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Classical Conditioning

Animal learns passively to associate a neutral stimulus with an important one.

The response is automatic and reinforced by repitition.

For example; Pavlov conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell (because the dog expected food).

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Operant Conditioning

Animal learns actively to associate an action with a reward or punishment.

Behaviour requires a system of trial and error learning.

This occurs in humans when children are rewarded or punshed for specific behaviour.

For example; Skinner conditioned pigeons and rats to press the correct button in order to receive food.

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Conditioning to train animals

Humans use a combination of classical and operant conditioning to train animals. Operant conditioning is preferred as the animal will learn easier as it receives a reward or punishment. Rewards work just as well as punishment; which causes stress.

 Examples of training with operant conditioning;

Training guide dogs to stop at a roadside, and wait for a command.

Training police sniffer dogs to retrieve drugs.

Training animals to act in films. 


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