The Differences between Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning and Operant (Skinnerian) Conditioning




Pavlov                                                                          Skinner 

Classical Conditioning

Operant Conditioning

Deals only with involuntary behaviour



Mostly deals with voluntary behaviour

Reinforcement strengthens the conditioned response but is neutral it works whether the human/animal likes it or not

Reinforcement strengthens the conditioned response and is either positive(something the human/animal likes) or negative (the removal of something unpleasant)

The stimulus comes before the conditioned response in each case

Reinforcement is always given after the voluntary behaviour has been performed- and either strengthens it or weakens it

A stimulus can only trigger one type of response, for example, a puff of air across the eye always gives an eye blink

A reinforcer can be used to strengthen many different types of behaviour using different behaviour shaping techniques

Shows generalisation, discrimination, extinction and spontaneous recovery

Same as classical conditioning

Relies on the linking or association of stimuli and responses

Same as classical conditioning


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