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Psychology

BEH225 Skinner Article

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Psychologists routinely research various behaviors, and their research often opens doors
to progressive, new ways of thinking. Such is the case with B.F. Skinner. B. F. Skinner pioneered
research into operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a particular response acting on the
environment to produce a specific consequence, such as an animal pawing, or pushing on a latch
to release food.
In operant conditioning, a learning process is applied to elicit a desired response. B.F.
Skinner came up with the idea to accelerate a desired response through various forms of
motivation, such allowing an animal to become hungry before placing the animal in a test
environment. Skinner concluded that applying the stimulus of food, along with the means to
attain the food, a learning process, or operant conditioning took place.
Skinner also performed a great deal of research on punishment to ascertain the behavioral
motives of punishment and the short and long term benefits. His research showed that
punishment could immediately correct behavior; however, significant drawbacks exist in the
long-term benefits of punishment. Skinner asserted that punishment causes negative emotions
and inhibits learning, thereby making punishment ineffective.
Moreover, studies show that children who experience punishment regularly have a higher
incidence of depression, antisocial behavior, and they have trouble relating to their peers.
Skinners research also concentrated on reinforcing behavior to elicit positive responses. The
behavioral reinforcers are primary and secondary. Primary reinforcers are immediately gratifying
on some way, while secondary reinforcers create value through an association with the primary
reinforcing values.
Skinner also researched what he called superstitious behavior. His research showed that
animals, much like humans, might repeat behaviors dependent on the circumstances they

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associate with a particular event. If a given circumstance produced either an emotional or a
physical outcome, it is likely that the behavior may be repeated because it is associated with that
outcome. In total, B.F. Skinners research contributed to the way we understand human behavior,
and our understanding of the motives behind behavior.

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Psychologists routinely research various behaviors, and their research often opens doors to progressive, new ways of thinking. Such is the case with B.F. Skinner. B. F. Skinner pioneered research into operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is a particular response acting on the environment to produce a specific consequence, such as an animal pawing, or pushing on a latch to release food.In operant conditioning, a learning process is applied to elicit a desired response. B.F. Skinner came up with the idea to accelerate a desired response through various forms of motivation, such allowing ...
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