Operant Conditioning Theory
For this paper, you will choose a behavior of yours or someone else’s that you would like to change through operant conditioning. Examples include overeating, getting a child to clean up his room, or stopping your dog from chewing up your shoes. Answer the following questions in the form of a 2-3 page paper:
- What is the behavior that you are trying to change? Describe the behavior.
- How would you apply operant conditioning to change this behavior? Would you use positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment or negative punishment?
- Is your goal to increase or decrease the behavior?
- What will you use as reinforcers or punishers? Are they primary or secondary reinforcers/punishers?
- If you choose to reinforce the behavior- What schedule of reinforcement will you use? What pattern of responding would you expect this schedule of reinforcement to produce? OR
- If you choose to punish the behavior- What problems might result from using punishment to change the behavior? What steps would you take to address these problems?
- What would you expect to happen to the behavior if the reinforcer/punisher were removed?
- Does research support your method of changing the behavior? Discuss the empirically-supported methods of changing your selected behavior. Cite at least 2 peer-reviewed journal articles.