Pavlov pioneered the discovery of classical conditioning through his research on the salivation of dogs every time they recognized the neutral stimulus. Classical conditioning is a natural, involuntary, behavioral response that involves the pairing of an unconditioned action of stimulus with a learned one. Heat is an unconditioned stimulus our body naturally responds to. The unconditioned response is the child’s reaction to touching something hot. The unconditioned response is the quick removal of the hand once the heat is felt. In order to teach the child not to touch the stove, you would have to keep the stove off but put a heating pad on the stove. This way, you can teach the child that the stove is warm and will be even hotter if they touch it next time. The conditioned stimulus is the heat pad on the stove the child is touching as they understand it is hot. The conditioned response is the child taking their hand away from the heat pad understanding that next time they touch it the stove will be even hotter and that touching the stove will cause pain.
B.F. Skinner lead the discovery of operant conditioning through his famous experiment known as the Skinner box. Operant conditioning is the use of positive and negative reinforcement in order to evoke or extinguish a certain behavior. Getting children to clean their own rooms can be taught through operant conditioning. In order to evoke this desired behavior of cleaning rooms, we must use some type of positive reinforcement to encourage this behavior. Depending on the age of the child, awards can differ. For example, we are trying to get a teenager to keep their room tidy. If their room stays tidy for an entire week, they are rewarded $20 at the end of the week and permission to go out with friends at the end of the week. As a parent, you would check the room each day and make sure the room is clean. The end reward makes the teen motivated to clean their room and keep the desired behavior in effect for long periods of time until keeping the room clean will eventually become a habit. If one day you enter the room and the room is not tidy, you would not give them $20 at the end of the week and they will not be allowed to go out with friends until the room is tidy. This can teach a teenager to stay motivated and keep the desired behavior of cleaning the room in full effect.
Albert Bandura played a key role in developing the social learning theory through his recognized experiment with the Bobo Doll. This experiment was significant to the social learning theory as it proved that people with a higher status tend to influence children through their actions. Social learning theory is when individuals learn certain behaviors by mimicking another person’s behavior in the same situation. The social learning theory can be used to teach children how to show good manners at the dinner table. Most children at a young age mimic others as they try to figure out how to act in our society. Their best examples to follow are usually their parents. In order to teach your child good manners at the dinner table, you must first set the proper desired example. If you want your child to learn please and thank you or learn to pray before eating you would portray those behaviors at the dinner table for them to see. In return, you would ask them to do the same as they mimic you. As long as you uphold your part as a parent of being respectful at the dinner table, your child will do the same as they know any other behavior is frowned upon.