Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning
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Thread: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

  1. #1
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    DefaultOperant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    I have been reading "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson who writes considerably of operant and conditional conditioning. I have been looking for information to assist me in discerning between the two types of conditioning. I have started reading about Pavlov on websites, though most of them are for the most part just the same thing written by different people.
    I am still discerning the real difference(s) between the types of conditioning. Where I am right now in my thought forming is that classical conditioning is the underlying bedrock of conditioning, operant conditioning uses classical conditioning as the method, but where classical conditioning is not an attempt to get behavior but rather a natural occurence, and operant conditioning is used to get desired results.
    If there are any sources that anyone here knows of, could you list them for me please?

    Thanks,


    Doug

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    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning


    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    my layman's understanding of this.. classical conditioning involves changing an emotional state. So systematic desensitizing involving pairing a fear-object with a pleasant stimulus is Classical Conditioning.

    Operant conditioning is learning... when a dog is told to sit, lured into a sit, then given a reward - that's OC. (Dog ignoring 'come' command and getting a shock from an e-collar is also operant conditioning... OC has both reinforcement and punishment possibilities...

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    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    Quote Originally Posted by YellowLabProject
    Where I am right now in my thought forming is that classical conditioning is the underlying bedrock of conditioning, operant conditioning uses classical conditioning as the method, but where classical conditioning is not an attempt to get behavior but rather a natural occurence, and operant conditioning is used to get desired results.
    If there are any sources that anyone here knows of, could you list them for me please?
    If I remember my psych course, that's basically it in a nutshell. There are four types of operant conditioning. One is the addition of a reward, one is the removal of reward, one is the addition of punishment, the other is the removal of punishment, all intended to alter behaviour in some way.

    So, examples of operant conditioning can very from rewarding a dog with a cookie when he sits, to shocking him until he sits and only when he is sitting remove the punishment. :-\

    Obviously some methods of operant conditioning are helpful for building a great bond with your dog, and some are not. "Culture Clash" is a great start, also try "the other end of the leash" by Patricia mcDonnell and "Bones would rain from the sky" by Suzanne Clothier.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    Thanks All,
    All good advice. I only wish I had more hours to read..... ;D

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    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    If there are any sources that anyone here knows of, could you list them for me please?
    Yes, I recommend you look for and get a used introductory psychology college textbook. Among those that I think would be most helpful are any of the various editions of Morgan, King, & Robinson or those of Hilgard et al. (I prefer MK&R). They'll be called "Introduction to Psychology" or similar.

    Learning and learning theory dominated American psychology from about 1930 through much of the 1960s so intro psych books even through the 1970s will have huge sections on it. (Recent ones will have much less; earlier ones will have nothing/little superceded.) American psychology during that era was biased toward the importance of change and experience (as opposed to European psychology which stressed the importance of innate, instinctual factors).

    I taught (part time) college intro to psych courses (and others) for 25+ years and loved doing that.

    From MK&R's glossary (6th ed, 1979):

    classical conditioning Learning that takes places when a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus. Also called respondent conditioning or Pavlovian conditioning.

    operant conditioning Learning in which reinforcement is contingent on a particular response

    (all italicized terms are also in the glossary)

    An intro textbook's chapters of discussion and exposition of these forms gives great deal more depth, of course.

    There are a number of different/other types of learning which do not fit cleanly into either the classical or operant forms of learning but these two are currently the more important and by far the most studied forms.

    And there are many situations in which both may be involved in "learning" something BUT the 2 different types do involve different nervous systems, often different muscle systems, and different sequences of events.

    Consider Pavlov's classical experiments:

    A dog is brought into an experimental room and placed in a harness to keep it still. A slight puff of powdered food is blown into the dog's mouth and the dog salivates in response to the taste.

    The salivation is mediated by the autonomic nervous system acting on smooth muscles around the salivary gland and is a reflex to food input. When a neutral stimulus -- say a bell or light -- is presented about 1/2 second before the food puff, then, with repetition, the dog will increasingly salivate in response to that bell or light.

    <"Conditioned" means the same as "learned" and "unconditioned" means "unlearned".>

    So the usual salivation is an unconditioned response (an unlearned reflex) to food, an unconditioned stimulus (unlearned stimulus). A conditioned stimulus (learned stimulus) was always previously tested to be proved neutral (i.e., it won't elicit salivation). But with repeated pairing, it does acquire that ability and produces a conditioned response (a learned response).

    [Here's something I find interesting -- the CR and the UR are not the same and gradually become more different. BOTH involve saliva but, increasingly, with repeated pairings with the CS, the saliva begins to differ. While at first the saliva contains all the normal digestive enzymes, with repeated pairing of the CS (light or bell) without the US (food puff), the saliva changes its composition and eliminates many of those digestive enzymes.]

    Classical conditioning can be properly thought of as the "capturing" of certain features of a reflex by a previously neutral stimulus. While very often it uses smooth muscles, sometimes the striated muscles are also involved. Timing between the CS and US is extremely critical in classical conditioning.

    While classical conditioning can be accomplished with the central nervous system and striated muscles (e.g., an eye blink in response to a puff of air to the eye) more often it involves the autonomic NS and smooth muscles.

    In operant (Skinnerian) conditioning, the response (a movement mediated by the central nervous system acting on the striated muscles) must be made first and then the reinforcement (either positive or negative) is given; the repeated following of that specific particular movement by that reinforcement results in either an increase of the frequency of making that response (when positive reinforcement is the contingency) or decrease (if negative). Timing is critical but quite a bit less so than in CC (in CC, it involves less than a second, in OC it can be in a few minutes).

    But if you really want to understand the factors -- as it sounds like you do -- get a good psych intro text from 1955-1980. That'll give much more description plus also contain much about some other extremely useful areas such as generalization and positive and negative transfer of training.

    ====================

    (After re-reading what I posted, I edited and tried to make it more accurate and understandable.)
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    I had to do an exam on operant and classical conditioning and their application last week. You have been given good advice. Both concepts are much easier to understand using examples.

    Off the top of my head, an example of operant conditioning:

    A monkey pokes a twig into a tree. After the pulling the twig back out of the tree, the monkey finds that an abundant supply of bugs come crawling out. The monkeys behaviour (poking twig into the tree) has been positively reinforced. The monkey is likely to return to that same tree again and again because it's behaviour had a positive outcome.

    Now flip that situation around. Say that the monkey poked the twig into the tree and instead of finding an abundant supply of bugs, he finds nothing. The monkey is unlikely to repeat that behaviour because it's behaviour was not reinforced. If the monkey poked the twig in and a bug bit him, he will also be unlikely to repeat that behaviour because it was negatively reinforced.

    In plain English, positive reinforcement strengthens a behaviour and negative reinforcement reduces it until it eventually diminishes (becomes extinct).

    Operant conditioning is similar to classical conditioning only it requires thought and a consequence.

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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    Well, I hardly ever find the time to come over to his forum and even less often find the time to post, but I wanted to help with this one. Yes, I'm a psych major graduating this year.

    This is something that so many people get wrong, even a professor or two I have had, believe it or not.

    The basics of operant:
    REINFORCEMENT is any stimulus that INCREASES a behavior.

    PUNISHMENT is any stimulus the DECREASES a behavior. Something to remember here is that it is not known if something is actually punishment until it is discovered that it actually does, in fact, decrease behavior. For example, sending a teenager to his room may seem like punishment, but if he enjoys being there, it will not decrease the unwanted behavior and is not, therefore, punishment. INTENT does not make something punishment, EFFECT does. In addition, something that was once punishment may not always be punishment, meaning the effect can change.

    POSITIVE refers to GIVING a stimulus. (POSITIVE = ADDING)
    NEGATIVE refers to TAKING AWAY a stimulus. (NEGATIVE = TAKING AWAY)

    So, these terms applied:

    GIVING something that INCREASES behavior is POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.

    TAKING AWAY something that INCREASES behavior is NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT.

    GIVING OR TAKING AWAY something that DECREASES behavior is PUNISHMENT.

    Hope this helps!

  11. #9
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

    Classical conditioning can be properly thought of as the "capturing" of certain features of a reflex by a previously neutral stimulus. While very often it uses smooth muscles, sometimes the striated muscles are also involved. Timing between the CS and US is extremely critical in classical conditioning.
    Example: When Puff was a pup and went out to potty, as soon as I saw her taking the arched back stance, tail up position with enlarging anal sphincter meaning pooping was imminent, I'd start saying "Puff, POTTY! Puff, POTTY!" Repeating this every poop time for a week helps those words (neutral stimulus) "capture" the pooping reflex. Now when we go out for Puff to poop and I think she's walked enough, my saying those words prompts her poop reflex to start reacting. While it seldom produces an immediate pile of poop, it does start her intestine's peristalsis (movement) going which leads to her more quickly completing our joint mission.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++
    Added correction


    Cookies Mom, possibly referring to my sloppy statement about negative reinforcers, said
    This is something that so many people get wrong, even a professor or two I have had, believe it or not.


    She is right -- a positive reinforcement is something valued by the creature so that any movement or action by the creature that procures it tends to be repeated. (E.g., picking strawberries off the vine and eating them)

    And a negative reinforcement is something undesirable to the creature so that any movement or action by the creature that decreases or removes it tends to be repeated. (E.g., flushing a toilet right after a stinky poop)

    And a punishment is something undesirable/unwanted by the creature so that when it is given to any movement or action by the creature, it decreases the liklihood of that action being repeated and often increases other behaviors. (E.g., using a squirt gun on a dog that's counter surfing -- but note that punishment never teaches the dog what to do or desirable behavior, it only decreases the undesired behavior under those circumstances of you standing there with the squirt gun.)

    Sorry, my bad.





    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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