A Research Study On Operant Learning Essay example

1166 Words Jun 24th, 2015 null Page
Operant learning, also known as instrumental, consequence, or response learning, is experiences where the behavior is made stronger or weaker by its consequence (Chance, 2014). This term coined by B.F. Skinner, a psychologist, after studying the behavior of a rat, within a box that contained food and a lever, was built on the foundation given by E.L. Thorndike’s Law of Effect (Chance, 2014). Skinner recognized two kinds of reinforcing events; one in which a positive stimulus is presented and the other which and aversive stimulus is removed. The point of reinforcement is to grow the likelihood of that behavior happening again. While punishment decreases the likelihood of the behavior happening again. One thing to remember is that the purpose of positive and negative reinforcement is to strengthen a behavior. Whereas the purpose of positive and negative punishment is to weaken a behavior. The positive and negative connotation refers to a stimulus either being added or subtracted (Chance, 2014).
Negative reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened following the withdrawal of an aversive stimulus (Iwata, 1987). An example of negative reinforcement would be taking some sort of painkiller to relieve pain. The behavior, taking the painkiller is reinforced by the removal of said pain. By contrast, positive reinforcement, is the addition or presentation of an enjoyable stimulus (positive reinforce) (Kelleher & Gollub, 1962). An example of positive reinforcement would be…

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