Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning describes the process in which animals and humans learn to adjust their behaviors in ways to obtain rewards and avoid punishment. There are four different types of operant conditioning; positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement, and negative punishment. Along with this, there are three principles of operant conditioning which include reinforcement, punishment, and shaping. Reinforcement is a stimulus that increases the chance of repetition of previous behavior, on the other hand, punishment decreases the chance that a previous behavior is repeated. Shaping is when complex behaviors are taught by rewards being administered closer and closer to the desired behavior. 

Pet owners can use these tactics almost every day to train their pets to have better behavior. I remember my friends' dogs being trained when they were puppies and it went from punishing them for using the bathroom inside to rewarding them for sitting when they were told to. It worked best for us to combine punishment with rewards to obtain the desired behavior. This conditioning would also work with classrooms and children to teach correct behavior. I believe that operant conditioning is used constantly throughout daily life, people are just unaware that this is occurring. 



  1. Great post! Operant conditioning is something I made one of my posts on as well. I thought it was interesting that we were learning something that most of us use in life to train our pets to listen to commands. Very useful post.

  2. Madi this is an awesome post! I also find Operant Condition extremely interesting, important and useful throughout everyone's day to day life. Like you have mentioned we are all trained to react a certain ways without even realizing from a very young age.


Post a Comment