dupay014: December 2011 Archives

After everything we have learned this semester in Psychology 1011, for me the Skinner Box will be what I remember the most in the future. The Skinner box is an operant conditioning chamber that is used in the experimental analysis of behavior to study animal behavior. The chamber was created by B. F. Skinner and he later was at the University of Minnesota, where he developed the pigeon missile, which is something I will easily remember and brag about because I obviously attended there. The Skinner box is used to study both operant conditioning and classical conditioning. Both of which were hammered into our heads when learning about conditioning. The box performed operant conditioning by using the Law of Effect, when a behavior has good consequences, it will tend to be repeated by the subject while bad consequences will tend to be not repeated. The box permits experimenters to study behavior conditioning by teaching a subject animal to perform certain actions in response to specific stimuli, like a light or sound signal. When the subject correctly performs the behavior, the chamber mechanism delivers food or another reward. The mechanism delivers a punishment for incorrect or missing responses too, like a shock. With this apparatus, experimenters perform studies in conditioning and training through reward/punishment mechanisms. I feel I remember this because of how much time we spent on this area of psychology, and because Skinner had a lot of history with the University of Minnesota.


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