Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What theoretical concepts are attributed to B. F. Skinner? Which one of these concepts had the greatest effect on the field of psychology? Why?

          B.F. Skinner was an American psychologist, who developed theoretical concepts that had an influential effect on psychology then and still today at the present time. Skinner's theoretical concepts influence students, psychologist, psychiatrist, and psychology. Theoretical concepts contributed by Skinner include radical behaviorism, operant behavior, type S and type R conditioning (operant conditioning), which led the way for Skinner to be regarded  as the father of operant conditioning. Skinner's operant conditioning is based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Every theoretical concept of Skinner had an effect on the field of psychology but I think Type R (operant conditioning) is the concept that had the greatest effect on the field of psychology. Type R (operant conditioning) is a fundamental concept in behavioral psychology. Olson and Hergenhahn (2013) "two general principles are associated with Type R conditioning: (1) any response that is followed by a reinforcing stimulus tends to be repeated; and (2) a reinforcing stimulus is anything that increases the rate with which an operant response occurs" (p. 75). Therefore, learning occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior, and there is an association between a behavior and the consequence for said behavior.   

Olson, M. H. & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2013). An introduction to theories of learning (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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