The Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay

1021 Words Jul 13th, 2015 5 Pages
Operant Conditioning
Leslie Thomas
PSY/390
July 10, 2015 Instructor: Patricia Anstatt Introduction
From the very beginning of the history of psychology, psychologists and scientists have been studying the concept of learning, and the many different ways animals and human beings can store and access information. There are many difference theories associated with learning, all with their advantages, disadvantages and specific characteristics that try to explain the sometimes mysterious ways human minds work when trying to learn. Edward Thorndike formulated the law of effect theory. His theory was the starting point for B.F. Skinner and the formulation of operant conditioning (Wood, Wood, & Boyd, 2011). B. F. Skinner began using the term operant conditioning in 1937. The purpose of Skinner’s work was reflex physiology (Starring & Cerutti, 2003). Skinner’s views were different than the views of behaviorism that came before him. The primary element in Skinner’s work was operant behavior, or behavior that was controlled by its consequences. Many people would call this behavior a habit. Skinner’s theories have become an important component in psychology and child-rearing. The uses of Skinner’s operant behavior theories are evident in various aspects of psychology including behavior modification therapy.

Operant Conditioning Theory
From his research, Skinner concluded that living organisms were conditioned by their…

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