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Operant Conditioning and Classical Conditioning

One theorist from each of the following paradigms in preparation for this assignment:

o Functionalistic
• Edward Lee Thorndike
• B. F. Skinner
• Clark Leonard Hull
o Associationistic
• Ivan Pavlov
• Edwin R. Guthrie
• William K. Estes

Please analyze the functionalistic and associationistic theories associated with your selected theorists. Answer the following questions:

o Discuss the contributions that your selected theorists made to the field of learning and cognition.
o Describe the models associated with your selected theorists.
o Describe the major theoretical concepts associated with the models.
o Analyze the modern-day relevancy of the models, such as in media advertisements or education.

Solution Preview

The major contribution that B.F. Skinner made to the functionalistic field of learning and cognition is the theoretical perspective that individual behavior could be largely controlled by punishment and reward. In essence, the theoretical perspective of Skinner was that individuals learned by the consequences of giving actions, which essentially means that if a given action resulted in pleasure or a reward, then that action would be repeated in the vast majority of cases. In addition, if a given action resulted in a punishment or unpleasant experience, then that action or activity would have a very low probability of being repeated. In respect to learning and cognition, individuals tended to learn to engage in those activities that provided them with a pleasurable or rewarding experience, and to avoid those activities or situations that resulted in unpleasant experiences.

The model associated with B.F. Skinner, is the operant conditioning learning model, which is a model that is based upon the premise that an individual's behavior can be modified by providing rewards for behavior that is desired, and punishments for behavior that is not desired by the individual. This causes the individual to learn to display ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes key aspects of operant conditioning and classical conditioning.