OPERANTCONDITIONINGBehavioristic theory of learning byB.F.Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner• Born March 20, 1904 – Died August 18, 1990 ofleukemia• From a small Pennsylvania town of Susquehanna • His father was a lawyer• His mother was a housewife• Received his BA in English from Hamilton College inupstate New York• Skinner started his career as an English major, writingpoems and short stories. After this...• Skinner attended Harvard where he got his masters inpsychology (1930) and his doctorate (1931), and stayedthere to do research until 1936.• Studied in the field of psychology (Behaviors)
Continued..• In 1944, during World War II, Skinner worked on the“Project Pigeon” which trained pigeons to direct bombsby pecking at a target.• In 1943, when Yvonne was pregnant for the secondtime, Skinner designed the“baby tender,”a crib that was designed to besafer than a normal crib.
Skinner considers an operant as an actwhich constitutes an organisms doingsomething, e.g., raising the head, pushing alever etc.Operant
Operant Conditioning• Change in behavior is the outcome of an individualresponding to occurrences in the environment (stimuli)• If the subject is correctly stimulated it will give thesuitable response• When a stimulus-response pattern is reinforced(rewarded), the individual is conditioned to respond ina certain manner
The concept of reinforcement is identicalto the presentation of a reward. A reinforcer is the stimulus, thepresentation or removal of whichincreases the probability of a responsebeing repeated. There are two types of reinforcers:o Positive reinforceroReinforcer andReinforcement
Types of reinforcersPositive reinforcer Negative reinforcer
Punishment It occurs when alearners behaviordecreases as resultof being presentedwith an undesirableconsequence. Weakening ofbehavior by theelimination ofsomething desirableor the inability to getpositivereinforcement.Presentation ofpunishmentRemoval ofpunishment
Reinforcement or punishment? Steps to keep in mind:1. Ask yourself if the consequence leads to anincrease or decrease in behavior. BehaviorBehavior
Positive or negative?2. What action was involved in delivering theconsequence?
Example: Am ild e le ctricalcurre nt is adm iniste re d to arats brain afte r e ach tim e the rat pre sse s abar. Fo llo wing the e le ctricalstim ulatio n, therats bar pre ssing incre ase s.
Cont.… The behavior increases, therefore we aredealing with reinforcement. The consequence is given; therefore, we aredealing with a positive consequence. The consequence is positive reinforcement.
Now try this.. Linda has a co ld. She take s an antihistam inem e dicatio n, afte r which he r runny no se , ache s,and pains g o away. Linda is no w m o re like ly totake an antihistam ine whe n she g e ts a co ld inthe future .
Cont. The behavior(increases/decreases), thereforewe are dealingwith (reinforcement/punishment). The consequence is (given/taken); therefore,we are dealing witha (positive/negative) consequence. The consequence is (positivereinforcement/negative reinforcement).
Cont. The behavior increases, therefore we aredealing with reinforcement. The consequence is given; therefore, we aredealing with a positive consequence. The consequence is positive reinforcement.
Now try this.. Two te ache rs we re discussing the ir re spe ctivem e tho ds o f handling Do nna , a disruptive fo urthg rade r. Bo the te ache rs’ classe s we re o rde rly andattractive , and the use o f tim e -o ut se e m e d to be awo rthy try. The y bo th im ple m e nte d the te chniq ue ,ye t it wo rke d be tte r in Mrs. O te ro ’s class than inMr. Brant’s class. The y wo nde re d why.Ido n’t kno w, ” Mrs. O te ro co m m e nte d. “whe nshe m isbe have d, Ise nt he r to the tim e -o ut are aand to ld he r that she co uld co m e o ut whe n shewas re ady to be have . ”
Cont.“That doesn’t make sense to me,” Mr. Brantresponded. “I think you’re too easy on her. Isent her to the area and told her I would comeback and get her when it looked like she wasready to behave. Still, her behavior isimproving faster in your class.”
The behavior increases, therefore we aredealing with reinforcement. The consequence is taken away ; therefore,we are dealing with a negative consequence. The consequence is negative reinforcement.
Educational implications1. Use reinforcement rather than punishmentwhenever possible. When punishment isnecessary, use removal rather thanpresentation punishment. Example : giving tickets for task behavior. Example: giving behavior points initially, butthey loose points if they break arule/misbehave.
Educational implications2. Carefully select reinforcers for their potency.
Educational implications3. Promote generalization and discrimination byencouraging students to make comparisonsand to look for relationships among examplesand other items of information.
Educational implications4. Use appropriate schedules of reinforcement.
Educational implications5. Provide clear informative feedback on studentwork.
Educational implications6. Use praise judiciously.
Educational implications8. Provide cues for appropriate behavior.
Classical v/s operantconditioning1. It helps in thelearning ofrespondent behavior.2. It is called “S” typeconditioning toemphasize theimportance of thestimulus in elicitingthe desired response.1. It helps in thelearning of operantbehavior.2. It is called “R” typeconditioning toemphasize on theresponse.Classical conditioning Operant conditioning
Classical v/s operantconditioning3. In this type ofconditioning,beginning is beingmade with the helpof specific stimulithat bring certainresponses.3. Here beginning ismade with theresponses as theyoccur “naturally” or ifthey don’t occurnaturally, shapingthem into existence.Classical conditioning Operant conditioning
Classical v/s operantconditioning4. Here strengthening ofconditioning is usuallydetermined by themagnitude of theconditioned response,i.e., the amount ofsaliva (as in the caseof the classicalexperiment of Pavlovwith the dog).4. Here strength ofconditioning isshown by theresponse rate i.e.the rate at which anoperant responseoccurs as a result ofsome reinforcement.Classical conditioning Operant conditioning
A failure is not always a mistake, it may simplybe the best one can do under thecircumstances. The real mistake is to stoptrying. B. F. Skinner
Compiled and presented by:AltheaMichaelsDimpleGada