Operant conditioning is a method that is also referred to as instrumental conditioning. This method of learning occurs through the use of punishments of undesired behavior and the reward of a desired one. This paper discusses with examples of my goal and how I will achieve it with the help of operant conditioning.
I usually sleep before eleven pm at night. My goal is to nurture a behavior of sleeping late at night past midnight because I want to study and improve in my academics. I want to use the significant concepts of operant conditioning to achieve this goal. The first concept is the reinforcement. Reinforcement strengthens behavior. The application of operant conditioning is supported by Skinner's suggestion that an action occurring and getting sponsored by reinforcement is likely to happen again in the future (Blackman &Derek,2017). The occurrence of the behavior is soon done automatically as an involuntary reflex action. The concepts of reinforcement that I will use to modify my behavior are-
1.Using positive reinforcement
According to the propositions of positive reinforcement, a good outcome is presented as a reward after the desired action has been done. I will reward myself with a cup of hot coffee for every day that I manage to extend my studies past midnight. This reward will strengthen the response to the behavior. This circle will increase the chance of the cycle repeating itself. Failure to attain this goal means that there is no reward.
2.Using negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement in operant conditioning is removing things or activities that favor the unpleasant behavior after the outcome. Every time I feel like the sleep overwhelming me, I will wipe my face with a wet face-towel. The cold water is likely to keep the rest away, and every time I feel sleeping before time, the thought of introducing the damp towel will keep off sleep. The action in negative reinforcement leads to removal of the unpleasing condition.
The other aspect that I can use is the introduction of punishments. Punishments are considered to be applied after the occurrence of the unwanted behavior.
3.Using positive punishment.
By using this punishment, an unwanted event is introduced to make the response that follows it weak. The positive punishment in my case will be the introduction of a one-kilometer morning run and jogging, in case I sleep before the time that I have set. The thoughts of a cold morning ad the tiresome running will slowly discourage me from sleeping early, and the mind will receive the stimulation that will keep me awake to avoid the strain.
4.Using negative punishment
Negative punishment is also referred to as punishment by removing favour. This means that a favorite treat is removed after a behavior occurs. Application of this in my case means that every time that I fail to attain my goal of extending my studies time past midnight, I deny myself something I love doing. I enjoy skating every evening. The withdrawal of this activity that I love will work in reinforcing the behavior so that I can get a chance to enjoy the game like It usually happens.
In conclusion process of learning, this new behavior will need that I apply the operant conditioning reinforcement schedules. The frequency and timing are the only effective way of modifying the current practice and making the new one remains.
Blackman, Derek E. Operant conditioning: an experimental analysis of behavior. Routledge, 2017.
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