Theory Of Operant Conditioning Essay Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Behavior, Operant Conditioning, Life, Theory, People, Reward, Criminal Justice, Adoption

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2020/10/23

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According to Coon and Mitterer (2010), operant condition is applicable in life in a way that people behave in a certain way due to the consequences of their actions, otherwise, dubbed as negative and positive reinforcement. This theory has proven to be true in a number of ways in determining the people behave. Positive reinforcement entails providing a positive feedback as an appreciation of a behavior by an individual. In daily life situation, people apply the concept to reinforce positive behavior. For instance, in organizational psychology, employers reward their employees in a number of ways such as remuneration, promotion schemes and other rewards in order to promote good work and enhance profitability.
In a similar way, teachers have adopted the theory in conditioning students to perform well in their subjects by associating certain behaviors with rewards. For instance, a teacher places a reward on a subject for students scoring high marks in order to reinforce hard work in the subject. In a similar way, the Skinner box experiment showed that a rat was conditioned to have acceptable behavior after it associated the behavior with getting food as a reward.
Negative reinforcement has also been adopted in conditioning behavior in daily lives where something is taken away from the individual in order to discourage unpleasant behavior. The contemporary society uses negative reinforcement to discourage unpleasant behavior by withdrawing the stimulus that triggers the behavior.
A perfect example in the application of negative reinforcement in real life situation in political field is when the United States of America decides to cut off military aid to 35 friendly countries as a way of retaliating against their support for the international criminal court’s decision not to exempt the USA’s from the court’s jurisdiction. Therefore, the theory has proven to be true and the society has applied it in numerous incidences to condition behavior.


Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. (2010). Motivation and Emotion. In Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior (12th ed., p. 800). Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

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