Video:What Is Operant Conditioning?with Jennifer D'Amore
Operant conditioning is a popular method in behavioral conditioning. Learn more about how operant conditioning is used in psychology in this video.See Transcript
Transcript:What Is Operant Conditioning?
Hi I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is all about operant conditioning. What is it?
Operant Conditioning is Based on Rewards and Punishment
Behaviorist B.F. Skinner coined the term operant conditioning to describe the learning method that uses rewards and punishment. It explains how we learn our behaviors from external, observable causes, rather than crediting internal thoughts and motivations with causing our behavior. Operant conditioning happens around us all the time, when we receive praise for a job well done, or are reprimanded or punished for doing something unfavorable.
Operant Conditioning Changes Behavior
In operant conditioning reinforcement strengthens a behavior and punishment decreases a behavior. There are of course positive and negative reinforcers, and positive and negative punishments.Positive reinforcement is the presenting of something favorable to reward and encourage a behavior. Like earning a gold star for doing your homework. Negative reinforcement is sometimes misunderstood. It's the removal of something unpleasant to also encourage the continuing of a behavior.
Examples of Operant Conditioning
Both positive and negative reinforcement cause a behavior to increase. While positive and negative punishment both cause a behavior to decrease. Positive punishment presents something unwanted to discourage a behavior. An example would be having to do extra chores because you miss your curfew. Negative punishment, or "punishment by removal," is denying or removing something favorable to discourage a behavior, like canceling a trip to the movies because a child is misbehaving. Examples of operant conditioning happen around us all the time, from classrooms to the dog park.
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