The Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay

The Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay

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Behaviorism revolves around the measurable and observable characteristics of human behavior, and is based off of the principle that behavior is a result of stimulus-response associations. The purpose of this learning theory is using conditioning in order to acquire a desired behavior. Once understood, the use of behaviorism can be an effective tool in the classroom for educators to use.
The two main discoverers of this learning theory are John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner. Watson believed that human behavior was a result of the environment and the stimuli that brought about specific responses from it. He believed that the human development could be determined from what is observed instead of trying to decipher what kind of brain processes or subconscious motives were involved. This view that Watson had is part of the idea of classical conditioning (Standridge).
Skinner expanded on Watson’s ideas and came up with what is known now as operant conditioning. His model included a broader idea of what is used in conditioning. This idea of operant conditioning is based off of Skinner’s observations that both animals and humans repeat behaviors that lead towards a reward and tend to not repeat acts that cause undesired consequences (Standridge).
Classical conditioning is a learning process that uses two stimuli to obtain a desired response. The response originally is a reaction to the second stimulus, but it eventually becomes a response to the first stimulus as well. It all begins with an unconditioned stimulus and an unconditioned response. This form of stimulus and response are what comes naturally (McLeod, Classical Conditioning).
Once the unconditioned stimulus and response is identified, the unconditioned stimulus is paired with ...


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... him to clean the classroom during recess or send him to the principal’s office. Another example would be if a class was being loud and disruptive, the teacher would make them sit at their desks with no talking and would give them extra homework to do.
When I become a teacher, I hope to use these different techniques in my classroom. To be specific, I will use behaviorism to instill discipline in my classroom and help students work more efficiently in their studies. Classical conditioning is a good method to use when trying to teach students to follow a specific daily routine. Operant conditioning is an effective method to use when trying to cause children have a positive outlook on school, and to give motivation to create quality work. When used properly, these various methods of behaviorism can be used as effective tools to ensure a superior classroom experience.

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