A Systematic Study Regarding Operant Conditioning

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Operant Conditioning
The first systematic study regarding operant conditioning was taken place in the 1800’s by the Psychologist, Thorndike. Thorndike simply defined operant conditioning as a process of learning to do something to get something in return. Formally defined, operant conditioning is a type of learning that is controlled by the consequences of an organism’s behavior. Operant conditioning can be useful when trying to avoid procrastination, increase efficacy of teaching, and to improve motivation. Therefore, when devising a weight loss program to increase the roommate’s chances of making it on the football team, the program would include the following operant principles and influences: law of effect, reinforcement (negative reinforcement), punishment, discriminative stimuli, and a strict schedule of reinforcement (a fixed interval schedule of reinforcement). Also, the program will be utilizing conditioned stimuli, conditioned responses, unconditioned stimuli, and unconditioned responses. Law of effect is defined as a principle of operant conditioning asserting that if a stimulus followed by a behavior results in a reward, the stimulus is more likely to give rise to the behavior in the future. With the roommate’s situation, he is trying to lose weight – his target behavior – and the program is going to include operant conditioned stimuli and responses that are going to affect his target behavior. The types of stimuli and responses the program utilizes includes:
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