Operant Conditioning

Essay by HOSCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2006

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Operant conditioning is a very difficult subject to talk about. I say this because of all the different angles a person can look at it. Some extremes are an individual that believes that every single thing that they do from the moment that they wake up to the moment that they go to sleep is do to operant conditioning. Either from others or from themselves it was learned from their consequences. The opposite extreme is an individual that believes that everything is done by choice and has nothing to do with being controlled. By the end of this journal I will find out which side of the extremes I am closer too.

I used operant conditioning to modify the behavior of my pet cat named Jingles. My cat adopted the behavior of jumping up on the kitchen counter all the time. The behavior of Jingles was modified using operant conditioning to not jumping on the counter at all.

The strategy used in the operant conditioning of Jingles was to use controlled consequences to achieve the response that I wanted.

The behavior being modified was jumping up on the kitchen counter either with or without a person in the kitchen at the time, day or night.

The punishments that were used were coke cans filled a quarter of the way with water lining the kitchen counter no more than six inches apart and two inches from the edge and a toy squirt gun filled with water. The reward was Jingles favorite cat treats.

The punishment schedule was during the day while somebody was in the house around the kitchen area the squirt gun would be used to persuade Jingles that she should not be on the kitchen counter and at night or when the house would be empty the cans...