week 4 skinner editorial behovorial science

week 4 skinner editorial behovorial science - these boxes...

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1. CheckPoint: Skinner Article Due Day 3 Operant conditioning is the introduction of consequences in order to change the the occurance and form of behavior. B.F. Skinner a renounced psychologist based his theory on operant conditioning. He theorized that while an organism is doing what it does in its environment and encounters a stimulus, called a reinforcing stimulus, that the organism may modify its tendency to repeat the behavior or operant. Operant being the reinforcering stimulus skinner had come to the conclusion that if the stimulus was a punishment than the behavior may not be modified completely because punishment only suppresses behavior, rather than teach new behavior. This idea that operant conditioning started as one of Skinner’s contributions to psychology. His studies of Operant Conditioning lead to later theories, such as Superstitious Behavior. The well know Skinner Box, a box in which an animal is placed to learn to press a lever to dispense food, is used to support the theory of Superstitious Behavior. Skinner placed a pigeon in one of
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Unformatted text preview: these boxes and taught the bird to press the lever for the food. Then Skinner changed the routine and dropped food in the box in random time intervals. This confused the bird in believing that by repeating its actions that it could in fact receive the food, whatever the action could have been. The bird would stand on one foot, then turn its head and food came out; so the bird would repeat the behavior. The action itself has nothing to do with the actual dispensing of the food but the bird fell into a ritual to get the food. The activity of the bird is very similar to humans that have certain rituals before pulling the handle of a slot machine. Skinner introduced the idea of Superstitious Behavior, another one of this psychologist’s great contributions to the world of psychology. Morris, C. G., & Maisto, A. A. (2002). Psychology: An introduction (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall....
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