Difference between classical and operant conditioning

Can you explain the difference between classical and operant conditioning?

Classical conditioning involves the pairing of stimuli and the association that result between the two. A behavior that would normally be the result of one stimulus becomes the result of the other also due to the association created. Pavlov's dogs salivating at the sound of the bell they'd come to associate with being fed is an example. 

Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. It requires that the subject perform some action (and that the action is either rewarded or punished to either encourage or discourage the behavior.) It's usually used for behavior modification


Another difference involves the types of behaviors that are conditioned. While classical conditioning is centered on involuntary, automatic behaviors, operant conditioning is focused on voluntary behaviors.

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