🔥🔥🔥 Operant Conditioning Essay

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Operant Conditioning Essay



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B.F. Skinner's Operant Conditioning: Managing Students' Behavior in the Classroom

Staff implementing a token economy programme have a lot of power. It is important that staff do not favor or ignore certain individuals if the programme is to work. Therefore, staff need to be trained to give tokens fairly and consistently even when there are shift changes such as in prisons or in a psychiatric hospital. A further important contribution made by Skinner is the notion of behavior shaping through successive approximation.

Skinner argues that the principles of operant conditioning can be used to produce extremely complex behavior if rewards and punishments are delivered in such a way as to encourage move an organism closer and closer to the desired behavior each time. To do this, the conditions or contingencies required to receive the reward should shift each time the organism moves a step closer to the desired behavior. According to Skinner, most animal and human behavior including language can be explained as a product of this type of successive approximation.

In the conventional learning situation, operant conditioning applies largely to issues of class and student management, rather than to learning content. It is very relevant to shaping skill performance. A simple way to shape behavior is to provide feedback on learner performance, e. A variable-ratio produces the highest response rate for students learning a new task, whereby initially reinforcement e. For example, if a teacher wanted to encourage students to answer questions in class they should praise them for every attempt regardless of whether their answer is correct.

Gradually the teacher will only praise the students when their answer is correct, and over time only exceptional answers will be praised. Unwanted behaviors, such as tardiness and dominating class discussion can be extinguished through being ignored by the teacher rather than being reinforced by having attention drawn to them. Knowledge of success is also important as it motivates future learning.

However, it is important to vary the type of reinforcement given so that the behavior is maintained. Skinner's study of behavior in rats was conducted under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. Note that Skinner did not say that the rats learned to press a lever because they wanted food. He instead concentrated on describing the easily observed behavior that the rats acquired. In the Skinner study, because food followed a particular behavior the rats learned to repeat that behavior, e. Therefore research e. Skinner proposed that the way humans learn behavior is much the same as the way the rats learned to press a lever. So, if your layperson's idea of psychology has always been of people in laboratories wearing white coats and watching hapless rats try to negotiate mazes in order to get to their dinner, then you are probably thinking of behavioral psychology.

Behaviorism and its offshoots tend to be among the most scientific of the psychological perspectives. The emphasis of behavioral psychology is on how we learn to behave in certain ways. We are all constantly learning new behaviors and how to modify our existing behavior. Operant conditioning can be used to explain a wide variety of behaviors, from the process of learning, to addiction and language acquisition.

It also has practical application such as token economy which can be applied in classrooms, prisons and psychiatric hospitals. However, operant conditioning fails to take into account the role of inherited and cognitive factors in learning, and thus is an incomplete explanation of the learning process in humans and animals. For example, Kohler found that primates often seem to solve problems in a flash of insight rather than be trial and error learning. Also, social learning theory Bandura, suggests that humans can learn automatically through observation rather than through personal experience. The use of animal research in operant conditioning studies also raises the issue of extrapolation.

Some psychologists argue we cannot generalize from studies on animals to humans as their anatomy and physiology is different from humans, and they cannot think about their experiences and invoke reason, patience, memory or self-comfort. McLeod, S. Skinner - operant conditioning. Simply Psychology. Bandura, A. Social learning theory. Ferster, C. Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Kohler, W. The mentality of apes. Skinner, B. The behavior of organisms: An experimental analysis. New York: Appleton-Century. Superstition' in the pigeon. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38 , How to teach animals.

Science and human behavior. Thorndike, E. Animal intelligence: An experimental study of the associative processes in animals. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 2 4 , i Watson, J. Psychology as the behaviorist views it. Psychological Review, 20 , — Simply psychology. Presenting the subject with something that it likes. Toggle navigation. Note: It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement. Download this article as a PDF. How to reference this article: How to reference this article: McLeod, S. The psychiatric nurse as a behavioral engineer.

Journal of the Experimental Analysis of behavior, 2 4 , Back to top. Operant conditioning involves learning through the consequences of behavior. Reward — in the sense of removing or avoiding some aversive painful stimulus. Imposing an aversive or painful stimulus. These are stimuli which are naturally reinforcing because they directly satisfy a need. These are stimuli, which are reinforcing through their association with a primary reinforcer.

You cannot eat it or drink it, but if you have it, you can buy whatever you want. Using operant conditioning can give students immediate feedback about their behavior. When the teacher rewards positive behavior, other students are more likely to copy that behavior to earn the reward. The rewarded student is also more likely to repeat that behavior because of the positive feedback. Immediate feedback is also useful in curtailing negative classroom behaviors. Light punishment or withholding of praise can function as operant conditioning in education. When the teacher punishes negative behavior, other students will want to avoid that punishment, and so they will be less likely to perform that behavior. The punished student will be less likely to repeat the behavior as well, though outside factors may come into play.

Using operant conditioning in the classroom can be part of a sound classroom management strategy. However, relying too heavily on operant conditioning alone has its drawbacks. Operant conditioning in education relies on extrinsic motivation, or factors outside the students themselves used to motivate behaviors. The downside to extrinsic motivation is that it is less permanent than intrinsic motivation, or motivation that comes from inside the self.

Intrinsic motivation exists without the presence of external motivating factors. But when extrinsic motivations are relied on too heavily, when those motivating factors are removed, the behaviors they shaped are more likely to decrease or disappear as well. Effective classroom management techniques use a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors.

By either using positive or negative reinforcement, we can be able to Operant Conditioning Essay or discourage a certain Early Life Stress In Kurt Cobains Life Operant Conditioning Essay we desire. College essay about Operant Conditioning Essay dinner. Class presentations are one of Operant Conditioning Essay mandatory class activities held in most schools. Classical Operant Conditioning Essay Extinction, spontaneous Operant Conditioning Essay, generalization, discrimination. However, punishment is not simply the Operant Conditioning Essay of reinforcement, due to Operant Conditioning Essay fact Operant Conditioning Essay it can have several undesirable side effects, such as increased Operant Conditioning Essay and fear Operant Conditioning Essay the punisher.