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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   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

METHODS OF PSYCHOLOGY| Introspection Method | Introspection | merits of introspection |


Introspection Method

            This is the oldest known method for the study of behaviour. In the early days of the evolution of Psychology, behaviour was studied only through a kind of self-examination of inner observation called introspection.

            The word ‘introspection’ is made up of two Latin words, intro meaning “within” or “inward”, and spiereo meaning to “look”. Hence, introspection means looking within or looking inward. In introspection, then, one is required to get inside one’s own mind. It is a sort of self-observation in which one perceives analyses and reports one’s own feelings and, in fact, everything that takes place in one’s mind during the course of a mental act. For example, when in a state of anxiety fear or anger, one may be asked to determine by one’s own observation what one sensed, thought or felt at the time of experiencing that emotion.


  • Introspection- the observation and reporting of one’s own mental processes-is considered important on account of its unique nature.
  • It is a simple and readily available method.
  • One’s mental processes are always present and can be introspected at any time.
  • Introspection is, able to give us a direct and immediate insight into one’s own mental processes without involving any extra expenditure of material or apparatus.
  • Introspection provides adequate knowledge of the inner or covert experiences and thus the inner behaviour of an individual in the form of thought or feeling can be revealed through introspection.
Drawbacks and Limitations

  1. In introspection one needs to observe or examine one’s mental processes carefully in the form of thoughts, feelings and sensations. The state of one’s mental processes is continuously changing.
  2. Introspection as a method of serious study lacks in reliability, validity and objectivity.
  3. The scope of introspection as a method of studying behaviour is rather limited. It can only be applied satisfactorily in the case of adult normal human beings. The behaviour of children, abnormal human beings, animals etc., cannot be studied by this method.
Notes By

Dr. A. Michael J Leo
Psychology Professor
St. Xavier's College of Education