Operant Conditioning

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Operant conditioning is used to control behaviors. In operant conditioning behaviors are either reinforced or punished. Reinforcement is used when the behavior is desirable. Punishment is used to stop the behavior from occurring, or getting the behavior to occur frequently. There are two ways to use reinforcement, positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement reinforces a behavior by giving some type of reward for doing the behavior. Negative reinforcement is just the opposite; a behavior is reinforced by taking away a stimulus that is bothersome in the environment that causes the behavior to occur. After the desired behavior has occurred the annoying stimulus is removed. Punishment is also divided into positive and negative punishment. Positive punishment gives something as a…show more content…
An example of classical conditioning is if you were to snap your fingers before yelling at a child. The first time you do this the snap will be an unconditioned stimulus, because the child will not associate the snap with being in trouble therefore the child will not respond to the snap. When the child is yelled at they may naturally cry, this is the unconditioned response because it is not a behavior that has been taught. Yelling at the child is the unconditioned stimulus because it causes the child to react; in this case it makes the child cry. When you snap before yelling the child begins to associate the snap with being yelled at, making the snap becomes a conditioned stimulus. When the snap is used outside of when the child is being yelled at the child naturally reacts in the same manner, as when they are about to be yelled at, there reaction is a conditioned response. The snap is paired with the yelling so the child expects yelling after they hear a snap. The un-pairing of the snap and the yelling is called extinction, so the child would no longer anticipate to be yelled at after hearing a
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