Operant Conditioning in children's tantrums

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Scenario 2 ‘Sometimes inappropriate behaviour can be acquired through behavioural condition’. Discuss how a child’s tantrums might be learnt through operant conditioning. What other behaviours can be modified through operant conditioning and how? How could operant principles be used to bring about more appropriate behaviour? Discuss principles of reinforcement and punishment in your response. Operant conditioning is the process in which a human or non-human learns to respond to the environment in a way that produces desired outcomes rather than negative experiences. The central principles of operant conditioning include reinforcement, punishment and extinction that can then be further defined into finer categories. The principle of reinforcement is a consequence that causes behaviour to occur with greater frequency. Positive reinforcement is where behaviour is rewarded (whether intended or not) which will increase the probability of reoccurrence of that behaviour. An example of positive reinforcement could be when a child throws a tantrum to get what they want. The child wants an ice cream, and their mother says no. The child starts crying and screaming and the mother ends up buying them an ice cream. Being given the ice cream teaches the child that a tantrum will earn them another ice cream in future therefore behaviour increases. Desirable behaviour in children such as being polite, doing homework, helping with chores, being nice to siblings, and following authority, can also be modified through positive reinforcement of rewards. When a child does their homework, they will be allowed to watch TV, or a reward system where every time the child completes the chores they receive a star. Once they have earned the required amount of stars they then receive their reward. Another form is negative reinforcement where, by eliminating the aversive stimuli
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