Deutsch: Konditionierung / Español: Condicionamiento / Português: Condicionamento / Français: Conditionnement / Italiano: Condizionamento /

Conditioning refers to a psychological principle which holds that the frequency of any behavior can be increased or decreased through reward, punishment, and/or association with other stimuli.

So Conditioning refers to the process of developing a behavior pattern through a series of repeated experiences.


Conditioning in psychology refers to the process of learning associations between stimuli and responses. This process involves the reinforcement or punishment of behaviors to increase or decrease the likelihood of them being repeated. Conditioning can be both classical and operant, with classical conditioning focusing on involuntary responses and operant conditioning focusing on voluntary actions. It plays a crucial role in shaping behaviors and attitudes in individuals. Conditioning also involves the concepts of reinforcement, punishment, extinction, and generalization, which all contribute to the learning process. Psychologists use conditioning principles to understand and modify behaviors in various settings.

Application Areas

  • Clinical psychology
  • Behavior therapy
  • Education and learning
  • Animal training
  • Advertising and marketing

Treatment and Risks

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Risks include potential reinforcement of maladaptive behaviors


  • Classical conditioning: Pavlov's dogs salivating at the sound of a bell
  • Operant conditioning: Skinner's experiments with rats pressing levers for rewards
  • Phobias developed through conditioning processes

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Learning theory
  • Behavior modification
  • Associative learning


Articles with 'Conditioning' in the title

  • Classical and operant conditioning: Classical and operant conditioning refers to a process of learning that involves rewarding an animal for a particular action while at the same time providing a separate and distinct stimulus
  • Classical conditioning: classical conditioning refers to the fundamental learning process which was first described by Ivan Pavlov. It is an event that automatically elicits a response when it is paired with another stimulus event that does not (a neutral stimulus . . .
  • Counter-conditioning: Counter-conditioning treatment which is done if the person is far too fearful to attempt flooding, then counter-conditioning can be an option. The person is taught to use specific relaxation and visualisation techniques when experiencing ph . . .
  • Covert conditioning: Covert conditioning refers to a behavioral intervention in which the therapist instructs the client to imagine a highly negative experience when engaging in an undesirable behavior
  • Instrumental conditioning: Instrumental conditioning refers to the case whereby behaviors that people freely choose to perform increase or decrease in frequency, depending on whether they are followed by positive reinforcement or punishment - conditioning in which a . . .
  • Operant Conditioning: Operant Conditioning refers to B. F. Skinner's learning paradigm in which the consequences of a behavior determine whether a behavior is repeated in the future
  • Taste aversion conditioning: Taste aversion conditioning refers to a form of classical conditioning in which a food item that has been paired with gastrointestinal illness becomes a conditioned aversive stimulus
  • Counterconditioning: Counterconditioning refers to the process of replacing an undesired response to a stimulus with an acceptable response- the procedure whereby a CS that elicits one type of response is associated with an event that elicits an incompatible re . . .
  • Orgasmic reconditioning: Orgasmic reconditioning refers to learning procedure to help clients (patients) strengthen appropriate patterns of sexual arousal by pairing appropriate stimuli with the pleasurable sensations of masturbation
  • Pseudoconditioning: Pseudoconditioning is defined as a temporary elevation in the amplitude of the conditioned response that is not due to association between the conditioned stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus


Conditioning in psychology involves the process of learning associations between stimuli and responses, shaping behaviors through reinforcement and punishment. It plays a critical role in various application areas such as clinical psychology, behavior therapy, and education. Understanding conditioning principles helps psychologists modify behaviors and attitudes in individuals to achieve desired outcomes.


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