Operant Conditioning Essay

948 words - 4 pages

Definition
Operant conditioning (sometimes referred to as instrumental conditioning) is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behaviour. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior.
Operant conditioning vs classic conditioning
Operant behaviour "operates" on the environment and is maintained by its consequences, while classical conditioning deals with the conditioning of reflexive (reflex) behaviors which are elicited by antecedent conditions. Behaviors conditioned via a classical conditioning procedure are not maintained by consequences
Origins of Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning was ...view middle of the document...

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Components of Operant Conditioning
Are reinforcement, punishment, and extinction
• Reinforcement is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with greater frequency. Reinforcement is the key element in Skinner's S-R theory. A reinforcer is anything that strengthens the desired response. It could be verbal praise, a good grade or a feeling of increased accomplishment or satisfaction. The theory also covers negative reinforcers -- punishment -- which result in reduced responses.

1. Positive reinforcement (Reinforcement): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus that is appetitive or rewarding, increasing the frequency of that behavior. Positive reinforcers are favorable events or outcomes that are presented after the behavior. In situations that reflect positive reinforcement, a response or behavior is strengthened by the addition of something, such as praise or a direct reward.

2. Negative reinforcement (Escape): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by the removal of an aversive stimulus, thereby increasing that behavior's frequency. Negative reinforcers involve the removal of an unfavorable events or outcomes after the display of a behavior. In these situations, a response is strengthened by the removal of something considered unpleasant.
In both of these cases of reinforcement, the behavior increases.
Punishment is a consequence that causes a behavior to occur with less frequency Punishment, on the other hand, is the presentation of an adverse event or outcome that causes a decrease in the behavior it follows. There are two kinds of punishment:

• Positive punishment (Punishment) (also called "Punishment by contingent stimulation"): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by a stimulus, such as introducing a shock or loud noise, resulting in a decrease in that behavior.Positive punishment, sometimes referred to as punishment by application, involves the presentation of an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows.

• Negative punishment (Penalty) (also called "Punishment by contingent withdrawal"): occurs when a behavior (response) is followed by the removal of a stimulus, such as taking away a child's toy following an...

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