Skinner Operant Conditioning

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Burrhus Frederic Skinner (B.F. Skinner) was born on March 20, 1904, in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. Skinner most notably was known for his work such as: Project Pigeon, The Baby Tender, Walden Two, and lastly he generated better methods of teaching for learning children including those with autism. Skinner gave an emotional speech at the American Psychological Association (APA) convention just ten days before his death. He died due to leukemia on August 18, 1990. At this convention, he received an unprecedented Citation for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, the only person to receive this type of an award in the history of APA. During his career, Skinner received other honors and awards, including serving as William James Lecturer …show more content…

Skinner identified three types of responses: • Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated. • Reinforcers: Reinforcers can be either positive or negative. • Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated (McLeod, 2015). Skinner believed that most human behaviors are learned through operant conditioning. The significance of operant conditioning is the immediate reinforcement of a response. Reinforcement changes the frequency of a response or the probability that a response will occur. Shaping Shaping is a procedure in which the experimenter or the environment first rewards gross approximations of the behavior, then closer approximations, and finally the desired behavior itself. Through this process of reinforcing successive approximations, the experimenter or the environment gradually shapes the final complex set of …show more content…

For instance, if I received bad grades in school then my parents would take away privileges such as video games, TV, or my curfew would be nonexistent and I couldn’t hang out with my friends. The only way to end the punishment was to bring proof that my grades were back up to my parent’s standards. Skinner showed how negative reinforcement worked once again with the use of the Skinner box. The rats learned to avoid the unpleasant electric current by going straight to the lever after a few times of being put in the box. Punishment Lastly, punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it. Punishment can work either by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus after an undesired response or by removing a potentially rewarding stimulus. There are many problems with using punishment, such as: • Punished behavior is suppressed and the behavior returns when punishment is no longer present. • Causes increased

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that operant conditioning is a means to change behavior by the use of reinforcement. skinner identified three types of responses.
  • Explains that neutral operants are responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated.
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