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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLASSICAL AND OPERANT CONDITIONING Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning 1.   The learner is not independent in this type of learning. 2.   Classical conditioning is restricted to animal learning only. 3.   Stimulus oriented. 4.  Learning through stimulus substitution.             5.   Behaviour is elicited. 6.   Reinforcement comes before the act. 7.   Response is forced. 8.   Developed by Russian (Pavlov) experiment. 1.   The learner is independent in this type of learning. 2.   Operant conditioning may be useful for the purpose of human learning also. 3.   Response oriented. 4.   Learning through response modification. 5.   Behaviour is emitted. 6.   Reinforcement comes after the act. 7.   Response is voluntary. 8.   Developed by American (Skinner) experiment   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meaning of Psychology

"Psychology is a Science which aims to give us better understanding  and control of the behaviour of the organism as a whole".

Etymological derivation of the word 'psychology' indicates that it has its origin from two Greek words- psyche and logos stands for study. However, the meaning and interpretation of the word "psyche" has been in a state of change from time to time leading to subsequent changes in the ways of defining the them 'psychology' as may be evident from the following four stages of its evolution.

First stage:

By taking in the meaning of the word 'psyche as soul, psychology was first defined as the study of soul". The inability to define soul led to the search for a new meaning of the word 'psyche'.

Second stage:

At this stage, the philosopher cum psychologists tried to define psychology as the "study of the mind" by giving a new meaning and interpretation to the word 'psyche' in the form of 'mind'. Although the word 'mind' was less vague and mysterious than soul, it faced the same criticism with questions like what is mind? How can it be studied? And so on.

Third stage:

The criticism and unacceptability of the meaning of the word psyche as soul or mind led the psychology to new search of its proper meaning. The initiative was taken by famous psychologists like William James (1890), Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchener(1894) who, while interpreting psyche as consciousness, defined psychology as a study of consciousness.

Fourth stage:

In the definition of psychology the word 'study' was replaced by 'science'. the first psychologist who besides using the word science in place of study, replaced consciousness with total behaviour (conscious as well as unconscious) was the famous William Medougall.


  1. Nicely defined. Practicing as a neurologist and Brain Injury Specialist Raleigh, North Carolina, the clear, thorough and concise definition you have shared is really good. Keep sharing these amazing blogs.


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