Pavlov’sclassical conditioning method forms the foundation for other types ofconditioning developed by other scholars in psychology. Operantconditioning, which was developed by BF skinner as a more complexform of classical conditioning, employs various approaches to modifybehavior. Under operant conditioning are four categories ofconditioning among them extinction. Extinction occurs when a behavioris weakened or stopped as a result of failure to experience anexpected positive outcome or a negative condition is stopped. Hoch(2015) discusses several studies and experiments that pertain toextinction reinforcement.
This extinction canbe used to address simple problems. To test the theory of extinction,a sample study is proposed below.
Choose a maturehealthy infant dog of any age.
Introduce the dogto particular colored feeding bowl with different what the dog isused to. For the first time, feed the dog with dog biscuits in thenew bowl. For the second and subsequent times, use the new bowl butdouse the biscuits in Sudan III dye and serve to the dog. Sudan IIIis a dying agent used in the laboratory which causes severeirritation on the mucus membrane when inhaled or causes stomach upsetwhen ingested. The dog should be served the doused meal when hungryand allowed to sniff the food. This should be repeated over manytimes with the new bowl. Over time, use of Sudan III should bestopped. To test for generalization, a new second bowl similar to theother new bowl should be introduced to the dog.
The dog shouldlearn to associate the distinctively colored bowl with the irritatingeffect of Sudan III. Even after the dog is fed using that particularbowl without Sudan III, it will resist and indeed stay away from thecolored bowl. Introduction of second new but similar bowl withoutSudan III should confirm or negate generalization. In case of fear ofthe second bowl, then this learned fear has been transferred andgeneralized.
Hock, Roger, Forty studies that changed psychology, New York:Pearson, 2015. Print.