Classical Conditioning Theory

03:05 Amit Nagar 0 Comments



Classical Conditioning Theory of Learning is one of the Learning Theories based on Individual Behavior, generated as result of Learning developed in occurrence of  certain events. Such behavior is a result of combination of conditional stimulus and unconditional stimulus. Conditional Theory of Learning implements that individual behave in a certain pattern during some specific events like, whenever we listen to our favorite songs it gives a pleasant memories of those moments when we first heard them or when we gave our performance on it.

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist did an experiment on a dog with a bell and a piece of meat, bell being a conditional stimulus and meat loaf an unconditional stimulus. The dog always responded to sound of bell when it is paired with meat loaf as the dog had a set behavior pattern of getting meat loaf when he listen bell sound. After a few days the dog had developed a Learned behavior pattern of responding merely to sound of bell even if no food was offered. This 'set behavior pattern' lays down the base of Learning of an Individual.

Suppose in an Organization employee feedback is updated every 3 months and the supervisors increases their visits at different centres during the day and when the staff is leaving. The staff would behave in the most decent and sincere manner during the visits as they have now understood that it's time for feedback and their sincerity and decency would add 'plus' points in their feedback. Now continuing the visits during the third month will make employees to relate visits with the feedback and change their behavior. Whenever the supervisors will change their visit schedule from third month to the first or second month would trigger the same behavior of employees and force them to work in more sincere way and give a little extra effort to their department.

On the other part management can use this behavior theory to create a more disciplinary environment by randomly changing the visit schedules. In above two cases, food and feedback are unconditional stimulus and bell sound and supervisor visits are conditional stimulus which triggered and individual behavior and paired their behavior with food or feedback.

Conditional Theory is reactive and we behave in specific way when something happens. These are very obvious behaviors of individuals and are argued to be related with the consequences of events that actually changed their behavior as it's also the environment that is responsible for change in behavior like every time special arrangements are done during the supervisors' visits or bell is used by the same person or at a specific time. Such complex behaviors can be studied better with Operant Conditioning Theory.