It is a process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus that has been repeatedly presented along with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the desired response; e. g. conditioned fear and anxiety – many phobias that people experience are the results of conditioning, like the “fear of bridges” in the following example. While a child rides in a car over a dilapidated bridge, his father makes jokes about the bridge collapsing and all of them falling into the river below.
The father finds this funny and so decides to do it whenever they cross the bridge. Years later, the child has grown up and now is afraid to drive over any bridge. In this case, the fear of one bridge is generalized to all bridges which now evoke fear. 2. Operant Conditioning It is the basic process by which an individual’s behavior is shaped by reinforcement or by punishment. A good example is the study by Pedalino & Gamboa (1974).
To help reduce the frequency of employee tardiness, the researchers implemented a game-like system for all employees that arrived on time. When an employee arrived on time, they were allowed to draw a card. Over the course of a 5-day workweek, the employee would have a full hand for poker. At the end of the week, the best hand won $20. This simple method reduced employee tardiness significantly and demonstrated the effectiveness of operant conditioning on humans.
3. Social Learning. The view that we can learn through both observation and direct experience is known as social learning. The most common (and pervasive) examples of social learning situations are television commercials. For instance commercials suggest that using a particular hair shampoo will make us popular and win the admiration of attractive people. Depending upon the component processes involved (such as attention or motivation), we may model the behavior shown in the commercial and buy the product being advertised.
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