Most Effective Form of Instrumental Conditioning in Teaching Someone An Exercise Routine

Most Effective Form of Instrumental Conditioning in Teaching Someone An Exercise Routine

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The psychologist B. F Skinner believed that “changes in behavior are the result of an individual’s response to events (stimuli) that occur in the environment” (All About Operant Conditioning, 2006, Para 2). The following paper will discuss a learning situation in which an exercise routine is thought. The paper will evaluate the application of instrumental conditioning to this learning situation. As part of the analysis the learning situation will be described, the paper will compare and contrast the concepts of positive and negative reinforcement as related to learning situation, and explain the role of reward and punishment in learning an exercise routine. Finally, the paper will explain which form of instrumental conditioning would be most effective in teaching someone an exercise routine. Instrumental conditioning is the learning procedure that believes that “the organism must act in a certain way before it is reinforced; that is, reinforcement is contingent on the organism’s behavior” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2005, pg 23). The major contributors of Instrumental conditioning are B.F Skinner, John Watson, and Edward Thorndike. These three theorists believed that “learning is the result of the application of consequences; that is, learners begin to connect certain responses with certain stimuli” (Huitt & Hummel, 1997, Para 1). In society the behaviors individuals manifest are learned behaviors which are learned through some form of conditioning.
The human brain is a “thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action” (Russo-Neustadt, Beard, & Cotman, 2000, p.305). It is believed that physical exercise improves the brain’s function and protects against cognitive decline. Studies on exe...

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...1, 2010 from
Hergenhahn, B.R., & Olson, M.H. (2005). An Introduction to theories of learning (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Huitt, W., & Hummel, J. (1997). An introduction to operant (instrumental) conditioning.
Educational Psychology Interactive. The Journal of Social Issues, 63 (1), 199. Retrieved
February 11, 2010 from ProQuest database.
Russo-Neustadt, A., Beard, Y., Cotman, C. (2000). Physical Activity and Antidepressant
Treatment Potentiate the Expression of Specific Brain-Derived Neurotrophic
Factor Transcripts in the Rat Hippocampus. Journal of Neuroscience. 101, 305-
312. Retrieved February 11, 2010 from ProQuest.
Terry, W.S. (2009). Learning & Memory: Basic principles, processes and procedures. (4th Ed). Boston. Allyn & Bacon.

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