B. F. Skinner's Operant Conditioning

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In this research, the writer uses the theory of B.F Skinner explain behavioral psychology. Skinner believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning. Skinner 's theory of operant conditioning was based on the work of Thorndike (1905). Edward Thorndike studied learning in animals using a puzzle box to propose the theory known as the 'Law of Effect '.
According to Rebber (1995) psychology is what scientists and philosophers of various persuasions have created to understand the minds and behaviors of various organisms from the most primitive to the most complex. From the definition above, it is clear that psychology is related to the mental
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Operant Conditioning
Skinner is regarded as the father of operant conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect - Reinforcement. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened).
Skinner (1948) studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a 'Skinner Box ' which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box.
B.F. Skinner (1938) coined the term operant conditioning; it means roughly changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.
a) Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated.
b) Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative.
c) Punishers: Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens
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4. Punishment (weakens behavior)
Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it.
Like reinforcement, punishment can work either by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus like a shock after a response or by removing a potentially rewarding stimulus, for instance, deducting someone’s pocket money to punish undesirable behavior.It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement.
5. Behavior Modification
Behavior modification is a set of therapies / techniques based on operant conditioning (Skinner, 1938). The main principle comprises changing environmental events that are related to a person 's behavior. For example, the reinforcement of desired behaviors and ignoring or punishing undesired ones.
This is not as simple as it sounds — always reinforcing desired behavior, for example, is basically bribery.
There are different types of positive reinforcements. Primary reinforcement is when a reward strengths a behavior by itself. Secondary reinforcement is when something strengthens a behavior because it leads to a primary reinforcer. Examples of behavior modification therapy include token economy and behavior
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