Saturday, November 23, 2013
Explain in your own words operant conditioning as theorized by B. F. Skinner. If it would help, use an example to demonstrate how the concepts influence an individual’s personality.
Conditioning is a type of learning. Operant conditioning as theorized by B.F. Skinner is one type of learning. Specifically, this type of conditioning or learning through Skinner's belief is that the majority of individuals' behaviors are a result of learning through operant conditioning. A key component of operant conditioning is immediate reinforcement of an organism's response. Reinforcement is performed through either a reward or punishment. Reinforcement is not the cause of behavior but it increases the likelihood that behavior will recur. Therefore, in operant conditioning when immediate reinforcement occurs a behavior is more likely to recur. Unlike in classical conditioning; this is where a behavior is given freely by an organism without reward or punishment. An example of operant conditioning is where I give my children an immediate reward for desirable behavior at school and at home. The reward in this case increases the likelihood that their good behavior will recur. Another example is when undesirable behavior occurs from one of my children then I immediately take away their reward, which is used to decrease or prevent their undesirable behavior. The reward is not reestablished until desirable behavior recurs.