an unsatisfying consequence becomes less likely to occur.
Other names for operant are Skinnerian and instrumental.
Assumes that behaviours are voluntary, under our control.
We have to emit behaviour, “operate” on the environment, and then associate this behaviour with a positive
or negative outcome.
“Reinforces” increase the likelihood of behaviour.
“Punishers” suppress behaviour.
Primary reinforcers- stimuli that are reinforcing because they satisfy biological needs (e.g. food, drink).
Secondary Reinforcers- acquire reinforcing properties through association with primary reinforcers (e.g.
money and praise)
Money can be both, primary if you are a coin collector.
Positive Increase behaviour Decrease behaviour
Add to environment Add to environment
Candy, smile, A+ Slap, shout
Negative Increase behaviour Decrease behaviour
Remove from Remove from
Buzzer, pain Time out, no TV
Individual has to be able to naturally produce a behaviour