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Operant Conditioning Mrs. Hensley AP Psychology. Reinforcement Theory

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Presentation on theme: "Operant Conditioning Mrs. Hensley AP Psychology. Reinforcement Theory"— Presentation transcript:

1 Operant Conditioning Mrs. Hensley AP Psychology

2 Reinforcement Theory

3 The Behaviorist Perspective Burrhus (B.F.) Skinner was very much influenced by Watson’s behaviorist ideas. Also realized that the psychology proposed by Watson had some serious shortcomings. In particular, a psychology based wholly on classical conditioning assumes that organisms are essentially passive – they just hang around waiting for stimuli to respond to. To Skinner it seemed obvious that people and animals actively engage with their environments. Skinner’s important insight was that an animal’s – or a person’s – behavior was determined by the consequences of its past behavior

4 Skinner’s Main Ideas Operant Condition: future behavior is determined by the consequences of past behavior Reinforcement: consequence that strengthens a behavior Punishment: consequence that weakens a behavior Shaping: used to teach complex behaviors (broken down into a series of simple behaviors) Ex: used to teach tricks to animals Stimulus Control: learn that a certain behavior only brings reinforcement under certain conditions.

5 Reinforcers ConsequenceWhat it involvesEffect on behavior Positive ReinforcementPresenting something the organism likes Strengthened Negative ReinforcementRemoving something the organism doesn’t like Strengthened PunishmentPresenting something the organism doesn’t like Weakened

6 Operant Conditioning


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