Introduction to Skinner’s Psychology

Skinner provided a large contribution in the means of psychology. He was the one, who contributed the knowledge about operant conditioning into which he discussed how a certain person’s psychological behavior can be triggered and or motivated (Skinner, 1969).

Operant conditioning according to Skinner’s research is the one that maintains and shapes the strength and behavior of a certain being. The psychologist used a rat and a pigeon for his research. He examined a hungry rat using the idea of food to serve as its reinforcer hence the reinforcer which Skinner used is only the sound of the food dispenser which is technically followed by the food (Skinner, 1969).

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Skinner explained that operant conditioning occurs in connection to the control of a certain stimulus. That control is explained to be considered as the “reinforcement”. He explained that there are two types of reinforcement, the first is the positive reinforcement and the second is a negative reinforcement (Skinner, 1969).

Skinner explained that a positive reinforcer is the stimulus that causes reinforcement when it is presented. On the other hand, a negative reinforcer does reinforcement when it is said to be withdrawn. Negative reinforcement is not merely considered as punishment although when reinforcers are negative during the conditioning, punishment is a factor considered meaning to say that a certain behavior becomes a punishment when negative reinforcers are used as the stimulus. Punishment is also a factor that strengthens the behavior as it was explained by the psychologist (Skinner, 1969).

Regarding Skinner’s research that provided the knowledge on superstitious behavior, the latter used a pigeon and created an automatic mechanism to deliver the food to the birds. By doing this, Skinner found out that the birds associates the delivery of food whenever they do have a chance and that they do this same action repeatedly (Skinner, 1969).