Introduction Punishment is a process through which “the consequence of a response decreases the likelihood that the response will recur” (Gray, 2002, pp.115). Further, punishment can be seen as an effort to decrease the response rate to stimuli by either removing a desired stimulus or presenting one which is undesired (Gray, 2002). Recent studies suggest that punishment can be an effective method of behaviour modification. However, as reported in Lerman and Vorndran (2002), there are a number of limitations to punishment as an intervention and subsequent negative side effects. For this reason, certain principles upon which the implementation of a successful punishment is dependent must be adhered to.
When a desired stimulus-response pattern is reinforced (rewarded), the individual is conditioned to respond in a certain way, and learning takes place. Reinforcement is a vital element in Skinner's Stimulus-Response Theory. A reinforcer is anything that strengthens a desired response, such as verbal praise, or a good grade. Skinner's theory also covers negative reinforcers, and punishment that lead to the reduction of undesired responses. Further, attention is given to schedules of reinforcement used to establish and maintain behaviour.
The theory also covers negative reinforcers -- any stimulus that results in the increased frequency of a response when it is withdrawn (different from adversive stimuli -- punishment -- which result in reduced responses). A great deal of attention was given to schedules of reinforcement (e.g. interval versus ratio) and their effects on establishing and maintaining behavior. One of the distinctive aspects of Skinner's theory is that it attempted to provide behavioral explanations for a broad range of cognitive phenomena. For example, Skinner explained drive (motivation) in terms of deprivation and reinforcement schedules.
Negative reinforcement is “ an increase in behavior that results from an aversive stimulus being removed or avoided” (Pearson, chapter 6 pg. 222). Unlike reinforcement, punishment is design to curve or discourage undesirable behavior. Punishment can also be placed into two categories; presentation punishment and removal punishment. These were meant to have the opposite effect of the positive and negative reinforcement.
We must understand what influenced Skinner to research on operant conditioning. Thorndike’s law of effect focused on the learning by the consequences of the behavior used. Law of effect is defined as any behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and any behavior followed by un-pleasant consequences is likely to be stopped according to Thorndike, E. L. (1898). There is also the law of exercise that states the more an act is used in a situation, the more strongly the act becomes associated with the situation. The law of effect is the what, and the law of exercise can be looked as how often?
Eliminating agoraphobia is basically achieving self-control through behaviour modification. Behaviour modification is systematically changing behaviour through the application of the principles of conditioning (Weiten, 1998). The specific principle used here is systematic desensitisation. The two basic responses displayed are anxiety and relaxation, which are incompatible responses. Systematic desensitisation works by reconditioning people so that the conditioned stimulus elicits relaxation instead of anxiety.
According to Kendra Cherry(2002), behaviorist believe that the way we respond/react to environmental stimuli shapes our behavior. In other words, the way one is brought up and the surroundings of the person are the things that shape the way the person behaves. Classical conditioning is a “type of learning”, which had a huge influence on the school of thought in psychology known as behaviorism. It is a learning process which occurs through pairings of two or more types of stimuli’s. Classical conditioning involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally present reflex.
Next would be the different schedules of reinforcement that effect how often a behavior is likely to continue. Lastly the article goes on to state how behaviors can be shaped using these and other various methods. In the beginning of the article the author stated that the father of operant conditioning was B.F. Skinner. Skinner introduced the concept of reinforcement. Reinforcement was when something was given or taken to increase the likelihood of a certain
Positive punishment is when you add something to a situation, like a spanking, to decrease a behavior. Negative punishment is when you take something away from a situation, like a cell phone, to decrease a behavior. There is sometimes confusion between positive punishment and negative reinforcement because they both involve aversive events (Chance, 2008). The best way to discriminate between the two is to remember punishment means to decrease behavior and reinforcement means to increase behavior. There have been two important theories to explain the phenomenon of punishment suppression (Dunham, 1971) The first one, proposed by Thorndike in 1913, stated that any painful or unpleasant event would weaken the response which preceded that event (Dunham, 1971) This was the negative Law of Effect and has not had much attention after Thorndike rejected the notion in 1932(Dunham, 1971).
What is Operant Conditioning? Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning, and explains why people voluntarily make changes in their behavior. (King, 2016) When people discover that certain actions cause certain consequences, they will voluntarily make changes to their behavior. In operant conditioning, there are several different ways that it occurs. Positive, negative, reinforcement, and punishment are all terms used in operant conditioning.