Learning Experience Paper
Tiffany N. Moore
February 22, 2016
Learning Experience Paper
How can anyone be afraid of an insect that is smaller than them? My fear of spiders started when I was seven years old. Every year during summer break I would go out to the country to visit my godparents on their farm. I was always told not to play outdoors in my bare feet because of the insects, snakes, and small rodents. Being an adventurous child I did the total opposite of what I was being told. While playing in the barn one summer day I decided to take my shoes off, which led to me getting bit by a spider, becoming terribly ill, and having to spend several days in the ...view middle of the document...
My learning could have come from classical conditioning if the stimulus occur before my behavior took place, like if my godparents read a book to me all about the dangers of insects and spiders, before I went outdoors to play. An unconditioned stimulus (UCS) is one that unconditionally, naturally, and automatically elicits a reflexive response. The unconditioned stimulus in my experience was my godparents always telling me not to play outdoors in my bare feet. The unconditioned response was me wanting to take off my shoes outdoors. A conditioned stimulus (CS) is the stimulus, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to elicit a conditioned response. I was playing out in the barn when I was bit by the spider, so each time I would go near the barn I feel afraid, this is became my conditioned stimulus. The conditioned response from my childhood experience is me having a terrible fear of spiders (Spielman, Dumper, Jenkins, Lacombe, & Lovett, 2014).
Operant conditioning is a form of learning that transpires through rewards and punishments for behavior. Behavioral consequence provides positive reinforcement or negative punishment to an animal or person after specific behavior is demonstrated. This reinforcement increases or decreases the likelihood of the behavioral response. In my experienced my learning could have occurred through operant conditioning if I would have kept my shoes on while playing outside, then my godparents decided to take me out for ice cream for my behavior. The behavior consequence would have been me not being allowed to go back outdoors to play if I could not keep my shoes on.
Lineros and Hinojosa (2012) although tangentially related, operant conditioning is different from classical conditioning. Operant conditioning is not grounded in the belief that a stimulus is required to associate an unconditioned response with a new conditioned one. Instead, after given behavior is observed, it...