Operant Conditioning Essay

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Operant Conditioning Unit 4 PS124 Introduction to Psychology Professor Marjorie Vandemark Natasha Muse Operant conditioning is a process of learning that many people use as rewards and punishments to change one’s behavior. There is an association that is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior. (Cherry, 2013) This method can be used to motivate people to do better in their everyday lives. Bosses may use this technique by giving overtime pay for the employees that volunteer to work extra hours. Parents also use this technique by grounding a child for not cleaning his or her room. Many people use operant conditioning in their everyday lives and may not realize it. One method of operant conditioning is positive punishment. Positive punishment is when you reduce a response by presenting something unlikeable after the response. (Cherry, What is Positive Punishment?, 2013) Parents use positive punishment quite often. Their children start fighting with their siblings and the parent grounds them. The grounding is a positive punishment because the children are receiving something unpleasant for fighting. An employer may cut hours on the schedule because the employee continues to leave work early. A shorter check is the positive punishment. Another technique of operant conditioning is negative punishment. Unlike positive punishment, with negative punishment you remove something pleasurable. (Cherry, What is Negative Punishment?, 2013) This is another punishment technique people use quite often. An example of negative punishment would be if a teenager came home after curfew and the parent took the car away for a week. The parent removes the car as a negative consequence to the response. An additional illustration would be a child that always gets a snack after dinner for being well behaved all day and one day he gets in a bunch of trouble, so

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