Operant Conditioning The Process Of Learning Essay

Operant Conditioning The Process Of Learning Essay

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“Behavior theory consists of ideas about how human actions and emotions develop, are sustained, and are extinguished through principles of learning” (Walsh, 2010). Positive and negative reinforcement is used to help manipulate the behaviors of the individual. The theory has been used to help eliminate unwanted behaviors. In addition, behavior theory has been use primarily with children, and persons with developmental disabilities. According to Walsh (2010) behavior theory evolved in the 1960s from a field of philosophy to the field of science. Ivan Pavlov discovered classical conditioning, which plays a major role in behavioral theory. Classical conditioning is the process of learning through ones surroundings, conditioned, and unconditioned stimuli and response. B. F. Skinner discovered operant conditioning the process of learning to influence the future responses to the environment (Clark, 2004). The two concepts has been used throughout the behavior theory to help assist clients with unacceptable behaviors that is occurring. The combination of the two concepts has been a very helpful aspect to the behavior theory. Both concepts offer a different approach or solution to the behavior of the client.
Assumptions and implications
Moreover, behavioral theory has been a very controversial theory among the scientific world. Many implications and assumptions has been made. An assumption that has been made is the “people behave based on their learning, by direct environmental feedback, and also by watching others behave and interact” (Walsh, 2010). Other assumptions suggests that the individual can be motivated by positive and negative reinforcement. Also, seeking pleasure motivates and individual more than pain is avoided. Assumption...


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...orth to replace the negative behaviors. When those negative behaviors start to exist is when behavior therapy would come into play. For instance, a replacement for would be to give the child time out for fussing or fighting. A measurement of length of the time the child spent arguing would be kept track of, so that he can see how much time he or she is wasting doing negative things. An alternate plan would be to reward the child every time he or she has not gotten into trouble that day for fussing or fighting. The laws of effect described by King (2012), when behaviors are followed by a positive outcome they are strengthened. If they are followed by a negative outcome they can sometimes be weakened (2012). The social worker at that point should build a relationship with the client to figure out what concept would work best to increase positive outcomes in treatment.

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