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How operant conditioning works, and the principles behind it

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What are the basic principles behind behavior analysis using operant conditioning? Describe the similarities and differences between positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement and punishment.

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Solution Summary

This article describes the principles of operant conditioning (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment) and describes the similarities and differences between them.

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All behaviors have consequences. The notion behind applied behavior analysis is that these consequences influence our behavior, in that the occurrence of our behavior either increases or decreases based on the outcome (consequences).

Therefore, if our behavior has a positive outcome, we are more likely to engage in that behavior again. If our behavior has a negative outcome, we are hypothetically less likely to engage in that behavior again, depending on the level of adversity.

It is said that when consequences strengthen our behaviors, reinforcement has occurred. On the other ...

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