Operant Conditioning - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence

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Approach to human learning based on the premise that human intelligence and will operate on the environment rather than merely respond to the environment's stimuli.

Opérant conditioning is an elaboration of classical conditioning. Opérant conditioning holds that human learning is more complex than the model developed by Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) and involves human intelligence and will operating (thus its name) on its environment rather than being a slave to stimuli.

The Pavlovian model of classical conditioning was revolutionary in its time but eventually came to be seen as limited in its application to most human behavior, which is far more complex than a series of automatic responses to various stimuli. B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) elaborated on this concept by introducing the idea of consequences into the behaviorist formula of human learning. Pavlov's classical conditioning explained behavior strictly in terms of stimuli, demonstrating a causal...

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This section contains 723 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Operant Conditioning Encyclopedia Article
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Operant Conditioning from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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