Operant Conditioning can easily be applied to our everyday lives. “It is a type of learning in which behavior is strengthened if followed by a reinforcer or diminished if followed by a punisher. ” (Myers 236) When we observe our environment and the people with-in it, we will be able to understand and comprehend actions duly. We are also able to discern the consequences of our actions. An everyday situation which operant conditioning can be used in is parenting.
When parenting, one looks for many outlets to help them raise and discipline their child. Therefore, implementing operant conditioning cannot only be helpful but rewarding. The many factors of operant conditioning such as positive and negative reinforcement can be useful. First, positive reinforcement can be useful. “Positive reinforcement is adding a desirable stimulus. ” (Myers 238) Therefore, one should provide the child with a positive stimulus. For example, every time the child shows a positive behavior you can reward them with a cookie. You can also acknowledge them for doing something good by giving them high five.
Second, negative reinforcement is very effective. Negative reinforcement is removing an aversive stimulus. (Myers 238) This helps strengthen the behavior because a negative condition is stopped. Sometimes, this can be ineffective. Implementing this may be hurtful when disciplining a child. An example is, if the child is whining and crying a lot, the parent might give them candy to stop this. Therefore, the child is not learning from their mistakes because they are being rewarded for it. Also, positive punishment is very helpful when parenting. “Positive punishment is administering an aversive stimulus. (Myers 242)
So, using this is very effective. When the child does something they shouldn’t do, this can be implemented. For example, receiving a time out from privileges. By doing so the child knows they will receive a consequence, which can potentially stop the negative behavior. Next, negative punishment is also benefiting in parenting. “Negative punishment is withdrawing a desirable stimulus. ” (Myers 242) If the child is showing negative behavior, he/she should receive a consequence. This should be done so that the child does not repeat the negative behavior.
Therefore, he/she should receive a negative punishment. For example, taking privileges away from the child. Next, are fixed-interval schedules, which is also a factor of operant conditioning. “This is a response only after a specified time has elapsed. ” (Myers 240) It is also helpful when disciplining a child. A weekly reward such as stickers or a treat can be a good example of how to utilize this. After the child has presented good behavior after seven days, it will cause a higher response rate as this day is approaching. Second, is variable- interval schedule. “This is response at unpredictable time intervals. (Myers 241)
Trying to constantly motivate a child and wait to see if it is successful is an example of this. You know that the child will react positively it’s just a matter of time before you know this will take an affect. This can be helpful when disciplining a child. Next is fixed-ratio schedule, which is very important. “It is a response only after a specified number of responses. ” (Myers 240) This is very important with dealing with children, when you want a child to continue to behave well; you reward them with something “special”. By doing so, you can use the fixed-ratio schedule method.
For example, after the child has showed initiative after ten days, you can reward them with a prize. This helps reinforce god behavior, which is what every parent wants and needs to stay sane. When disiplining a child, utilizing operant condition can be extremely beneficial. Many of the factors, which I discussed, can be extremely helpful when parenting. They cannot only benefit the parent but the child. When using this, the parent is able to set boundaries and the child is able to conduct good behavior.
- Myers, David G. “Chapter 7: Learning. ” Exploring Psychology. New York, NY: Worth, 2005. 225-42. Print.