In everyday life, people are rewarded or punished for their actions.Punishment or reward comes in form of the consequence of one’sactions. As a student, the aspect of passing an examination willdefinitely attract positive reinforcement. In this particular day, Isat for an examination which I passed extremely well. The instructordecided to reward the students who passed with various gifts and Iwas among the learners who were rewarded. This is a form ofreinforcement for a behavior. The behavior being reinforced with areward here was the passing of the examination.
The second instant where I had positive reinforcement was when I gotpraises from fellow students after telling a funny story. All thestudents laughed and showered me with praises. This is a form ofreinforcement and it ensured that the behavior would be repeated. Theconcept behind operant conditioning is that the behavior reinforcedwill be repeated. In this instance, telling a funny story is theaction that is likely to be repeated. Reinforcement can be in variousforms such as compliments or gifts.
There is normally a confusion between positive and negativereinforcement and punishment. Positive punishment is a form ofpunishment where there is an application of aversive stimulus inorder to discourage a particular behavior. For instance, a mother mayyell to a child in order to discourage him from the behavior bangingthe door loudly. This is a form of punishment that is applied ineveryday life. I experienced a positive punishment when I continuedtalking while the instructor was addressing the class. The instructorshouted at me to stop talking. This is clearly a form of positivepunishment. It involved the application of an aversive stimulus,which is shouting, to stop the undesired behavior. The undesiredbehavior in this situation was my continued talking while theinstructor was addressing the other students. This form of punishmentis mainly common when the undesired behavior is consistent andrepetitive.
There are numerous responses in someone’s everyday life which areinfluenced by classical conditioning. This is mainly achieved throughthe association of a conditional stimuli and unconditional stimuli.An example of a response that is due to operant conditioning is whena person panics when he sees a gun despite the gun not firing.However, the person might have heard the sound of a gun previously.Classical conditioning makes subjects to have responses which aretriggered by a stimuli that is neutral. In this example, the gun isneutral and it does not produce the sound yet the person panics.
One of my responses that is due to classical conditioning was when Imoved my hand swiftly after touching a neural electoral wire. I hadpreviously been electrocuted when I touched a live electrical wire.This created fear in me and this made me to move my hand when Itouched any other wire even when it was neutral. The response here isthe movement of the hand when it comes into contact with theelectrical wire. The movement of the hand is a learned behavior,which is being repeated when the neural stimulus (electrical wire)comes into contact with the hand. It is evident that theunconditional stimulus in this scenario is the live wire. There is aninteraction between the conditional and unconditional stimulus whichbrings about the learning.