Teaching is a complex process that often requires additional stimuli to reinforce learning. The two most used concepts in behavioral psychology are classical and operant conditioning, which apply two distinct methods in training. Watson’s classical conditioning implies that particular response to an event or object can be stimulated. Specifically, Watson showed that fear of a white rat could be elicited in a child if the appearance of an animal was associated with a loud sound. His experiment demonstrated that fear could also become a conditioned response.
Operant conditioning theory, formulated by Skinner, states that any behavior can be achieved through positive or negative reinforcement. For example, a child may be taught to clean one’s room through reward or punishment. Although these theories appear similar, the main difference is that classical conditioning refers to training an involuntary response to a stimulus, whereas operant conditioning is a voluntary behavior that results from learning the consequences.