January 2, 2011
B. F. Skinner is a behavioral psychologist in which he formulated the technique of operant condition. Operant condition is when something is learned and to be rewarded for what they have learned. An example that was used was they put a cat in a cage with food on the outside of the cage. The cat had to figure out how to open the cage in order to get the food. “The operant condition occurs when one response, called the operant response, operates on the environment to produce specific consequences”(Morris, C & Maisto, A2005). The cat had to figure out how to open the latch on the cage to get the food.
The cat had learned how to open the latch to get its food on the outside of the cage and will be repeated each time which is called reinforcement. Now if a big mean dog came in the room and scared this cat the cat will not try and get the food with dog there so this decreases the likelihood of the cat opening the cage to get his food which is called punishment. Another form of punishment is if we do something wrong and we are punished for it, one would hope that we don’t repeat what we did wrong.
Reinforcement is when we learn something and we continue to use that technique in how we learned that something. An example is how we do addition in math, we are taught the technique of how addition is performed and after using that technique over and over we reinforce ourselves to use that technique over and over. If we don’t understand how that technique in math is we will not use it. Skinner has used his research on how we use the operant condition and the different techniques that go with it.
Skinner has done some experimenting with superstitious behavior with birds. The bird would do nothing to get food but when he would throw a few grains into the cage the bird would repeat what he was doing before he got the food; standing on one foot, hopping around, which...