external image Operant+Conditioning.png?version=2&modificationDate=1275023794000Definition:
A form of behavioral learning in which the probability of a response is changed by its consequences--that is, by the stimuli that follow the response.

Quite Simply...



Examples of Operant Conditioning


  • A student studies for their AP Psychology exam and receives an A, thus causing the student to continue studying for his future exams. (Positive reinforcement)
  • If a first grade teacher awards her students a gold star when they behave appropriately, this will make them continue to display appropriate behavior in the future in order to again receive a gold star. (Positive reinforcement)
  • Since Lizzie becomes thirsty after running a mile, she gets a quick drink of water in order to quench her thirst and then continues exercising. (Negative reinforcement)
  • In order to stop the annoying seat belt noise in his car, John fastens his seat belt as soon as he enters the vehicle. (Negative reinforcement)
  • When Rebecca places her finger on a lit stove and burns it, this causes her to not put her finger on a hot stove again in the future, so as to avoid the aversive stimulus of the heat of the stove. (Positive punishment)
  • Robert gets a speeding ticket for $500, thus ridding him of his birthday money, which makes him drive slower in the future. (Negative punishment)
  • When Alex reacts to his parents in a flippant, inappropriate manner after not getting his way, he gets his cell phone taken away for the weekend, thus causing him to reevaluate his conduct with his parents. (Negative punishment)

The "Skinner Box" Experiment




See Also...



Additional Resources


  1. http://www.wagntrain.com/OC/#Operant
  2. Operant Conditioning Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_ctJqjlrHA