Operant Conditioning Is A Common Strategy Essay

2106 Words9 Pages
Operant conditioning is a common strategy to analyze animal and human behaviors in psychology. Operant conditioning is broadly defined as a type of behavioral learning that utilizes the consequences of behavior. This is commonly shown through the classic experiment conducted by B. F Skinner with a rat in a chamber. This box, often called a Skinner box effect, has two key components: a lever and food pellet distribution slot. Once the rat is isolated in the box, it commonly explores its surroundings. When the rat presses the lever, a food pellet is given, causing the rat to press the lever at a higher rate for the reward. In operant conditioning, reinforcements and punishments are used to determine the causality of a certain tasks performed. Reinforcement is a consequence that strengthens a behavior, much like the rat in the Skinner box. On the contrary, punishment weakens a certain behavior. Classical conditioning is another strategy used to analyze behavior, but as opposed to operant conditioning, a consequence is not presented. This strategy illustrates that behavior can be learned through paired stimuli, eliciting a response when one stimulus is presented. This can be shown through Pavlov’s dog experiments. Pavlov discovered that when ringing a bell was paired with the food reward, the dog learned that the bell indicated food being presented next. Thus the dog salivated every time the bell was heard, despite the presence of food. The main difference between operant and
Get Access