B.F. Skinner believed, as Watson, in the environment control of behavior. He stressed that the world influenced us more than we influenced it and he developed his theory on operant conditioning based on this idea. According to Skinner our every move, our every act and or decision, is an operant response to the outcomes of past experience. His research on the function of reinforcement helped us understand that something as simple as a little attention can be a powerful reinforcement for behavior and that sometimes we could eradicate unwanted behavior in children simply by ignoring it. He also helped the public understand that intermittently reinforced behavior is much harder to extinguish than behavior which has been regularly enforced- helping teachers and parents understand the importance of standing firm and constant in discouraging negative behavior, teaching them through this concept that by giving in occasionally to whiny demands or temper tantrums, they are encouraging this behavior to continue. He also brought forth behavior modification, a great asset in changing unwanted behaviors.

For a visual representation of Skinner's concept of operant conditioning consider the following site:


*All information on this page was derived from source number 2 found on reference page.*

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