In operant conditioning, learning occurs when an organism associates a response that occurs spontaneously with a particular environmental effect (Kowalski & Westen, 2011). Thorndike’s cat experiment was an example of this. Another example would be working and compensations or benefits. One learns that working results in compensation or benefits, which is a positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement would be if one works in a stressful environment, whereas one misses work frequently to less the stress, hence decreasing compensation or benefits. Classical conditioning and operant conditioning differ, but they are both types of learning.
Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2011). Psychology (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.