Essay on The Theory Of Operant Conditioning

Essay on The Theory Of Operant Conditioning

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Operant Conditioning looks at intentional actions that might have an effect on the surrounding environment. Thorndike was the first to conduct the study then behaviourists Skinner developed his study to explain how many aspects of the human behaviour are acquired. Skinner thought the classical conditioning was too simplistic to be a complete explanation of human behaviour. Thorndike 's study looked at the way cats would learn to escape from the puzzle box by trial and error. Cat did not immediately acquire the desirable escape behaviour, however it gradually increased their ability to show it. Thorndike found that responses that led to consequences was more likely to happen again than when any response led to undesirable consequences was less likely to be repeated. This became a principle known as the Law of Effect. According to Bandura et al (1977) social learning study, behaviour is learned from the environment via the process of observational learning. Compared to Skinner 's operant conditioning theory, Bandura (1977) believed that people are active information processors and they think about the relationship between their behaviour the consequences it comes with. The social learning theory suggests that aggression is learned from the environment through modelling. Modelling is learning by observing other people 's behaviour e.g. parents, celebrities siblings and friends, which may lead to imitation if behaviour imitated leads to desirable consequences

Classical conditioning has three ages. At every stage the stimuli and responses are given special scientific terms. Stage 1 is known as Before Conditioning: the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) pr...


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...were controlled. Variables such as the gender of the model, time children observed the model and behaviour of the model were controlled, Many psychologists are very critical about laboratory studies of imitation because they tend to have low ecological validity. The study involves child and an adult model, which is a very limited social situation because the model and the child are strangers which is unlike normal modelling which normally takes place within the family. The experiment was unethical for example, there is the problem of whether the children suffered any long-term consequences as a result of the study. This is unlikely but we can never be certain. The theory has been accused of being artificial as hitting the doll is not the same as inflicting aggression on a human being. Social learning theory suggest that media violence should be reduced dramatically

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