Behaviorism | Respondent Conditioning | Operant Conditioning

Concept of Behaviorism, Learning Process


Behaviorism in the perspective of learning that demands, changes in what students do. Repetition of such activities till that becomes the part of an individual behavior. For example that I drove a car the very first time, I was primarily concerned with whether I could drive the car nor with the explanation of how to drive the car?

The above example is concerned with the behavior instead of “thought“.

Behaviorism by the top Articles saeed ali lakho | behaviour

                     Behaviourism is less useful in the classroom because that perspective of learning is to change in the students thinking. Cognitive theory  (learning as a change in the thinking) behaviorists use particular Lingo(term) for these relationships.

Two basic models of behavioral learning, called respondent (or classical) conditioning and operant conditioning.

Respondent conditioning:

Respondent conditioning is also called classical conditioning because it was historically the form of behavior learning to be studied systemically. It is learning new Associations with prior behaviors.

“Involuntary responses to particular sounds, rights, or other sensations”.(Lavond 2003) 

  For example

When I receive an injection, I cringe, tighten my muscles. And whenever another side a happy baby looks at me,  I invariably smile in response, both of these responses are automatic in humans as well as animals, have such a specific involuntary Behaviours. The sudden loud voice shows a “satirical” response, our heartbeat shoots up temporarily, sometimes even we drop what we are caring, and look for the source of the sound.

    Ivan Pavlov the Psychologist

                      Ivan Pavlov the Russian psychologist studied systematically involuntary stimuli and responses in the twentieth century. Pavlov does not involve humans in his experiment. He did experiment on a dog when a dog was eating. He attached a small tube to the sides of dogs mouths that how much the dog salivate when fed. But earlier he noticed a problem with the procedure. The dog gained experienced and often salivated before it began eating.

                The change in dogs’ involuntary response, and especially it’s growing in independence from the food as the stimulus, it becomes the focus of Ivan Pavlov’s Research. Psychologist named the process respondent condition (classical) because it describes the change in response to stimuli.

    • At the beginning dog salivates an unconditioned response ( UR) only when it tastes its food (an unconditioned stimulus (US)).
    • The neutral stimulus is called as (US) conditioned stimulus and the original response is named as the conditioned response(CR).

    Before conditioning: ◇UCS◇ Food 》 Salivation ◇UR◇
    ◇UCS◇ Bell 》 No response ◇UR◇

    During conditioning: Bell + food 》 Salivation 

    After conditioning: ◇CS◇ Bell only 》Salivation ◇CR◇

    Operant conditioning

    Operant conditioning is the process of learning which focuses on consequences on behavior. The operant model is learning of new behavior because of new consequences appear and tend to make certain behaviors happen more frequently.

    For example:
    A student tells jokes to classmates and they laugh at it, then the student is more likely to tell further jokes in the future.

    B. F. Skinner

    B F Skinner rat experiment

                  The B. F. Skinner, a Harvard professor wrote numerous books and articles about operant conditioning in animals and humans. The B. F. Skinner does experiment on a rat in the Skinner box. At first rat sniff and move randomly in Skinner box but sooner rat press the lever. The lever released food, that is promptly eaten by rat. After that rat spends most of the time around the lever and press the lever to get more frequently the food.

    “The rat had discovered that the consequence of pressing lever was to get food”. 

     B. F. Skinner called it change in the behaviour of rat that is an example of operant conditioning, and he gave the different names to different process. B. F. Skinner called the food pellet as the reinforcement and the pressing lever the operant (because it “operated” on the rats environment).

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