Difference between Classical and Operant Conditioning | Learning Theories | Management Notes
Classical Conditioning was firstly described by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov whereas Operant Conditioning was firstly described by an American physiologist B.F Skinner. Classical conditioning is a process of learning which alters an individual’s behavior in relation to various internal or external stimuli. Operant Conditioning was firstly described by an American physiologist B.F Skinner.
Difference between Classical and Operant Conditioning
Ivan Pavlov Experiment on Dog Salvation
Pavlov attempted to associate hungry dog salivation and ringing bell. Pavlov associates three elements consisting of Ringing Bell (conditional stimulus), Meat (unconditional stimulus), Dog’s Salvation (unconditional response).
At the beginning, Pavlov rang the bell but no meat as given, dog did not give any response to ringing bell. It did not salivate in ringing bell. At second stage, Pavlov rang the bell and gave meat and repeats the process for a week. After a week it was found that, dog salivate merely when it heard ringing bell even though meat was not provided. In this experiment, it was found that dog had learned to response ringing bell through salivation expecting meat.
The outcome can be used in organizational performance. For example; if manager makes rule to visit office at 10 am, all employees come in time along with manager. Arrival of manager (conditional stimuli), 10 am ( unconditional stimuli), employees arriving at 10 am (unconditional response).
B.F Skinner Experiment On Hungry Rat
In this experiment, rat is kept in operant chamber link with lever and feeder. After sometimes rat become hungry and started to move from here and there in operant chamber. In course of moving, by chance rat is able to press the lever and a food pellet is delivered from fodder. This process was continued for many days and rat was able to know how to press lever when suffering from hunger. Same type of practice was done on pigeon.
The theory put stress on creating consequences to follow certain behavior. The consequences may be reward or punishment. People learn to behave to get something they want to or to avoid something they do not want. In organization people reflect behavior which is determined, maintained and controlled by its consequences. The consequences of behavior are used to shape behavior through three strategies consisting of reinforcement, punishment and extinction.