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Behavioural Learning

Operant Conditioning

Becky Boysen

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Behavioural Learning

Behavioural Learning:
Operant Conditioning in the Classroom

Operant Conditioning
Voluntary (and generally goal directed) behaviours emitted by a person.

Operant Conditioning:
Learning in which voluntary behaviour is strengthened or weakened by consequences or antecedents.

Term coined by Skinner
Positive Punishment- Bad Teacher
Operant Conditioning: The Big Bang Theory
Theorists - Timeline
Implementing Operant Conditioning within the classroom effectively
Positive Reinforcement
Negative Reinforcement
Positive and Negative Reinforcement :
Negative reinforcement occurs when desired behavior is strengthened by the removal of a contingent stimulus (taking something away).

Negative Punishment
Thanks for listening!
Any Questions?
Positive Punishment
Benefits for teachers
A term used in operant conditioning to refer to any change that occurs after a behaviour, that
the likelihood that the behaviour will occur again in the future.
Student NOT calling out in class
Student NOT hitting another child
Student NOT trying hard enough at school
Positive and negative do
mean 'good' and 'bad'
= the
of something to a situation

= the
of something from a situation
The addition of an aversive stimulus after a behaviour in order to decease the likelihood that the behaviour will occur again in the future
Examples at home:
Child throws food on the floor, receives a slap on the hand and a firm "NO!"
A child is yelled at after a bad report card
Spanking a child for spilling milk
A desirable stimulus is removed following a behaviour in order to reduce the likelihood that the behaviour will occur again in the future.
Examples at home:
Siblings fight over a new toy, mother takes the toy away
Teenage girl stays out after curfew so is grounded for a week
Child hits brother so loses his video game privileges for 3 days
Negative Effects of Punishment
Suppresses the behaviour in the presence of the punisher but not at other times
Does not tell the offender what to do, only what not to do
Produces aggression
Creates negative emotional reactions, including negative feelings towards oneself and others
Depresses enthusiasm
Removes the calm state needed for learning
Encourages compliance without thought
Reinforcement - When the consequences of an action increases the probability that the action will happen again.

Positive Reinforcement:
Response increases when a new stimulus is presented.

Negative reinforcement -

Response increases when a previously existing stimulus is removed.
Classroom Consequence - The Token System
Child has no tokens and no access to desired items or activities
Child exhibits the desired behaviour
Child is provided tokens for engaging in the desired behaviour
Child exchanges tokens for desired items/activities
What is Learning?
Learning - The process through which experience causes a relatively permanent change in knowledge, attitudes, skills or behaviour.

Learning isn't always intentional and thus cannot be simply limited to the classroom.
Behavioural Learning Views: Explanations of learning that focuses on external events as the cause of changes in observable behaviours.
Positive reinforcement uses the reward system.
Negative reinforcement also uses the reward system however a person is rewarded for desired behavior by having something unpleasant removed.
Student is not working productively
Child is working appropriately
Child receives class money
(small reward = positive reinforcement + motivation to continue good behaviour)
Uses class money to 'buy' game usage during free time

Value of Classroom Consequence
Rewards and penalties should be selected that match the significance or meaningfulness of the exhibited action/behaviour.
Benefits for students
Strictly deals with distinct behaviour – good/bad
Requires teacher to deliver consequences immediately
Consistency is crucial
Teacher cannot keep positively reinforcing the child’s good behaviour after the first few times
Extinction of the reward can lead to the extinction of the good behaviour
Continuous punishment of a student can lead to complete loss of motivation to even begin working on their behaviour
'Satiation' - too much reinforcement occurs and the reinforcer loses its effectiveness
Motivates them to do well
Increases their ability to self-reflect
Learn the appropriate behaviours for future reference
Develop an association between good behaviour and inappropriate behaviour

Classroom management
More aware of how to control behaviour
Control student’s behaviour
Progressively alter a child’s behaviour problems by breaking down a complex behaviour into a series of simple behaviours = 'shaping'
Aid students learning

A pleasant stimulus that increases
something to make the student
feel good. (adding on)

The reward system is a collection
of brain structures which attempt
to regulate and control behavior
by including pleasurable effects.

- Classroom Money
- Verbal Praise
- Stickers
- Longer Breaks
- No Homework
Establish consequences early -
if students are aware of the consequences of an action they are more likely to emit encouraged behaviours

Value of the consequence is determined by the value of the behaviour presented

Focus on students behaviour not personality -
especially when using punishment

Focus more on the positive behaviour –
Reinforce positive behaviour, redirect inappropriate behaviour. Teacher’s attention to inappropriate behaviours can be reinforcing

Provide specific feedback regarding the behaviour
Hold students accountable for their actions

Be fair and consistent –
don’t punish/reward one student and not another for the same behaviour presented

Reward both improvement and completion of favourable behaviour –
motivates student to continue appropriate behaviour

Know your students -
what may be a positive consequece for on student, may be a negative for another

Create a rewards system –
stickers, certificates, class money
Activity time!
provides a stimulus before a particular behaviour takes place
can be verbal or visual, gestures or organisational
allows student to make right choice
teacher can reinforce student’s accomplishment instead of punishing student’s misbehaviour
e.g. teacher standing at front of the class waiting for attention = cue to listen

helps students in learning to respond to cues appropriately
reminds student of the next step in a sequence or when to stop/start a task
eg. teaching a student to read. prompt first sound of a word

a process of reinforcing each form of the behaviour that more closely resembles the final version
used when students cannot perform the final version and are not helped by prompting
involves gradually changing the response criterion for reinforcement in the direction of the target behaviour
e.g. math problems: increase number of correct answers
Theorists: John B. Watson (Radical) & B.F. Skinner
Operant Conditioning in the classroom
Three helpful techniques employed to facilitate learning:
Examples at school:
Student talks in class so is assigned demerit points
Student is yelled at for poor results
Teacher sends letter home to parents as student has been misbehaving
Student is given extra work or made to run laps after having a fight with another student
Examples at school:
Student has mobile in class so the teacher confiscates the phone
Third grade boy yells at another student during class, so his "good behaviour tokens" are taken away
'No hat, no play'
Student misbehaves so is not allowed to play in free time
Student hits another child so is not allowed to play in the playground
Factors That Contribute to the Effectiveness of Punishment
Punishment should occur immediately after the behaviour
Punishment should be consistently applied to behaviour
Punishment more effective when directly related to the behaviour being punished
Short term gains need to outweigh long term consequences
Full transcript