Operant Conditioning. A form of learning in which a specific action (an operant response) is made to occur either more frequently or less frequently by manipulating its consequences in the environment. . B.F. Skinner. Operant Response. Changes in Environment. Change in response.
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A form of learning in which a specific action (an operant response) is made to occur either more frequently or less frequently by manipulating its consequences in the environment.
Changes in Environment
Change in response
Pole beeps, food given
Dog taps target again
Dog taps target
An operant response “operates” on the environment and causes it to change in some way.
The environment, in turn, causes the behavior to change in some way.
In Classical Conditioning, the subject’s response has no consequences; it produces no change in the environment.
The dog gets the food after the bell is rung whether or not he salivates to the bell. His behavior doesn’t matter.
In Operant Conditioning, the dog has to tap the target to
get the food. His behavior does matter.
In other words, in Pavlov’s experiment, the food is not a reward for responding to the bell because it is given no matter what the dog does.
In the Operant Conditioning example, the food is a reward because it depends on the dog’s behavior—he has to tap the target.
Operant Conditioning works on the Law of Effect: behavior changes according to its consequences.
The Law of Effect does not apply to Classical
Conditioning. Reflexes are not sensitive
to their consequences.
The “Skinner Box”