Summary Activity: Learning in the Real World

The following quiz consists of eight examples of learning in the real world. For each example, determine what type of learning is being described (classical conditioning, operant conditioning, observational learning). If you believe the example describes classical conditioning, identify the US, UR, CS, and CR. If you believe the example illustrates operant conditioning, determine the specific process involved (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment). A print version of this activity is also available. When you have completed this quiz, you may print out your answers to give to your instructor.

Q1a. When a certain cat gets hungry, it scratches at the front door. The owner always lets it in and then feeds it.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q1b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q1c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q2a. A child watches a videotape of his favorite movie while medicated ear drops are administered for a painful ear infection. Later, watching the video alone can reduce the pain.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q2b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q2c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q3a. The first time you try anchovies, you become violently ill. Now, the smell of any fish is enough to make you ill.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q3b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q3c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q4a. A baseball player is in a slump. One day, he taps his bat on home plate three times before the next pitch. He hits the pitch for a home run. He does the same thing during his next turn at-bat and again gets a hit. Now, he taps home plate three times before every pitch.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q4b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q4c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q5a. Every time a mother takes her son to the grocery store, the boy begs his mother for candy at the check-out line. If she says "no", he whines and cries. Sometimes she gives in and buys him candy so that he will be quiet.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q5b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q5c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q6a. A young boy watches Power Rangers alone in his room every day after school. During the show, he practices the karate kicks and punches performed by his favorite character, Billy the Blue Ranger.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q6b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q6c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q7a. An asthmatic patient receives medication for her condition when needed. Later, on vacation, her inhaler is almost empty. A devious friend fills the inhaler with harmless saline solution, and the asthmatic individuals still obtains relief from the inhaler in the absence of the medicine.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q7b.If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q7c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Q8a. For two weeks, a man has been working at a job where he has to answer customer complaints on the phone all day. Now, he gets nervous and jumpy when the phone rings, even at home.

    Classical Conditioning
    Operant Condtioning
    Observational Learning

Explain your choices:

Q8b. If classical conditioning:
US = UR =
CS = CR =

Q8c. If operant conditioning, identify the process involved.

    Negative Punishment
    Negative Reinforcement
    Positive Punishment
    Positive Reinforcement

Student Activities