Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning is behavior alterations by means of conditioning or shaping a new behavior to take the place of another being overhauled.
B.F. Skinner, who advocated operate conditioning to control aberrant behavior, developed reinforcements, or methods to help with the difficult task of putting in place other substitutions for bad behavior, or at least a behavior that was potentially destructive. This is still used by most psychologist even today. Take away something bad and in its place put something good.

He thought people should be responsible for their actions and to reap the rewards for good behavior and, consequently, suffer the consequences for wrong behavior. And isn’t that what we think today? As helps, since he understood changing patterns of objectionable behavior is not easy, he suggested using reinforcements as enticements toward change.

It’s as if you are telling your child, do that again, and I will take away your computer games. Again they leave off doing their homework as early in the afternoon and then suddenly remember it when it is bedtime. Since they have been warned, their games are taken away the next day. With this type or conditioning toward better behavior, consistency is the key word. If it is a sometimes thing, all you are doing is confusing your children. You are not only not going to get them to change their bad habits you are alerting them to the fact you are just talking and it means nothing.

The above is an example of a negative reinforcement. Psychic pain is afflicted. As an example of positive reinforcement, because the child has been getting the homework everyday and then playing his computer games, he will be rewarded while he is doing his home work with a special treat.

Most often this type of behavior modification is known as conditioning. It is the method pets are trained. Good behavior is rewarded, bad behavior is not rewarded but is subjected to some form of denial.

This type of psychological maneuvering to effect changes in behavior was first used by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, who demonstrated the method by using it to train dogs. Each time food was served, a bell would ring. After many repetitions, only the bell ringing would start the dogs salivating.

B.F. Skinner, a U.S. psychologist carried his conditioning further and labeled his methods of rewards and reinforcements Operant Behavior.