Essays on Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning Coursework

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The paper "Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning" is a good example of marketing coursework. Animals and people have different ways of learning and adopting certain behaviors (McLeod, 2014). In behavioral psychology there are two important concepts that are quite different; however, they both result in learning (McLeod, 2014). The two central concepts are classical and operant conditioning (McLeod, 2014). Conditioning stresses upon the relationship between stimuli and response, it is essentially one form of learning. Byrne (2008) defines classical, respondent or pavlovian conditioning as a phenomenon where an individual is able to attach predictive stimuli to a specific situation.

On the other hand, he defines operant or instrumental conditioning as the situation where an individual or animal connects a behavior that is expressed with the consequences surrounding the situation (Byrne, 2008). Classical conditioning occurs when one learns to associate two different stimuli (McLeod, 2014). In this form of conditioning, no behavior is involved. The first stimulus to be encountered is called the unconditioned stimulus, which produces a response without previous learning. The response is referred to as the unconditioned response.

In classical conditioning, the conditioned and unconditioned reflexes presented in a different order (Byrne, 2008). For example, in anticipated conditioning, unconditioned stimulus usually comes first. On the other hand, in delayed conditioning the converse is true. Lastly, on simultaneous conditioning, both are presented concurrently (Byrne, 2008). The term unconditioned is used to indicate that the response is naturally connected and elicits an emotional response that was already present before the changes have been experienced (McLeod, 2014). On the other hand, in operant conditioning, the changes in behavior result from past experiences that come after a response (McLeod, 2014).

The latter involves a change of involuntary behaviors. The behavior response can either be followed by reinforcement of punishment. The major aim of reinforcement, in this case, is to propagate to higher levels the behavior while the punishment, on the other hand, will reduce the behavior (Peter & Olson, 2007). The reinforcement can either be positive or negative. Positive reinforcement involves the addition of positive mechanisms while negative reinforcements refer to the addition of negative mechanisms (Peter & Olson, 2007). Confusion between the negative reinforcement and punishment may surface.

However, the two are different in that the former achieves the removal of negative consequences to elicit an increase in response whereas the latter decreases the occurrence of the response. Punishment too can be positive or negative (McLeod, 2014). Positive punishment involves the addition of something that is undesirable or unexpected. For example, giving a child extra chores for misbehaving. On the other hand, negative punishment involves the removal of something that is pleasing (Peter & Olson, 2007). For example, denying a child video game time for misbehavior. In marketing, this principle may be used in promotional activities based on the idea that repetition of the behavior of maybe buying and using a product and repeating of promotional messages can elicit the buyers to purchase the product (Solomon, Russell-Bennett, & Previte, 2013).

What should be avoided is marketing ware out where the message is over repeated until the customers are fed up with it. This can, however, be averted by coming up with different ways of expressing the same message. Simultaneous and anticipated conditioning may result in the best promotional strategy especially when using social media, radio and television (Peter & Olson, 2007).

This is mainly because sponsors do not dictate how the subject reads the message. Generalization can be achieved by the marketer if two stimuli are presented concomitantly. Strategies used in generalization include: similar packaging, for example, Coca Cola and Pepsi companies have more or less similar packaging criteria (Peter & Olson, 2007). Discrimination helps the consumers prefer some goods over the others in the market (Solomon, Russell-Bennett, & Previte, 2013). Marketers use this opportunity to make a product more positive in terms of its opinion through unconditioned stimulus over the goods from their competitors in the market.


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