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Learning and Behavior

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The field of psychology has different types of methods that are used in order to control, change, or alter behavior. There is no one specific method is that universally agreed upon or is better than another. Rather, the method used depends upon the intended outcome, and the reason for some type of conditioning or punishment. Operant conditioning is one type of method used by psychologist. In addition, there is positive punishment, negative punishment, positive reinforcement, and negative reinforcement.

Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through a system of rewards and punishments for a behavior. With this type of conditioning, there is an association between the behavior and the consequence for the behavior. This was created by B.F. Skinner, who was a behaviorist and believed that a person’s internal thoughts and motivations can be used to explain a person’s behavior. Reinforcement is a key concept in operant conditioning. Specifically, the two types of reinforcers are positive, in which favorable events or outcomes are given after a behavior, and negative reinforcers which involve the removal of an unfavorable event or outcome after a behavior. An example of operant conditioning is when a child complete their school work and is rewarded by the teacher and receives either praise or some type of physical reward, such as candy. The one ethical concern that may arise from this method is that a child who knows that they will not be able to finish their school work, and thus, will not be given a reward, will likely not want to try to do their work at all.

Positive punishment and negative punishment are two other types of methods used in the field of psychology. For some people that may be unfamiliar with the concept, positive punishment may seem like a contradiction of terms, which is why it is sometimes referred to as punishment by…...

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