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Operant Conditioning Essay

790 words - 4 pages

Through operant conditioning principles the method of learning through applications of structured rewards and punishments for certain types of behaviors is applied. Certain components that are applicable to operant conditioning principles include positive reinforcement, or “favorable outcome that are presented after the behavior” (Cherry, 2014); negative reinforcement which would effectively result in the removal of an unfavorable event or outcome after displaying poor behavior. While both of these are a reaction to an action, there are positive and negative punishments that are the result of such conditioning as well.
Given that Ethan frequently disrupts the classroom, a viable negative punishment would be to have him sit out in the hallway by himself for a period of time before allowing him to come back into the classroom. By doing this he will be alone to think about what his behaviors are doing and how they are disruptive while also effectively having him miss out on a fun portion of the class. To address issues of Ethan blatantly disobeying orders, this can be remedied through negative reinforces such as providing candy or a reward to those that are following the rules and no rewards for those that are not; in this case it would be Ethan. “In these situations, a desired response is strengthened by the removal of something considered unpleasant” (Cherry, 2014) and Ethan being left out of receiving a reward would likely be unpleasant for him.
Finally, to address the issue of bullying and physically pushing other children, this type of behavior is absolutely inappropriate and should consistently be met with negative punishments such as being sent home, being sent to the principal’s office, or being required to sit in his chair in a corner of the classroom for the remainder of the day away from the other kids. In the event that Ethan is sent to sit out in the hallway for being disruptive in class, it is likely that he will be doing this a few times before he realizes that he is not enjoying being in the hallway by himself. Once he realizes this, this should warrant better behavior on his part. Ethan not being provided a reward for not obeying classroom rules will likely return favorable results relatively...

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