Operant Behavior

  title={Operant Behavior},
  author={Burrhus F. Skinner},
  journal={Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science},
  • B. Skinner
  • Published 2021
  • Psychology
  • Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
WE are interested in the behavior of an organism because of its effects on the environment. (One effect on the social environment is, of course, the arousal of our interest.) Some effects seem to throw light on the behavior which produces them, but their explanatory role has been clouded by the fact that they follow the behavior and, therefore, raise the specter of teleology. An attempt has been made to solve the problem by creating a cpntemporary_^uxmgate of a given effect. A quality or… 

The Futures of Experimental Analysis of Behavior

For 50 years experimental analysts of behavior have been riding the crests of waves raised by B. F. Skinner. His technical innovations and conceptual simplifications were a powerful breath of fresh

Selection of Behavior by Justifications as Constituent of Rules

This study attempts to clarify a distinction between the effects of stimuli that are constituent of rules and of reinforcement contingencies in the determination of behavior by the presentation of the Theory of Control by Justifi cations and by Immediate Consequences (TJC Theory).


The earliest studies of operant learning can be traced back to the research of psychologist E. L. Thorndike with cats in puzzle boxes, which drew an important distinction between operant behavior, which operated on the environment to change it and which was affected by stimuli that followed it, and respondent behavior, an earlier discovered form of learning.

Basic Evaluation Process and some Associated Phenomena, Such as Emotions and Reactive Defense of Beliefs.

  • Flavio Osmo
  • Psychology
    Integrative psychological & behavioral science
  • 2021
It is argued that not only is categorical thinking shared by humans and other animals, but also certain types of categorization, which I understand to be aligned in a mat of categorizations, constituting the basic evaluation process.

Beyond the rhetoric of tech addiction: why we should be discussing tech habits instead (and how)

  • J. Aagaard
  • Psychology
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
  • 2020
In the past few years, we have become increasingly focused on technology use that is impulsive, unthinking, and distractive. There has been a strong push to understand such technology use in terms of

A Contextual Behavioral Account of Culture: Example Implementation of a Functional Behavioral Approach to the Study of Cultural Differences in Social Anxiety

The results demonstrate how implementing an alternative framework that focuses on the relationship between behavioral function and environmental adaptability leads to different conclusions compared to implementing frameworks that emphasize the form or degree of a behavior or belief in one group compared to another.

Analysis of variables that may interfere with discrepant rule following behavior

Aiming to investigate the control of behavior by rules, 10 college students were exposed to a matching to sample procedure with the task of pointing to each of three comparison stimulus in sequence.

Clases de equivalencia y conducta verbal

Since the first published study by Sidman in 1971, and their subsequent systematization a decade later, the phenomenon of the formation of equivalence classes has proven to be a line of highly

On a definition of behavior

The definition of behavior as an organism-environment interaction that is found in recent publications is questioned and uses of the term behavior which are incompatible with such a definition are presented.



Behaviorism at fifty.

Abstract Each of us is uniquely subject to certain kinds of stimulation from a small part of the universe within our skins. Mentalistic psychologies insist that other kinds of events, lacking the

Two Types of Conditioned Reflex: A Reply to Konorski and Miller

Let conditioning be defined as a kind of change in reflex strength where the operation performed upon the organism to induce the change is the presentation of a reinforcing stimulus in a certain

Are theories of learning necessary?

All statements about the nervous system are theories in the sense that they are not expressed in the same terms and could not be confirmed with the same methods of observation as the facts for which they are said to account.

Relative and absolute strength of response as a function of frequency of reinforcement.

  • R. Herrnstein
  • Psychology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1961
The present experiment is a study of strength of response of pigeons on a concurrent schedule under which they peck at either of two response-keys and investigates output as a function of frequency of reinforcement.


Skinner's book, Verbal Behavior, was published in 1957. Chomsky's review of it appeared in 1959. By the criterion of seminal influence in generating controversy and stimulating publication, both must

The Behavior of Organisms?

The term & #x2018;organism & #x2018; enjoys a revered place within the vocabulary of behavior analysis, most notably perhaps within the title of Skinner’s seminal work (The Behavior of Organisms,

Discrimination learning with and without "errors".

  • H. Terrace
  • Psychology
    Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior
  • 1963
Performance following discrimination learning without errors lacks three characteristics that are found following learning with errors, and only those birds that learned the discrimination with errors showed "emotional" responses.

Drive and Reflex Strength: II

Resume L'IMPULSION ET LA FORCE DU REFLEXE: II Aux vitesses normales de manger etudiees en certaines experiences deja rapportees une vitesse donnee est determinee par la phase refractaire du reflexe

Tactics of Scientific Research