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Classical Conditioning

Have you ever seen someone behave the way they do and

wonder why they do so? Have you ever noted your reactions

towards certain things or situations and thought “why am I like

this?” or “I need to change my habits”? 

All of these are because of how we are conditioned to behave in

certain situations or towards some people. 

We, humans, are bound to learn every day. We also change

behavior according to the old and new things we learn and come

across. The process of learning, unlearning, relearning is called


Conditioning Theory refers to the behavioral process, whereby a

reaction (response) becomes more frequent to a given object

(stimulus) as a result of reinforcement, which is a reward for the

response in a given situation.

Conditioning is classified into three types;

1. Classical conditioning

2. Operant conditioning

3. Observational conditioning

When an individual learns a process that involves creating an

association between a naturally existing stimulus and a

previously neutral one, it is called classical conditioning.

Phantom vibration is the best example of classical conditioning

in the current lifestyle of most humans. You have your mobile

phone in your pocket that always makes you feel like it is

vibrating even though it is not. This is called phantom vibration.

Things like these aren’t intentionally learned by a person, one

just gets conditioned to them with time. 

Operant conditioning is a method of learning that involves

reinforcement. It can be both punishment and rewards. Through

operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior

and a consequence (whether negative or positive) for that


When your behavior is reflected on what might the results be, it

is operant conditioning. 

 A child finishing homework before going to school, because it

doesn’t want to get punished by the teacher or wants to get an

award by the teacher for completing the homework. Both these

situations fall in operant conditioning. Because the action is

driven by the expected result or the result that has to be avoided.

Here, the punishments are the negative reinforcement and

rewards are the positive reinforcement.

Learning things by seeing, observing, and recognizing from the

outer world is observational conditioning. It is a form of social

learning which takes various forms, based on various processes.

Observational learning is learning that occurs through observing

the behavior of others.

This is the most common type of conditioning every individual

comes across throughout their lifetime. A child observes other

people and learns to do things. You visit a store for the first

time; you observe other customers and follow them. The reels,

memes, and trolls these days are all because of observational


You might question which is the best-suited one to get the best

behavior? One is never enough. The right type has to be used in

the right situation and only then one can mold the best-expected

behavior in life.

Comment below about which one you use in what situation.

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