Health and social care

8 August 2016

According to Crittenden, behavior is learnt through seeing what someone else does. This can be explained further through the experiment of classical conditioning. Classical Conditioning was developed by Ivan Pavlov. Pavlov used the experiment of dogs and food so as to measure the levels of salivation that a dog produced when food had been associated with the assistant. He developed this experiment when he noticed that the dog was starting to salivate at the sight of the bowl of the food and not the taste.

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He decided to experiment further and he introduced a bell which was the neutral stimulus, it had no effect at the start but when he rang the bell when he brought the food to the dogs they started to associate the food (which made them salivate) with the bell. Now that classical conditioning had taken place the dogs would salivate at the sound of the bell which was now the conditioned stimulus. Another form of learning was shown in operant conditioning or reinforcement.

This type of leaning was introduced by B. F. Skinner. He was famous for inventing the Skinner box, in which he used rats to show reinforcement, both positive and negative. The Skinner box consisted of a lever and a food dispenser in which if the rat pressed the leaver it received a pellet of food (positive reinforcement), from this behaviour the rat would start to repeatedly press the leaver as it was receiving a reward. Skinner believed this proved that a reward can repeat a behavior.

On the other hand Skinner showed that negative reinforcement can occur by taking away the reward and replacing it with a small electric shock, so when the rat pressed the lever they would receive a small shock, from this form of punishment the rat quickly stopped pressing the lever. This showed that an unpleasant reward can stop a behavior from re-occurring. According to psychology. about ‘Skinner used the term operant to refer to any “active behavior that operates upon the environment to generate consequences”

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