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Individual Programmatic Assessment Operant Conditioning Essay

890 words - 4 pages

Individual Programmatic Assessment Operant Conditioning

Individual Programmatic Assessment: Operant Conditioning
August 3, 2015

Individual Programmatic Assessment: Operant Conditioning
Psychologists and scientists have been studying from the very beginning the concept of learning, and the several different ways that humans and animals can retain, access and store information. Many theories are linked with learning; these theories have their disadvantages, advantages and specific characteristics which try to clarify the ways human minds function when attempting to learn. One of these theories was established by behaviorist psychologist B. F. Skinner. Skinner after ...view middle of the document...

Reinforcement is an event that when associated to and occurring after a behavior, can strengthen it and increase the probability of that behavior repeating itself. Positive reinforcement can be praise, or a reward, while negative reinforcement is the removal of something unpleasant. In both cases of reinforcement, the expected outcome is the increase of the expected behavior. Punishment, on the other hand, intends to decrease the reoccurrence of a behavior by either presenting an unfavorable event, which is considered positive punishment, or removing a favorable event, which is called negative punishment. In operant conditioning, extinction can occur if a behavior is no longer reinforced, or if the type of reinforcement being used in not considered rewarding anymore. Interestingly enough, Skinner found out about extinction by accident, when performing an experiment with a rat, leaving the laboratory and experiencing malfunction with the equipment (Cherry, 2013).
Determine which form of reinforcement is the most effective. Explain your reasoning
The type of reinforcement that has proven itself to be the most effective one seems to be the positive reinforcement, as it is connected to the individual’s emotional side and can help building that individual’s confidence and self-esteem by awarding a behavior in a positive manner. However, different situations call for different reinforcement techniques. Sometimes, if negative circumstances have already been established, a negative reinforcement may be more effective. It is also important to note that the reinforcement will be less effective if the subject has no desire for the rewards. For instance, rewarding a child with a cookie, when the child is not hungry, will probably not affect the recurrence of the desirable behavior.

Select a scenario in which you would apply operant conditioning...

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