Respondent or Operant?: Scientifically Explored

Drawing a distinction between respondent (classical) and operant conditioning has been useful historically for both researchers and practitioners. Now, however, differences have arisen in the scientific community. Some people think of classical and operant conditioning as two completely different processes. Others see them as a continuum, from classical (unconscious) to deliberate (conscious) learning. Still others want to blur or erase the difference altogether.

This lecture reviews the historic positions and clarify current thinking. You will see where you stand in your own mind, and how your position might affect your thinking about your own training procedures.

Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz

Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer. He serves on several editorial boards, including the European Journal of Behavior Analysis and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. His areas of interest include antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, animal training, and rule- and contingency-shaped behavior.