Theories Of Operant Conditioning

analytical Essay
831 words
831 words

In Psychology there are many different learning styles. One of the more famous learning styles is operant conditioning. In operant conditioning there are two major concepts; reinforcement and punishment. By using these two concepts, behaviors can be encouraged or reduce a certain behavior. 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 …show more content…

Behaviorists wanted to test different patterns of reinforcements, to see how long a behavior would be maintained or forgotten. The first ratio tested was continuous reinforcement. In continuous reinforcement an animal is rewarded every time they complete a certain behavior. The next reinforcement schedule was the fixed ratio schedule. In fixed ratio, a behavior is rewarded after a certain amount of correct responses. An example would be given a reward after three correct answers. The next schedule would be fixed interval reinforcement. In fixed interval reinforcement, a person is rewarded for doing a task for a certain amount of time, such as being paid by the hour. Variable ratio is the next type of schedule. With Variable ratio the reward would be at unpredictable intervals. Examples would be slot machines, as there is no set amount of tries or time before you are rewarded. This is the most effective schedule of behavior because it encourages continuous behavior, instead of a set number of tries or a certain amount of time. Lastly is the variable interval reinforcement, which has a reward given after a certain amount of time, such as completing a task in five

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that psychology has many different learning styles, including operant conditioning and reinforcement and punishment, and how behaviors can be shaped using these and other methods.
  • Explains skinner introduced the concept of reinforcement, which is when something is given or taken to increase the likelihood of a certain behavior.
  • Analyzes how skinner reinforced behavior by using negative reinforcement. rats would be placed in a box and the floor would give an electric shock.
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