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Operant Conditioning Of Autobiographical

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Discuss about the Operant Conditioning of Autobiographical.



Changing the behavior of young children in order to increase their interest on education is an important part of their characteristics development. The principles of operant conditioning are an important learning tool which helps to change the behavior of young children and help India characteristics development Management. With the help of this learning style it is possible to modify the behavior and thereby change the consequence of characteristics at individual level.

The current study focuses on various aspects and theory is related to operant conditioning that can be applied in a case scenario where possible intervention measures can be taken in order to change the behavior of primary students. It also aims to develop an interest among young children about the subjects that are being taught in the class. The strengths and weaknesses of operant conditioning principles are also mentioned that can be applied in the given scenario. At the end final judgment is given on sustainability of operant conditioning which is an approach to bring about behavioral change among primary students.

Range of behaviour by Primary Children

The behavior that is displayed by primary children with in the classroom is one of the major concerns of early childhood educators. According to Olson (2015), inattention and disturbing behavior of the child of primary classroom are one of the major issues that causes trouble in the overall learning process. Eysenck and Rachman (2013), have added in the context that lack of interest in the learning process due to less attractive mode of education is one of the prime reason for the young children to have disturbing behavior. They also have lack of interest in the education process and the learning system due to prolonged class sessions and in attractive way of teaching. It may be also challenging for them to understand the importance of learning process and also developed the curiosity to gain more knowledge. Lack of concentration among the students is also a major issue that creates problem for the teacher completes the overall learning process.

In the given case Jane faces challenges due to lack of participation of the primary students in the teaching process. Lack of communication within the students and also from the teacher is the main cause of lack of student participation in class discussion sessions. The students also failed to gain knowledge and understand the learning lessons as they are not paying attention to the teachings of the class. Hence it is important Jane to ensure that the students change their behavior about the learning process and take active participation in the learning lessons. The principle of operant conditioning is used in the overall process in order to bring about change in the behavior of the primary students. The relevant theories can also be applied in to achieve the purpose.


Operant Conditioning and its Application

The principles of operant conditioning deal with factors that are the result of intentional actions and that also has the power to affect the surrounding environment. With the application of this theory it is possible to predict the behavior of an individual insert external condition which is more likely to occur. According to the theories of BF Skinner who is regarded as the father of Management operant conditioning, a new term named as the Law of Effect (Zhang et al., 2015). Behavior is regarded as reinforced Trends that can be repeated within characteristics of an individual. On the other hand the behavior which is not reinforced tends to extinguish or weakens along with time. There are many cases where behavior of an individual can be affected due to the act of some other person in the society. According to Debeer et al., (2014), the young children are the worst affected group who get influenced from the characteristics of the society. The behavior of young children totally depends on the behavior shown by the elders surrounding them. Positive reinforcement is a major element that can help to improve the behavioral characteristics of a young child and thereby develop their social skills. On the other hand negative reinforcement also has a strong influence on the behavior of a child. Nevertheless negative reinforcement in the behavior of a child can help to remove unpleasant experiences (Brush, 2014).

The punishment that are provided two children acts as opposite action of reinforcement as it weekends or eliminates the response of a behavior. It also reverses the behavior of positive or negative characteristics. Demetriou et al., (2016), have mentioned that the main purpose operant conditioning is to modify behavior with the help of positive and negative reinforcement. It is also possible for a child to make association with a particular kind of behavior and also the type of consequences associated with it. For example parents regarding a child for their excellence for achieving something can help as a source of positive reinforcement that can modify the behavior of the child and develop the feeling of encouragement.

In the given case, Jain is facing challenge to manage the class of primary students who do not show any encouragement to the lessons that are being taught. They also do not complete their assignment and therefore not able to complete their study lessons.


Other Relevant Theories and Strength and weakness of Operant Conditioning

In the year 1958 Lawrence Kohlberg develop the theory that explained the model behavioral development within children. According to this theory the moral development of a child occurs at three levels (Kurtines et al., 2014). The first level is called the Preconvention morality, which is the stage up to 9 to 10 years old. At this stage a child do not have their own code of personality or morality. Hamster model behavior is shaped according to the standards of the adults of their life. Child also launches to distinguish between good and bad and thereby is able to avoid the bad things. Punishment is given to a child for doing any wrong things. It is therefore possible for a child to develop the judgmental capacity to choose between correct and wrong decisions.

In second level, a young adolescence child begins to develop this moral standard of their adulthood stage. An individual have the capacity to replicate the behavior of a good person and thereby maintain healthy social interaction life. The behavioral awareness among individual increases, and thereby it is possible to follow the protocol of the society.

Finally it is the stage of post conventional morality, where an individual develops their own Management judgmental capacity. A child at this stage also becomes aware of the fact that their decision and behavior can influence other people of the society and hence they learn the capacity control their behavior according to different situations (Snarey & Samuelson, 2015). One of the main highlighting strength about this theory is that unlike operant conditioning principles this theory can provide details about behavioral developmental within a child and also provide description of each stage of development. Nevertheless, this theory does not provide any proper suggestions to influence the behavior of a child and also improve they are interest upon the education.

The Ericsson's theory of psychological development can be divided into 8 different stages that help a child to develop their behavior for a better quality of adulthood life. All healthy individuals must pass through these 8 stages in order to have a healthy character development.  The primary stage of this theory is the concept of Trust versus mistrust. A child learns to distinguish between the things that they can trust upon and the things that they might not feel safe. The second stage is about autonomy versus shame and doubt. Here, the child is able to distinguish they are on behavioral characteristics and thereby develop an independent sense of their own. In the following stage a child Learns to develop the behavior of interacting with other children of the society enhance their social skills. They also learn the initiative to take responsibility of their own behavior.


The Fourth Stage is an important in the context that in this process a child learns the skill to develop education and also grow a sense of self esteem. This encourages them to gain knowledge from the learning lessons (Macnamara et al., 2016). The next stage occurs during the time of adolescence, where an individual develops the sense of self identity and also has their personal moral values. The behavioral change between childhood and adolescence also occurs during this stage. The next three stages of this theory focuses on life of adulthood middle age and old age. During the stages and individual learn to live in harmony with other people of the society and also develop the characteristics to modify their behavior according to situation they face. The behavior of an individual also decides up on the status of relationship with different other individual of family and social circle (Chee, 2014).

There is also the Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, which aims to develop better understanding of Intelligence growth within individuals. Every child develops their own mental model about the concepts of life. With the help of this theory it is possible to understand the importance of childhood mental development and also modify their behavioral characteristics that can help them in better understanding of the surrounding environment. However, the main drawback of this theory is that it is not possible to measure the IQ level of each student in a primary class. Therefore it is not also possible for that teacher like Jane, to develop a better plan for providing education to the primary Management students. On the other hand, the main strength of this theory is that it tries to explore the genetic cause for behavioral characteristics of a child (Mischel, 2013).

As the principles of operant conditioning are strictly based on experimental studies they cannot be applied in every situation of childhood to improve the behavior of students. On the other hand the above-mentioned theories are more practical based and helps to develop the behavioral characteristics depending upon the age of a child. Moreover the principles also defy few of the traditional theories of psychology and hence, there is risk of negative behavioral change among the students (Murphy & Lupfer, 2014). It is also challenging to track the progress of behavioral improvement among primary students as like the traditional theories the operant conditioning cannot be applied according to age criteria.

Nevertheless the principles of operant conditioning are regarded as most practically applicable tool to influence the behavior of a child in order to develop their sense and learning ability. The research for that develops the principles of operant conditioning has been done without any bias and hence it is possible to be applied for all kind of challenges faced by all categories of primary students. This theory is mainly applicable for educational behavioral change among primary students rather than overall characteristics build up of an individual.


Suitability of Operant Conditioning

In the given scenario, where Jane has to face challenge due to the lack of attention of the students, it is important to apply the principles of operant conditioning that will help in the behavioural development of the students. As it will apply the positive reinforcement, it will help the children to make use of the positive change within the behaviour and also upon the classroom, which will help to develop the interest among the students. With the help of change in the behaviour among the primary students, it is possible for Jane to develop a sense of better understanding among the students and also develop their curiosity. As the principles aims to change the behaviour of an individual, it is possible to deal with the negative and de-motivated thoughts among individuals. Nevertheless, Jane also needs to ensure that the students are not given enough pressure to change upon their behaviour, which could develop the sense of negative attitude. Moreover, as the principles of operant conditioning were developed only to influence the classroom behaviour of an individual child, it is not possible to deal with the other social behaviour of a young child.



Brush, F. R. (Ed.). (2014). Aversive conditioning and learning. Academic Press.

Eysenck, H. J., & Rachman, S. (2013). The Causes and Cures of Neurosis (Psychology Revivals): An Introduction to Modern Behaviour Therapy Based on Learning Theory and the Principles of Conditioning. Routledge.

Olson, M. H. (2015). An introduction to theories of learning. Psychology Press.

Demetriou, A., Shayer, M., & Efklides, A. (Eds.). (2016). Neo-Piagetian Theories of Cognitive Development: Implications and Applications for Education. Routledge.

Kurtines, W. M., Gewirtz, J., & Lamb, J. L. (2014). Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development: Volume 1: Theory. Psychology Press.

Snarey, J., & Samuelson, P. L. (2015). Lawrence Kohlberg’s revolutionary ideas. Handbook of moral and character education, 61-83.

Macnamara, B. N., Hambrick, D. Z., & Moreau, D. (2016). How Important Is Deliberate Practice? Reply to Ericsson (2016). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(3), 355-358.

Chee, J. (2014). Clinical simulation using deliberate practice in nursing education: A Wilsonian concept analysis. Nurse education in practice, 14(3), 247-252.

Mischel, T. (Ed.). (2013). Cognitive development and epistemology. Academic Press.

Murphy, E. S., & Lupfer, G. J. (2014). Basic Principles of Operant Conditioning. The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Operant and Classical Conditioning, 165-194.

Debeer, E., Raes, F., Williams, J. M. G., Craeynest, M., & Hermans, D. (2014). Operant conditioning of autobiographical memory retrieval. Memory, 22(3), 171-183.

Zhang, X., Ruan, X., Xiao, Y., & Huang, J. (2015, December). A self-learning sensorimotor model based on operant conditioning theory. In Advanced Information Technology, Electronic and Automation Control Conference (IAEAC), 2015 IEEE (pp. 572-576). IEEE.


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