Psychology Essay

818 WordsSep 22, 20134 Pages
Reinforcement to Alter Behavior By Ronald Grayer Kaplan University PS 124 Wait! There's a name for it? This is what I found myself saying, while reading chapters in the textbook for Introduction to Psychology. There is no doubt that I've learned so much in this class, but it is also surprising how many of the principles and theories I was currently practicing. There is no principle that this more true with than the principle of changing behavior through reinforcements. This is a principle that is used universally by every person on this planet through out the history of this planet. This was used from something as innocent as training a household pet or animals for labor to the brutal and inhumane acts like slavery. From a habit stand point we know how it works. Do something good get a reward. Do something bad get a punishment. Simple enough right? Wrong. There is more to it than that. Let us take a deeper look. First let us discuss classic conditioning. Classic conditioning is simply defined as when a behavior is learned through association (Simply Psychology). A commonly used example of this is a dog being conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell. This is done by every time you ring a bell you would give the dog a treat. After repeatedly doing this, eventually you can ring the bell without the presentation of food and the dog will salivate. This version of conditioning is very different than our focus. There was no learned behavior in this version of conditioning. If the goal is to alter or change behavior this is not the version of conditioning that is conducive to doing so. If the goal is to indeed alter the behavior of a person or animal the proper version of conditioning is Operant Conditioning. Operant Conditioning is defined as learning by behavior drawing various consequences. One real life example

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