Everyone learns a certain behavior in a different way whether it be from cause and effect or learning from mistakes made. There are two different ways behaviors are created. One way is classical conditioning and the other is operant conditioning. Classical Conditioning is a type of learning behavior in which a stimulus produces a desired reaction or response. On the other hand, operant conditioning is a way of learning which happens through reinforcements and punishments from a behavior.
Classical conditioning is a learning process where a neutral stimulus encounters an unconditional stimulus and creates a conditioned response. There are three phases in the Classical conditioning learning process. The first part of the process needs a naturally occurring stimulus that will result a response. During the second phase, the previously neutral stimulus is constantly associated with the unconditioned stimulus. Once the association is made between the two stimuli, presenting the conditioned stimulus alone will come to evoke a response without the unconditioned stimulus. This response is called the conditioned response.
Last year, I experienced my own version of classical conditioning. I was at a party and there was Hawaiian Punch juice called “Lemon Berry Squeeze” that was mixed with different alcohols. I ended up getting sick from drinking too much of it. I can no longer drink that specific flavor of Hawaiian Punch because it made me sick. Sometimes, just passing by it in the grocery store makes me nauseous. The neutral stimulus in my case would be the punch. The unconditioned response, which is the naturally occurring response, would be the illness I acquired. The conditioned stimulus, the stimulus that was originally irrelevant, would be the Hawaiian punch. In addition, the conditioned response, which is the learned response that happens because of the conditioned stimulus, is avoiding the punch.
Operant Conditioning is active and usually involves participation to receive the reward or punishment. There are also four different aspects of operant conditioning: Positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment. Reinforcement makes us want to repeat the behavior and punishment makes us want to avoid repeating the behavior. Positive means applying something new and negative means removing.
My experience with operant conditioning would be me neglecting my classwork and studying habits. I’m not failing, but my grades are not as high as they usually are due to my laziness, procrastination, and distraction habits. I wait until the last minute to complete some of my homework, I end up cramming things in and I stress myself out which in turn affects my grades negatively. The positive reinforcement I get from studying the way I used to is receiving the highest grade I possibly can and the way I would use negative reinforcement would be completing my schoolwork ahead of time in turn reducing stress in the future. A use of negative punishment would be if I slack off on my work, I’d have my husband hold on to my phone until I finish my work and a positive punishment would be I’ll stop slacking off on my assignments so I don’t fail my classes.
I do not expect this to be an easy process because getting better grades won’t happen overnight. I plan to take advantage of my free time and complete as many assignments as I can at least 3-5 days before they are due. When completing my assignments, I will place my phone out of sight, as it is my distraction. I will give myself a period of how many hours I will spend each day on assignments as well as take breaks when needed. My cell phone and laziness are the two biggest obstacles for me.