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Learning Through Conditioning (Operant Conditioning) In the mid-twentieth century psychologist B.F. Skinner advanced the notion of behaviorism. Behaviorism contends that fundamental human actions are the result, not of unconscious impulses as Sigmund Freud had theorized, but by conditioning aspects of existence (Myers).
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Conditioning is the acquisition of specific patterns of behavior in the presence of well-defined stimuli. Both classical and operant conditioning are basic forms of learning. Classical conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism learns to transfer a natural response from one stimulus to another, previously neutral stimulus.
One of the most used form of conditioning is the classical conditioning, it has got two main views that underlies its application in learning, they are, that; (a) the CR can be very different from the UR, and that; (b) the function of classical conditioning is to elicit a preparatory response CR that enables the subject to cope better with an impending event (Holland (1984); Hollis (1984)) In.
Classical conditioning could be used for psychological distress like phobias. For example, Mary cover Jones put a child with a fear of rabbits in a room with the rabbit far way. Then she gave him his favorite food and put the abbot closer.
Classical conditioning is part of the behavioral learning theory and occurs in all species. Classical conditioning shows us the truth about our reflexes as it is explained as the procedure by which a neutral stimulus becomes a conditioned stimulus.
Classical Conditioning and Observational Learning Most Psychologists agree that the process of learning is usually permanent and is credited to past experience. However, they differ greatly in their belief as to what mechanisms are actually involved in learning to make changes occur and what kinds of past experiences are involved (Gross, (1992) p.165).