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Learning And Behavior Essay

883 words - 4 pages

The field of psychology has different types of methods that are used in order to control, change, or alter behavior. There is no one specific method is that universally agreed upon or is better than another. Rather, the method used depends upon the intended outcome, and the reason for some type of conditioning or punishment. Operant conditioning is one type of method used by psychologist. In addition, there is positive punishment, negative punishment, positive reinforcement, and negative reinforcement.

Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through a system of rewards and punishments for a behavior. With this type of conditioning, there is an association between the ...view middle of the document...

An example of this would be if your cell phone rang in the middle of a meeting and you were reprimanded by your boss for not turning the phone off before the meeting as you were directed. The ethical concern associated with this method is that it may cause the person to be embarrassed and result in other negative behavior. In contrast, negative punishment entails taking something good or desirable away from a person in order to reduce the occurrence of a specific behavior. An example of this would be is two children get into a fight at school over who will get to play with a certain toy, and the teacher takes the toy away from both of the children for their behavior. An ethical concern that sometimes arises with this method is that it does not teach the individuals involved in the unwanted behavior how to cope or change their behavior. By taking the toy away from both children, this may stop the fighting, but, it does not teach them how to compromise and resolve their dispute.

Positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement are two other methods used in psychology. Positive reinforcement is the adding of a reinforcing stimulus after a desired behavior that will make it more likely that the desired behavior will happen again in the future. An example of this would be if you do really well at work and your boss gives you a bonus. One ethical concern that may arise with this type of reinforcement is that a person may come to expect the stimulus given for the behavior and may then display undesired...

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