Operant Conditioning in the Criminal Ju Essay

2660 Words Nov 23rd, 2014 11 Pages
Operant Conditioning in the Criminal Justice System
Z. M. Keys
Psychology of Criminal Behavior
CCJS 461
17 October 2014

"The only way to tell whether a given event is reinforcing to a given organism under given conditions is to make a direct test. We observe the frequency of a selected response, then make an event contingent upon it and observe any change in frequency. If there is a change, we classify the event as reinforcing to the organism under the existing conditions." (Skinner, 1953) What does that even mean? Scientists use so many worlds to say the simplest things. Basically, behavioral psychology is known as behaviorism and based on a theory of learning that is significantly contingent on the premise
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After associating the neutral stimulus and the unconditioned stimulus, the sound of the bell alone will start to evoke salivating as a response. The sound of the bell is now known as the conditioned stimulus and salivating in response to the bell is known as the conditioned response (Cherry, 2014) . The term operant conditioning, first came on the scene by Edward Thorndike. Edward Thorndike is famous in psychology for his work on learning theory that lead to the development of operant conditioning within behaviorism. However, “B.F. Skinner is responsible for expanding the field of behaviorism after the early work of E.L. Thorndike, and his law of effect. Skinner divided behaviorism into respondent conditioning and operant conditioning, the latter of which he defined as explaining how the consequence of a behavior controlled the future occurrence of that same behavior. Skinner believed all behavior could be explained by an action performed and the valence of its consequence. Skinner's most famous research studies were simple reinforcement experiments conducted on lab rats and domestic pigeons, which demonstrated the most basic principles of operant conditioning. His work remains extremely influential in the worlds of psychology, behaviorism, and education” (Boundless, 2014). The term operant conditioning, was latter coined by B.F. Skinner. Skinner’s work with operant theory was built off of Edward Thorndike’s theory. (McLeod S. A., 2007). Operant conditioning, is also
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