Determinants of Animal Behaviour

By Jo-Anne Cartwright | Go to book overview

3

Classical and operant conditioning
Introduction to conditioning theory
The nature of classical conditioning and its role in the behaviour of animals
The historical framework of classical conditioning
The historical framework of operant conditioning
The nature of operant conditioning and its role in the behaviour of animals
Summary

Introduction to conditioning theory

Evolution is not the only thing that determines an animal’s behaviour—it is also determined by learning gained from an animal’s experience in its environment. In psychology learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behaviour that occurs as the result of reinforcement. One type of learning is conditioning, of which there are two explanations: classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Both classical and operant conditioning attempt to explain exactly how an animal learns such new behaviours; thus they are learning theories. Furthermore, both classical conditioning theory and operant conditioning theory are based on behaviourism. Behaviourism is an approach in psychology that argues that the only appropriate subject matter for scientific psychological investigation is directly observable and measurable behaviour. Therefore behaviourists (those who take a

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Determinants of Animal Behaviour
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Evolutionary Explanations of Animal Behaviour 11
  • Further Reading 44
  • 3 - Classical and Operant Conditioning 45
  • 4 - Social Learning in Animals 83
  • Further Reading 117
  • 5 - Study Skills 119
  • Glossary 135
  • Bibliography 141
  • Index 147
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