operant conditioning love

operant conditioning


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A learning process in which the likelihood of a specific behavior is increased or decreased through positive or negative reinforcement each time the behavior is exhibited, so that the subject comes to associate the pleasure or displeasure of the reinforcement with the behavior.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Psychol.) A process for causing animals to behave in a specific manner by rewarding or punishing the animal each time it performs a certain act; after a time, the animal comes to associate the reward or punishment with the act, and will increase or decrease the frequency of performing that act.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun psychology A technique of behavior modification through positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment

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

  • noun conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response


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  • "She budged the wheelchair back a few more inches. This time, Endal followed closely, and Nina rewarded him. For the next half hour, caught up in the fun of Nina's 'operant conditioning,' reinforced with constant praise, encouragement, and games, the willing Labrador heeled happily, as Nina gradually increased the complexity of her wheelchair maneuvers. Endal was given tasks when he was judged ready and was rewarded for his success. 'You watch the behavior the dog is offering and reward him for the behavior nearest to what you want,' Nina explained to the puppy walkers. 'As punishment, we withdraw attention, so the puppy learns you have lost interest in him. They'd rather be petted than ignored.'"

    —Merrily Weisbord and Kim Kachanoff, Dogs with Jobs: Working Dogs Around the World (NY and London: Pocket Books, 2000), 174

    Wouldn't we all...

    July 28, 2009