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- Date Submitted: 05/23/2012 10:05 PM
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This paper will discuss the theories of B. F. Skinner such as operant conditioning and behaviorism. B. F. Skinner started as a writer, but not finding much success he returned to school, after reading about the conditioning experiments of Watson and Pavlov, he decided to enroll as a graduate student majoring in psychology, acquiring his Ph.D. He was a teacher and an avid inventor. Although, he had not had much success with writing fiction and poetry, but later he became known as one of the best psychology writers. This paper will include theories, his contribution to psychology, and behavioral concepts in psychology.
Theory of Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning is known as the changes in behavior resulting from an individual's response to events or stimuli that occur in the environment. First a response must be triggered to produce a consequence. For Skinner, this is called a stimulus-response or S-R pattern. When the S-R pattern is reinforced, an individual or animal can be conditioned to respond. For example, you have a child that is getting ready to potty train, but they are afraid, you tell them that you will buy them a treat if they actually go potty. They finish their business and you reward them. This is conditioning a response.
The Skinner Box
The Skinner box is one of Skinner's experiments with operant conditioning. This experiment was a box or chamber that Skinner made in order to study animal behavior, or operant behavior. Within the box, a rat was placed and was deprived of food. He was free to roam within the box. The rat would eventually hit and activate a lever or a bar that would release a food pellet onto a tray. After the rat would get a few pellets, the conditioning would happen rather fast. The rat's behavior was operated on the environment and it's able to receive food.
Behaviorism is any physical action being considered a behavior. His behaviorism was devoted to the study of response....