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One of the most powerful things I learned is probably operant conditioning. I have witnessed operant conditioning before taking this class, but I never really looked more into it. I can say that operant condition is most evident in childhood. When a child does something "good" you reward them, when they do something " bad" we either take away something (negative reinforcement) or give them something they don't want (positive punishment) so they behave the way we want them to.
I think many of us can relate to this concept even in college. When we study and do our homework we get good grade which increases the chance of that we will continue to study. Now if we don't study we will get bad grades and there is the potential of academic suspension of an email informing our adviser that we aren't doing well in our classes. Most of the time we don't even notice that it's happening or know what it is that is happening. I think that everyone who now knows what operant conditioning is should take full advantage of it and use it for good and not evil! Toodles!


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After reading your post, it made me realize that this concept is used at every stage in life. When things turn out good, you most likely receive some type of reward. When something bad is done, people suffer the consequences. This is a good incentive to remember especially with finals coming up. The more good you put in the, the better the reward that comes out.

I feel that people tend to stray away from stituations that they do very good things in, but in turn, do not get rewarded how they feel is appropriate. Which is the opposite of what should happen. The best work you should do is for the benefit of the knowledge itself, not just the reward.

You make a very good point with the aspect of operant conditioning, however I think you example of studying and grades is not the best example. I know many people, including myself, who spend hours studying for a certain test without the payoff of a good grade in the end. Then on the contrary there are students who barely look over their notes and continue to obtain good grades. This example of grades was used in the book with the concept of correlation versus causation. But operant conditioning is a present aspect in many situations.

Well first, I want to say you have a funny picture that portrays what you are talking about. Second, I find it interesting that operant is the topic you will always remember. I feel like I do not think about whether I react to different forms of punishment and reinforcement, I just react to whether I liked the outcome or not. I guess now I may sometime have an AHA! moment that I am proving a psychology theory but I feel that may still be rare. Have you seen the TV show The Big Bang Theory? There is a scene where one character gives another chocolate every time she does something they like, it is quite comical.

Operant conditioning is something that has been going on for about the entirety of my life and I think it is the same for about everyone else as well. We were raised with knowing that when the right thing is done we should be rewarded for it. The opposite is true when we do something bad, we are usually punished for it. However, punishment does not lead to us learning from our mistakes as we have learned before. I hate it when I study a lot and get a bad grade in class. I just don't see it as fair or why it happens!

This is an interesting article. I too have found operant conditioning very interesting as well. The action reaction based conditioning system has always been an interesting topic. Like the commenter before said, it is very prevalent throughout life

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This page contains a single entry by vuexx211 published on May 2, 2012 4:30 PM.

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