Instrumental Conditioning Essay

1410 words - 6 pages

Instrumental conditioning provides positive and negative reinforcement to obtain desired behaviors. This paper discusses learning strategies like punishment, extinction, escape and avoidance, stimulus generalization and discrimination techniques. It also look at implications like once the stimulus is master, then the reinforcement is no longer needed. The benefits and drawbacks are also discussed. Rewards being a major benefit for progress. Drawbacks happen when the child losses the motivation and start to misbehave again. Fortunately, this system is continuously progressing. The positive reinforcements can begin at any time to start the positive behavior back on the right track again.

Instrumental conditioning is a form of behaviorism where, according to Shteingart, Neiman and Loewenstein (2013), a positive reinforcement is given to elicit a desired behavior and negative reinforcement is given when an undesirable behavior is performed. In many experiments with animals, the positive reinforcement is food and the negative reinforcement is having to start over without receiving the food. Instrumental conditioning involves behaviors that must be learned and the behaviors can be adjusted so that the participant can obtain the desired results frequently. For example, if you place a mouse in a maze with food at the end, the mouse may hit a wall and then adjust itself to find the correct way to the food. This paper will focus on learning strategies, how instrumental conditioning is implicated in everyday life, the benefits and the drawbacks of instrumental conditioning.
Learning Strategies
There are several different learning strategies that are associated with instrumental conditioning. Some of the things that shape our behavior are consequences, including reinforcement, punishment, and extinction. Reinforcement and punishment are key elements in instrumental conditioning.
There are two types of reinforcements, positive and negative. Positive reinforcement is a technique that is used to increase a wanted behavior. It involves rewards after a desirable behavior is demonstrated. It is when a reinforcing stimulus is added after a certain behavior. It can include praise, stickers, tokens, toys, and other items of that nature. Negative reinforcement is a technique that is used to stop an unwanted behavior by removing an aversive stimulus. It is used by subtracting something from the situation. Negative reinforcement is best used for short-term use; whereas, positive reinforcement is used for long-term results (Shnidman, 1970).
Punishment is a technique that is used after an unwanted behavior is demonstrated that will reduce the chances of the behavior happening again. Like reinforcement, there are positive and negative forms of punishment. Positive punishment is when an aversive stimulus is offered after an unwanted behavior is presented. Negative punishment occurs when a desired stimulus is taken away after an unwanted behavior is...

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