As argued by Kalat, classical conditioning refers to learning through stimuli association (188). The unconditioned stimulus (US) triggers unconditioned response (UR) while a conditioned stimulus (CS) elicits a conditioned response (CR) (Kalat 192).
At the age of 7, I was attacked by my neighbor’s rooster while we were playing our favorite game. The rooster left terrible marks on my face that even led to my face being stitched for quick recovery. My life was unbearable in school as my classmates were always on my case. This had a great impact on me till date. 12 years on, I can barely stand the sight or the sound of a rooster. The other day whilst on my way from my grandma’s place, I heard a sound similar to the roosters. Though, the sound was that of a wild bird, I could not help it but run from the nervousness all over my body. This explains the spontaneous recovery that recurred after the CR and the generalization of responses similar to those of the CS. I can hardly differentiate the CS and the US as my fear did not die out.
Operant conditioning as argued by Kalat refers to change of behavior due to the consequences that tag along (199). The consequences determine if the behavior will be reinforced, altered or amended.
A real life example relates to my high school life. Each time I got good grades my parents rewarded me well. At times they would buy me a guitar, take me for trips, vacations amongst other rewards. This eliminated my lazy behavior and perception that I could not make it in life especially in relation to studies. I, therefore, learnt the value of hard work in my studies, because I knew that I would have a great reward after attaining good grades.