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B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning - Research Paper Example

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B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning

Subjects opt for alternatives that result to low risks. Choice introduces self-control where the subject learns how to wait for better rewards instead of settling on immediate smaller rewards. A reinforcement schedule delivers reinforcement to an organism according to a predefined rule. Food is a common reinforcement used to condition hungry rats and pigeons. The schedule delivers the food for a switch closure as a result of a lever press or a peck. Similar experiments have been conducted on humans and the results are similar to those from animals. However, human beings have resulted into a wider range of adopted behavioral strategies compared to animals. A time-based schedule is the most effective where the reinforcement is delivered after a fixed or variable time period. A time marker or the reinforcement is utilized in time-based schedules. Trial-by-trial versions are also utilized during conditioning. For example, in the fixed interval schedule, an inter-trial interval precedes each trial and extra-empty trials where no food is given to the rats. In operant conditioning, the acquired behavior is reversible and can only be repeated when the reinforcement is available. ...
This is evident in different results from subsequent results of the experimental history. This indicates that the animal has undergone some internal transformation, but the learned behavior is reversible. Several researchers have encountered problems when uncovering the reversible behavior and the nonreversible internal state of the animal. Skinner is concerned with the reversible behavior and not the internal state of the subject. This makes it difficult to draw a plausible conclusion on the cause of the reversible behavior when a second reinforcement is withdrawn after a short exposure. During conditioning, the organism is exposed to the reinforcement at timed intervals. Doubling the interval time doubles the wait time after a learning period. The organism develops an approximation to the interval to be timed. In some procedures, the organism can be exposed to a stimulus and different responses are expected after an absolute or relative duration. The subject can be exposed to two stimuli that confront it with two choices. For example, a rat can be given food after either a press on the left or right lever. After a learning period, the subject is presented with the two stimuli in lieu, which introduces the question of how it distributes the responses. The subject has to develop an intermediate duration in order to differentiate between the two stimuli. Other factors such as the degree of hunger can influence the response during a fixed interval procedure. A time discrimination procedure can mitigate this problem. The subject is exposed to food after a fixed time followed by a longer period of no food. This helps the subject learn to wait then respond until the behavior has been learnt properly. Interval timing is widely used by ...Show more
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Summary

Operant Conditioning Name Institution Tutor Date Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning is behavior acquisition that is controlled by its consequences. The behavior is reversible depending on the reinforcement schedules. Empirical studies and theoretical approaches have classified operant behavior into two classes of interval timing and choice…
B.F. Skinner and Operant Conditioning
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