Think about a behavior that has been learned over time, such as your dog learning to...

Think about a behavior that has been learned over time, such as your dog learning to sit or your mouth salivating at the sight of the Domino’s car pulling up in front of your house. Determine which of the three theories (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning) would best explain how this behavior was learned. Explain your rationale. Search the Internet for an article that supports your position and post the entire link after your response, along with the title of the article. Sum everything up in a minimum of 150 words.

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1. I would like to take the example of my dog learning to respond to the command ‘sit’. This behaviour of my Pete can be explained in terms of the principle of operant conditioning as the behvaiour is a voluntary response on part of the dog which was however gradually strengthened using the technique of reinforcement. Thus, in the beginning every time the dog sat down after my saying the word ‘sitting ’, she was given her favourite treat as a reward. Over time, she began to perform the action of sitting in front of me as she had learned the contingency between her sitting response (R) and the expectation of food(S). Thus, dog’s sitting behaviour is an example of an S-R form of learning based on positive reinforcement.

There are several articles on the web which make reference to SKinner’s theory of instrumental or operant learning. One of them is posted below:

Operant Conditioning” by Stardom, Cerutti (2003)”

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