Topic: Skinner's Legacy
Posted by: Yeri
B.F.Skinner was known as one of the most arguable intellectual figure in the late twentieth century. Skinner's most controversial theory states that external influences shape behavior, not internal thoughts and feelings. Also, Skinner brought many criticism due to his ways of thinking toward other people's personal freedom and dignity. He believed none of these were necessary in order to help or manage people more effectively.
Applications of Operant Conditioning
The operant conditioning principles are used significantly in variety of circumstances. Reinforcement technologies are also at work in shcools, businesses and homes.
In the twenteith century, Skinner promoted use of teaching machines and textbooks that would make learning in small steps and provide immediate reinforcement for correct responses. For this reason, Skinner sought for individualized education that paces materials according to each student's rate of learning and that provides immediate feedback on what is wrong and what is right to all students. He believed that prompt feedback and reinforcement would enhance student's learning abilities. Similarly, the reinforcement principles were also thought to be able to improve athletic abilities. It could be achieved by shaping behavior, by first reinforcing small successes and then gradually increasing the challenge.
Also in businesses, reinforcement led to many positive effects. When workers are reinforced with positive comments, their productivity are likely to increase. As workers' productivity increase reward for everyone, it also raise up the workers' motivation, morale and cooperative spirit. However, It is important to make sure that these reinforcements are made immediately as it brings more significant effects, such as writing a check on the spot for the employee.
Many psychologists and economists believed that people's spending behavior depends on the consequences (its cost and benefit). Likewise, even in home, people's behavior is influenced by the immediate consequences.
Parents could also benefit from operant conditioning. When training children, parents should give children attention and give positive comments when they are behaving well. Also, when children are whining, parents should ignore them until they fully diminish away. Lastly, when children misbehave, parent's should explain generously rather than yelling or hitting the children.
The operant conditioning could also be used on ourselves. In order to take charge of our own behavior, psychologists suggested these step-by-step procedures:
1) state your goal-when you made a goal, it is helpful if you make it publicly known.
2) Monitor how often you engage in the behavior you wish to promote.
3)Reinforce the desired behavior, to achieve certain desired behavior, allow yourself some reinforcing activity only after you have accomplished your goal.
4) Reduce the incentive gradually while giving yourself positive reinforcement on becoming habitual of your desired behavior.
Related Videos and Pictures:
Cartoons about Operant Conditioning
Operant Conditioning and Skinner's experiment