Implication of Operant Conditioning

Implication of Operant Conditioning
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  Basmah AhmadSpring 2004Southern Methodist UniversityEducational and Behavioral Psychology: Professor r! Pee EU #$22%he implications of S inner&s theory for educationS inner&s theory of 'ehavior modification focuses on a system of positive feed'ac ( re)ards( for desired 'ehavior and negative feed'ac ( punishments( for un)anted or desira'le  'ehavior! S inner&s )or ranges from the intervention of teaching machine to a theory of contingency management( )hich suggests an even gro)ing repertoire of teaching of options for achieving more positive human 'ehavior in general and classroom 'ehavior in particular!S inner is concerned )ith creating a 'etter )orld 'y shaping a 'etter )orld! *e ta es a dim( pessimistic vie) of future and asserts that )estern culture( if not all man ind( could 'e headed straight for disaster unless something is done! %his something is providing re)ards in the  present to ensure a sta'le future! Man today( is only concerned )ith immediate re)ards and the reason for this is 'ecause man is contiuulasly struggling for freedom and dignity )ithin this societies institutions! +f the future is to 'e 'right( then institutions must provide immediate gratifications and re)ards similarly to those no) found 'y individuals( such as food!%he school is an institution )hich can provide these immediate re)ards! %he teacher can  'e a tool to provide these re)ards! Based upon S inner&s theory of learning and 'ehavior modification( learners can receive a system of re)ards and teachers can arrange contingencies in )hich people )ill learn! S inner developed the theory of operant conditioning! %his is learning that involves a ne) relation 'et)een a stimulus and overt response! %his response has to 'e gradually and carefully nurtured and developed( through the method of operant conditioning! %his involves re)arding appropriate responses )henever they happen to occur! %he su',ect&s o)n response is helpful in the production of the re)ard: it operates to ma e the re)ard occur!-earning is function of the nature of the stimulus( the nature of the response and the state of the learning organism! +n addition( there are t)o others: motivation and reinforcement! -earning is more li ely to happen )hen the organism )ants or needs to achieve a certain goal( that is )hen this organism is motivated and )hen the response( the person ma es results in the achievement of the goal! %ime is an important element: the more immediately a re)ard follo)s the response( the stronger )ill 'e the association 'et)een the stimulus and the response and the greater )ill 'e the li elihood that presentation of the stimulus again on the future occasion )ill .   provo e the response! %his is the immediacy of reinforcement principle! Motivation is the ey here 'ecause it is a necessary condition for learning and the provision of immediate reinforcement promotes motivation!/perant 'ehaviorism reuires that the teacher have ma1imal control over the varia'les of the learning situation! %he teacher must choose and organie material( provide for motivation and generally supervise the students& learning! %his does not necessarily mean that the classroom is teacher3 centered! +t simply means that the teacher serves as the catalyst in arguing situations that )ill provide reinforcement to student! S inner still 'elieves in the importance of intrinsic re)ardsin the learning process and the teacher&s responsi'ility in assuring their development and maintenance! *o)ever( S inner recognies that today&s classrooms do not provide many intrinsic re)ards( so the teacher must arrange for artificial( e1trinsic reinforcement and later prepare the student for natural reinforcers )hich are to replace the unnatural reinforcers! %he student is still the center of the learning process! Students still have the freedom to choose autonomous( selecting and decision3 ma ing 'ehaviors are very much concerns of s inners! %he teacher is also important in the learning process 'ecause it is the teacher )ho has organied the contingencies for re)arding 'ehavior! S inner )as convinced that generally( re)ard controls 'ehavior 'etter than punishment! Punishment does create an immediate and dramatic effect( 'ut it is li ely to have an emotional side effect that could confuse the learning situation! A student cannot learn to respond if his emotional state is not contri'uting to learning! Moreover( punishment can cause aversive reactions to factors 'esides the undesira'le 'ehavior! +f a student disli es a teacher 'ecause the teacher continually reminds him that his ans)ers are incorrect( there is only the ma ing of a ne)  pro'lem( a su'stitution of one pro'lem for another! S inner much more prefers using re)ards to create positive feed'ac ! But teachers must 'e alert to their students 'ecause all students operate on different schedules! A student )ho has achieved success for longer period of time )ill 'e moreli ely to )or effectively for a longer period of time 'et)een re)ards! +n contrast( the student )ho has had little success in the past may need reinforcement more often to eep going!%he ey is the environment provided 'y the teacher in the classroom! 5hen the environment provides positive feed'ac ( it is a positive e1perience for the student and the studentis more apt to have more effective learning! 6egative feed'ac or punishments( in S inner&s vie)(are least effective regarding long3term learning!Man 'ehaves in a certain )ay 'ecause he gets something out of it! 7e)ards are contingent upon )hat man is doing and upon the circumstances under )hich he is doing it! 5hen 2  the system of re)ards and the contingencies are changed( there can 'e changes in 'ehavior! %he contingencies are central to S inner&s theory they are more important than the actual reinforcers!S inner )as as ed )here he is in the )orld of the .890&s he stated+ thin my main contri'ution is a 'etter understanding of effects of re)ards and  punishments( as the -ayman )ould put it( or )hat )e can reinforcers( positive and negative;!*o) is a reinforce contingent upon the 'ehavior< +f the contingencies are good( the 'ehavior )ill 'e strengthened! +f they&re 'ad( you can re)ard and punish as much as you li e and you&ll get no)here! =ou&ve neglected the contingencies! %eachers must recognie )hat they are doing( )hich is reinforcing the children( and then note )hat 'ehavior it is contingent upon! By doing this teachers can develop great po)ers to manage a classroom>!?rom this thin ing( S inner developed programmed instruction! Programmed materials are designed to ma1imie good contingencies 'ecause there is immediate reinforcement! %he student( using this machine( )rites a response in a space that is provided for him then( a printed tape moves the correct ans)er for comparison! By careful seuencing of instructional frames( the student is led in a series of small( easy steps to learn the material!S inner&s principles of operant conditioning )ere first applied to education in  programmed instruction and teaching machines! S inner&s e1periment )ith animals demonstratedthe visi'le learning that could ta e place! Similarly( )hen a teacher can 'ring a'out evident changes in 'ehavior( changes )hich do not need to 'e confirmed 'y a statistical treatment of test scores( the teacher no)s immediately )hat he has done and ho) he can learn to teach effectively! %he teacher then has learned the process of shaping 'ehavior!%eachers teach s illful 'ehavior! %eachers do not impart no)ledge( 'ut generate  'ehavior that )ill lead to the gaining of no)ledge! A'ilities are not improved or po)ers strengthened teachers ma e it more li ely that students )ill sho) the 'ehavior from )hich a'ilities and po)ers are inferred! 5hen educational goals are properly specified( the teacher no)s )hat he is supposed to do! 5hen he has done it( the teacher can o'serve!S inner 'elieves that given the right conditions( students )ill learn( not 'ecause they  particularly )ant to( 'ut 'ecause contingencies have 'een provided that )ill 'ring a'out changes in 'ehavior! S inner does not necessary agree )ith those theories that maintain that man learns  'ecause of his genetic endo)ment and natural urge to learn! 7ather( S inner 'elieves that the environment creates the desire to learn!S inner 'elieved that teachers )ould accept his theories )illingly! S inner asserted that the average teacher )ants to teach )ell( and many suffer from the recognition that they are not teaching )ell! +f teachers are given a method that )ill indicate a )ay to ma e teaching more effective( S inner 'elieved that they )ould accept it! $  +n summary( S inner&s theories a'out learning allo)ed him to understand ho) learning conditions could 'e controlled! *is )or )ith animals indicated that 'etter ans)ers could 'e  provided in a controlled situation! %here are t)o inds of learning( respondent 'ehavior( )hich is an automatic refle1 and operant conditioning( )hich ma es a response more pro'a'le or freuent!%hese t)o types of learning suggested to S inner that if a teacher )anted a student to respond in a certain )ay to a given stimulus( the teacher must concentrate on reinforcing those responses he )ants repeated! So( the conditions under )hich these responses )ere noted are very important to S inner&s )or ! %he conditions or the contingencies are central to S inner&s theory! And( teachersmust ta e note of these contingencies so that future positive responses can 'e elicited from students! %eachers must recognie and understand )hat they are doing( )hich is reinforcing the student and then note )hat 'ehavior it is contingent upon! %he teacher )ith this method can manage the classroom and there'y reduce the num'er of varia'les that must 'e controlled! 4


Jul 23, 2017
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