Operant Conditioning As A Type Of Learning Essay

Operant Conditioning As A Type Of Learning Essay

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The first systematic study regarding operant conditioning was taken place in the 1800’s by the Psychologist, Thorndike. Thorndike formally defined operant conditioning as a type of learning that is controlled by the consequences of an organism’s behavior. However according to lecture, operant conditioning can be simply thought as performing an action in order to receive a reward. Operant conditioning can be useful when trying to deal with procrastination, increase efficacy of teaching, or to improve motivation. Therefore, operant conditioning can be used as a behavioral modification program to devise a more specific weight loss program to increase the roommate’s chances of making it on the football team. The program will include the following operant principles and influences: law of effect, reinforcement, punishment, discriminative stimuli, and a strict schedule of reinforcement.
Law of effect is defined as a principle of operant conditioning asserting that if a stimulus followed by a behavior results in a reward, the stimulus is more likely to give rise to the behavior in the future. With the roommate’s situation, he is trying to lose weight – his target behavior – and the program is going to include operant conditioned stimuli and responses, such as healthy and unhealthy types of food that are going to affect his target behavior.
An important factor that influences operant conditioning is reinforcement. Reinforcement is the outcome or influence of a behavior that strengthens the probability of the behavior. Regarding the roommate’s behavioral modification program, there will be a positive and negative reinforcement utilized. Negative reinforcement is the removal of a stimulus that strengthens the probability o...


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...ffect, reinforcement, punishment, discriminative stimuli, and a strict schedule of reinforcement that the roommate will be utilizing ensures a proper weight-loss behavioral modification program designed for reaching goals, increasing health efficiency, providing long-term benefits, and all while keeping practicality in mind. Moreover, law of effect was used to define the variables and influences associated with the program; reinforcement facilitated achieving the target behavior; the fixed interval reinforcement schedule provided long-term motivation to achieve success; punishment to decrease undesired behavior or responses; and discriminative stimuli was used to ensure activation of the appropriate response and behavior. Utilization of this behavior modification program will ensure completion of the roommate 's weight-loss program and hopefully successful admission.

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Operant Conditioning As A Type Of Learning Essay

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