B.F. Skinner

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by jowens224
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Social Studies

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B.F. Skinner

Reinforcement:Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out-or be extinguished (i.e. weakened).

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B.F. Skinner

Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.• Neutral operants: responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behavior being repeated.• Reinforcers: Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated. Reinforcers can be either positive or negative.• Punishers: Response from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. Punishment weakens behavior.

Skinner believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning.Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s law of effect. Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect - Reinforcement.

Operant Conditioning

Skinner (1948) studied operant conditioning by conducting experiments using animals which he placed in a “Skinner Box” which was similar to Thorndike’s puzzle box.


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