Operant Conditioning and Child Rearing
Most people consider that learning takes place as a natural response from animals to diverse experiences. Nevertheless, learning is part of a more complex process that takes place when humans experience diverse events. Classical and operant conditioning are basic learning forms by which diverse patterns of behavior are acquired when a well-defined stimuli is present in a life experience. This paper discusses how the concept of operant conditioning may be applied in educating a child.
Prior to discussing the concept it deems pertinent defining “operant conditioning as a form of cognition in which a voluntary response is strengthened or weakened, ...view middle of the document...
Feldman (2009) asserts that reinforcers, as well as, rewards increase the likelihood that a preceding response takes place again. However, there is a difference between these terms as rewards are considered limited to positive events while reinforcers can involve positive or negative outcomes. In operant conditioning behavior is strengthened by providing a consequence that the individual considers rewarding. Conversely, the removal of an unpleasant reinforcer known as “negative reinforcement” can also help strengthen behaviors because it involves the stop or removal of an adverse stimulus (Feldman, 2009).
The concept of operant conditioning has been associated with increasing the chances that a behavior is repeated, for instance, it can be use to increase the likelihood that a behavior is repeated. For instance, operant conditioning can be used to create in a child the habit of cleaning his or her room. When parents want to get their children to complete an assigned chore like cleaning their rooms they can create a simple plan using operant conditioning to motivate the children to repeat the desired behavior.
The first step is to create the expectations of what the parent considers the desired outcome in terms of scheduling and goals. For example, how many times is a child to clean his or her room in a determined period, or what does the parent consider a clean and organized room should be, and the development stage of the child involved in the desired behavior. This means that chores are to be tailored to the child developmental stage. The following step is to communicate those expectations to the child and ensure the child understands what is expected of him or her, and that from now on behaviors are tide to consequences that positive or negative behaviors are to have positive or negative reinforcement. Therefore, for completing or not all the assigned chores the child will be reinforced accordingly.
When all required chores are completed and the parent has supervised that the child completed satisfactory, the child receives a reward that can take various forms like periodic allowance, additional TV or play time, it all depends on how the parents and the child establish the motivating reward for the behavior to take place again. The reinforcement the child receive for cleaning his or her room serves as a positive...