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Paolo Franco

PSY 113
Quiz # 1 on Paradigms
Cognitive Behavioral
The cognitive behavioral paradigm, as discussed in chapter two of the book, is a
paradigm centered on cognitive science. A couple of concepts that are talked about here are
classical and operant conditioning and its relevance in the cognitive behavioral paradigm will be
further discussed. Conditioning is a behavioral process where a response is either increased or
decreased given a reinforcement (Editors of Encyclopedia Brittanica, n.d.). There are two forms
of this namely classical and operant as discussed earlier. Classical conditioning is a type of
learning technique used wherein a conditioned stimulus is paired with an unconditioned stimulus
to provide a conditioned response through time, without the need for the original unconditioned
stimulus (American Psychological Association, n.d.). An example of this is when a dog hears a
sound, which can be called the conditioned stimulus, and right after, food is given to him, which
is called the unconditioned stimulus, and this causes salivation, which is the conditioned
response. After some time of doing this, the conditioned stimulus can be presented without the
unconditioned stimulus, and still result in the conditioned response. Operant conditioning on the
other hand deals more with a reward system in order to increase good behavior or decrease
bad behavior (Operant Conditioning, n.d.). An example of this is when a child is told to put a
plate on the top of a stack of plates and is rewarded with two cookies when he does so. Every
succeeding time he does this, he receives cookies but in gradually lesser amounts until he no
longer needs cookies to perform a specific desired action. These concepts are integral in the
cognitive behavioral paradigm because they revolve all around learning principles. Conditioning
is a learning concept on its own, and behaviors can be elicited from these.

With these concepts in mind, behavioral activation therapy is a new idea introduced. This
is a kind of behavioral therapy that has two steps, muscle relaxation, and gradual exposure
towards feared situations. First, the client must be in a relaxed state in order for no shock to
occur that could interfere with the procedure. After this, the client will be gradually exposed to
the situation he or she fears. It starts normally with the idea of these things, for example a fear
of spiders. The process will start with the word spider. The word will be repeated to the client
multiple times and then, they will be presented with an illustration of it in a book. These
processes will go on until the very last step which involves seeing an actual spider in order to no
longer be afraid of it. This is integral to the therapy because further exposure towards the feared
situation is in layman’s terms, “facing your fears,” which actually works. Although this is the
case, behaviorism is still being criticized until today for disregarding thinking and feeling in the
conditioning process. One is bound to think and feel about the things one does in order to avert
or conduct a behavior, and this isn’t really taken into account by those conducting these

Cognitive science is now introduced and the first thing that should be defined is the term
cognition, which is the grouping together of the mental processes of perceiving, recognizing,
reasoning, and judging (Kring, A., Johnson, S., Davidson, G., & Neale, J., 2012). With these,
one can begin to suggest ways to prevent the rising trend of self-harm among the youth
nowadays. Operant conditioning sounds like a good idea to counter this because it will put a
reward let’s say to those who think of harming themselves, for not doing so. And repeated use
of this can result in no longer needing a reward for them to continue what they’re doing.


Last Updated November 30th, 2. 0. (n.d.). Operant Conditioning (B.F. Skinner). Retrieved from

APA Dictionary of Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Kring, A. M. (2012). ​Abnormal psychology​ (12th edition).