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.
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