Contrasting Features of Classical and Instrumental Conditioning   [p. 18 of handout]

  Classical Instrumental
1 Learning about stimuli Learning about responses
2 Typically applies to involuntary responses. Applies to voluntary responses.
3 Applies to the Autonomic Nervous System and reflexive motor responses. (There is usually very little internal feedback from ANS responses.) Does not apply to the ANS. (There is plenty of internal and external feedback for skeletal motor responses.)
4 Uninfluenced by motivational pay-offs. This is tested by omission schedules. Almost by definition sensitive to emotional pay-offs. A variety of relations between response effort or response cost and the response outcomes are possible.
5 Intermittent or unreliable relations between the CS and UCS weakens conditioned effects, especially with attractive motivational stimuli. Intermittent and unreliable relations between the learned response and the motivational pay-off may strengthen the learned behaviour.


Shared Features of Classical and Instrumental Conditioning   [bottom of page 18 of handout]

1 Experimental procedures frequently make use of the same motivating conditions, e.g. hungry animals receiving food.  
2 Course of learning in both cases includes acquisition, extinction, and discrimination of stimuli which are and are not associated with motivationally significant events.  
3 Results with both procedures show that the innate predispositions of particular species influence the outcomes of the procedures.