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B.F. Skinner's Theory of Behaviorism

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Taylor Shirreffs

on 28 March 2014

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Transcript of B.F. Skinner's Theory of Behaviorism

B.F. Skinner's Theory of Behaviorism
Positive & Negative Reinforcements
"The action or process of reinforcing or strengthening."
Anything that increases the likelihood that a response will occur.
Any event that strengthens or increases the behavior it follows.
Punishment involves the presentation of an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows.

How is Operant Conditioning similar to Classical?
Who was B.F. Skinner?
Burrhus Frederic Skinner also known as B.F. Skinner was a famous psychologist who has been described as the Freud of the 20th century. He became one of the leaders of behaviorism and his work contributed immensely to experimental psychology. Skinner began his career as a novelist where he then entered the psychology graduate program at Harvard University and remained there the rest of his life.
Positive Reinforcements
Positive reinforcement is rewarding behavior so that it is more likely to occur again in the future. It is most useful when used directly after the behavior. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.
Negative Reinforcement
In negative reinforcement, a response or behavior is strengthened by stopping, removing or avoiding a negative outcome or aversive stimulus. So in a sense it is eliminating the chance of something bad occurring.

What was his theory?
B.F. Skinner's most famous theory of behaviorism is called 'Operant Conditioning'. This theory is the changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. This theory was developed based on John B. Watson's "Classical Conditoning"

Operant Conditioning is very similar to what is called 'Classical Conditioning' a theory created by John B. Watson. Classical Conditioning is the theory that everything from speech to emotional responses were simply patterns of stimulus and response. However Watson completely denied the existence of the mind or consciousness where as Skinner believed that we do have such a thing as a mind, but that it is simply more productive to study observable behavior rather than internal mental events.
A teacher putting stickers on a piece of homework after it was well done.
At baseball practice your coach encourages you with 'Good Job' when you do something correctly.
Slathering on sunscreen in order to avoid getting sunburned.
Cleaning your room to avoid conflict with your parents.
Positive Punishment
The goal of punishment is to decrease unwanted behavior. In the case of positive punishment, it involves presenting an unfavorable outcome or event following an undesirable behavior.
You wear your favorite baseball cap to class, but are reprimanded by your instructor for violating your school's dress code.

Because you're late to work one morning, you drive over the speed limit through a school zone. As a result, you get pulled over by a police officer and receive a ticket.
Negative Punishment
In the case of negative punishment, it involves taking something good or desirable away in order to reduce the occurrence of a particular behavior.
Getting grounded when out past curfew
Your mom takes away your phone when your school marks decrease
Does Reinforcement or Punishment work better?
Neither works better than the other. In order to successfully get the wanted behavior you must have a mixture of the two. The key is to find a perfect balance to suit the person or animal. It is recommended to have six positive comments for every
negative one. Without punishment there is no expectations given therefore you are not setting anyone up for success.

Skinner Box
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