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Classical and Operant Conditioning

I clearly recall how classical conditioning has influenced my decisions in several instances. One of the most recent though, would be how I rather impulsively sought for and purchased a product which was not entirely unique and appealing. Commercials have seemingly affected my mind and my own decision making process. The product, being a new perfume, was shown repeatedly on video commercials and other advertisements together with highly attractive individuals.

Having watched it repeatedly, I seem to have associated such an unconditioned stimulus, or physical attraction, with the product which may be referred to as a conditioned stimulus. Of course, as I have noted beforehand, I eventually bought the product as I have gained a positive conditioned response to it. Interestingly, I throughout my decision to purchase it, I barely considered it’s actual scent or fragrance.

As a matter of fact, advertising directly employs the potential of classical conditioning in manipulating behavior where in favorable emotions are linked with a given product or brand (Nevid, 2009). Operant Conditioning – Biblical Examples Operant conditioning is highlighted by numerous excerpts from the Bible. One example of such is the following: “if any man’s work remains, he shall receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14, New Testament).

Taking note of the presence of a means of reinforcement, which in this case would be the reward promised to be given if faithful actions shall be maintained in life prior to judgment, then the Biblical excerpt above may be appropriately considered as a direct example of operant conditioning. Furthermore, the notion of God, being the almighty creator, as well as the possibility of gaining rewards from such an entity is certainly an effective positive reinforcer; the greatest reward would be an opportunity to enter heaven (Rollins & Kille, 2007).

Given that operant conditioning is indeed present in the Bible, then it would be quite proper to state that such a means of influencing behavior has been applied even before it was coined and studied thoroughly in modern context. References Nevid, J. S. (2009). Psychology Concepts and Applications (3rd Ed. ). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company – Cengage Learning. Rollins, W. G. & Kille, D. A. (2007). Psychological Insight into the Bible: Text and Readings. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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