Operant Conditioning/ Behavior

I found an instant interest in topic from our text, Operant Conditioning with the focus of Operant Behavior and everything that follows it.

 B.F. Skinner a Psychologist of Behaviorism, who theorized that all organisms were basically influenced by the consequences that control our behavior. For an example; Positive Reinforcement increases while Positive Punishment decreases the behaviors that follow it.

The positive reinforcement example from our text is that “The rate presses a lever and receives a food pallet”; resulting in the rat being given something pleasant after his behavior to increase the probability the behavior will continue in the future.

Whereas positive punishment is “the rat receiving a shock when it pressed a lever, it would stop pressing the lever”; causing for the rat to be presented with something unpleasant after a behavior that will then decrease the probability of the behavior happening again in the future.

Remembering back to a topic in a previous Psych lecture, where the professor played a video of 2 children (around the same age, different sex) are shown a piece of candy which then is covered up by a cup and the children are asked to not remove the cup and take the candy until the ringing of the bell. The video demonstrates the Operant Conditioning section of our class; exploring Fixed Duration Schedule, Operant Behavior, Positive Reinforcement, Positive punishment and also Delayed and instant Gratification.

Unfortunately I could not obtain the video after searching everywhere for the last 3 days, so I decided to go with the Marshmallow Experiment video (link below), which is very similar to the Candy and Bell Experiment I mentioned above.


  1. I like how you used examples of operant conditioning from the text. Also, I really enjoyed your video with the marshmallows. I've never seen that video before and I was surprised that most of the kids actually waited for the 2nd marshmallow. I'm interested to see the candy experiment as well.

  2. I think you did a good job in explaining what operant conditioning was. The examples from the text book give you different perspectives of the term and how it can be applied to our everyday behaviors. I love the marshmallow experiment and I wanted to post it myself. I think this experiment is one of the best ways to show positive reinforcement and positive punishment, as well as the other behaviors you mentioned above in your blog post. It is quite comical watch the children struggle as to what they want to do with it comes to eating the marshmallow or not and waiting for an even bigger reward at the end.

  3. I also found operant conditioning interesting. I think you did a good job explain operant conditioning. I liked how you used examples and even added a video to your post. I thought the video was a great way to show positive reinforcement and positive punishment. Great post.


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