What is Operant Conditioning?

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What is Operant Conditioning?

This type of learning takes advantage of the fact that:

Certain type of behavior changes according to the consequences (desirable or undesirable) that follow the behavior. For example, if behavior A produces a desirable consequence A, then behavior A is encouraged. This is also known as Positive reinforcement. This type of learning is used in “Food Dudes”, where children are rewarded with Food Dude stickers, pens and erasers if they eat the required number of servings of fruits and vegetables after watching the Food Dudes movie.

Certain undesirable consequence initially induced can be removed if the behavior changes. For example, undesirable consequence A is removed if behavior A is executed, thus, behavior A is encouraged. This is also known as Negative reinforcement. A certain type of Negative reinforcement used to train farm animals to pull plowing equipment is to continuously, but lightly, whip the animal until it learns to walk in a straight line from one end of the farm to another. The animal is not whipped as long it follows the rules, but if it doesn’t, it is continuously “irritated” by the whip until it walks in a straight path.

Additional Reading:

Basic Psychiatry

1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (DSM IV)
2. Organic Disorders
3. Major Depressive Disorder vs Dysthymic Disorder
4. What is Classical Conditioning?
5. What is Observational Conditioning?
6. What is Operant Conditioning?
7. How to break bad news to a patient
8. What is Dementia?
9. What is Normal Aging?
10. Factors Promoting Poor Prognosis in Schizophrenia
11. Factors Promoting Good Prognosis in Schizophrenia

Related Topics

1. Mechanics of Defense Mechanisms
2. Types of Antipsychotics

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