This paper aims to define, compare and contrast these two types of conditioning and their applicability to business and employee behavior in the work place (Kirsch, et al., 2004; Dayan et al., 2000).
"Classical conditioning is also referred to as Respondent or Pavlovian conditioning since it is a type of associative conditioning first popularized by Ivan Pavlov " (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Nevin et al., 1990). During this process, a neutral stimulus is presented together with a relatively significant stimulus in order to elicit a response. The neutral stimulus is called Conditioned Stimulus (CS) by Pavlov and is defined as an event that does not impart an evident behavioral reaction from a particular animal or person. On the other hand, the significant stimulus also referred to as Unconditioned Stimulus (US) as defined by Pavlov pertains to stimulus that induces an instinctive response called Unconditioned Response (UR). Due to recurrent pairing of the CS and the US, these two stimuli become associated in the perception of the animal or human being. In such situation, the subject starts to generate a response to the CS. In Pavlov's famous experiment, classical conditioning was demonstrated in the salivation of dogs. ...
He obtained similar results, thus referring to this learned relationship as conditional reflex (Watson & Rayner, 1920; Nevin et al., 1990).
There are six different types of classical conditioning depending on the interval or sequence of the presentation and the presence of stimuli. These are forward, simultaneous, backward, temporal, unpaired and conditioned stimulus - alone extinction. There are two theories suggested to be behind the classical conditioning process which are considered largely contradicting. The first theory is called stimulus-response (SR) theory while the second theory is called stimulus-stimulus (SS) theory. Stimulus-response theory proposes that humans including animals are capable of learning to associate an introduced stimulus called CS with already present stimulus called US (Nevin et al., 1990). In addition to this is the capability to rationalize, perceive and react to the CS and US as well but not involving conscious thought. On the other hand, stimulus-stimulus theory asserts that there is a role of a cognitive component in the understanding of classical conditioning. The theory explains that the organism is capable of learning the association of CS and US towards the production of a particular reaction (Rescorla & Wagner, 1972).
There are several known applications for classical conditioning. These include behavior and aversion therapies and systematic desensitization. The concept is to improve the lives of persons by removing association of particular negative experiences with other relevant everyday activities. Examples of which is removing anxiety associated with different types of phobia and detachment from addiction such as alcoholism. In this process, the affected person is