Skinner was an extraordinary man. He was left an only child after his younger
brother passed away. Skinner was very tech savvy at a young age. He and a close
friend built a contraption that separated ripe berries from the unripe ones and
created a business out of it. During college he joined a fraternity. At first,
Skinner believed that his fraternity didn’t participate in hazing and treated
their members with respect. He was soon proven wrong when he was tied to a pole
where he was supposed to stay all night. Lucky for Skinner, he was able to cut
himself free. While at Harvard, Skinner created the prototype of the Skinner
Box. The box was used to study animal behavior. The Skinner box was also known
as the Operant conditioning chamber.
During this week’s reading I was exposed to the theories of
Skinner, the creator of the Operant Conditioning theory. He believed that
reinforcement shaped behavior, either positive or negative and the use of
punishment. Positive reinforcement is praise after a behavior is exhibited. One
of the examples given was the monetary value placed on good grades for children.
Negative reinforcement is the removal of some unfavorable event, both believed
to strengthen behavior. Punisher is anything that follows a behavior that is intended
to decrease the behavior. I agreed with Skinners theory on conditioning because
it seems as if we all have learned in that way. By being conditioned to either
do or not do things. When I was in grade school, I had more chores added for
bad behavior or grades. I was also taken on ice cream trips after getting good
grades and behaving well. Skinners beliefs made the most sense to me because I
was able to compare them to my life and remember my dealings with either
positive or negative reinforcements.
the theories of Skinner were the most appealing to me because I was able to remember
how this was applied to my life personally. Operant Conditioning is believed to
work best if you’re encouraging a behavior, rather than telling one what not to
do. Punishers are used to prevent behaviors, although sometimes when people are
punished too often they see themselves as bad and no longer want to change their
behavior. Some catch on quickly and some don’t. In all, we have all learned things
by conditioning and reinforcement whether we know it or not.