from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Operating to produce effects; effective.
  • adj. Psychology Of, relating to, or being a response that occurs spontaneously and is identified by its reinforcing or inhibiting effects.
  • n. One that operates.
  • n. Psychology An element of operant behavior.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That operates to produce an effect.
  • n. An operative person or thing.
  • n. A class of behavior that produces consequences by operating (i.e., acting) upon the environment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Operative.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Working; engaged in action; active; operative; effective.
  • n. One who operates; an operator or operative; a worker or workman.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having influence or producing an effect


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin operāns, operant-, present participle of operārī, to work; see operate.


  • He argued that this occurs through a process that he called operant conditioning.

    Innateness and Language

  • Because the brain reward system is part of a larger brain circuit that underlies a primitive form of learning called operant conditioning, activating it not only produces pleasure, but also teaches people to repeat the drug-taking behaviors that turned it on in the first place.

    Dental Work

  • a stimulus such as food is a reinforcer only if its presentation increases the frequency of a response in a type of associative conditioning known as operant conditioning.


  • There is another type of conditioning called "operant" conditioning.

    Morty Lefkoe: How to Stop Emotional Eating (and Other Compulsive Behavior Problems) for Good

  • Brookstone - I see one of these places and I salivate with the kind of operant conditioning that comes from a lifetime of gadgeteering.

    nad hen j��c eto

  • This would be an early use of the kind of operant conditioning that I think would be useful.


  • Who cares about evolution if we can explain the length and breadth of human behavior on the basis of minimalistic principles such as operant conditioning or utility maximization?

    David Sloan Wilson: EvoS: Coming Soon to a College Near You

  • I think that the whole island “attracts” people through the electromagnetism so that some kind of operant behavior testing can be done and the button has something to do with it.

    Open ‘Lost’ Thread

  • In the 1950s, American psychologist-educator-inventor-poet B.F. Skinner established his own philosophy of science, which he called Radical Behaviorism, and advanced his theory of "operant conditioning."

    Jenifer Fox: Education, What are we Talking About?

  • Conditioning is the scientific term for learning, and operant refers to the concept that people perform actions that change their environments -- for better or worse.

    Jenifer Fox: Education, What are we Talking About?


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.