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Operant conditioning: Positive-and-negative reinforcement and punishment

Video transcript
So in the previous videos, we talked about classical conditioning. And what classical conditioning basically involves is the pairing of stimuli and the association that results between the two. So a behavior that would normally be the result of one stimulus becomes the result of another one because of that association that's created. Now, obviously classical conditioning is little more complicated than that. But that's basically what it boils down to. In this video I want to talk about a concept called operant conditioning. And what operant conditioning basically focuses on is the relationship between behavior and their consequences, and how those consequences in turn influence the behavior. So I'm going to write here "behaviors have consequences." And in terms of operant conditioning, there are two main types of consequences. You have reinforcement and punishment. And when it comes to reinforcement and punishment, there are two types, positive and negative. And the same goes for punishment. There are two types, positive and negative. So we're going to go over each one of these in the context of an example. And we're going to use a goal behavior or a target behavior to help solidify this example. So I want to say the goal behavior for this is safe driving. So we see these two types of consequences, reinforcement and punishment. What reinforcement means is it's going to increase the tendency that the goal behavior will occur again. And you can do that through positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. When you see the word "positive" in this context, it means something is being added. And something is being added in positive reinforcement to increase the tendency that the behavior will occur again. Negative reinforcement means something is being taken away in an effort to increase the tendency that the goal behavior will occur again. So for positive reinforcement, since we're adding something-- let's say if someone is a safe driver and they're following all the rules, they're rewarded with a gas gift card. Free gas, sounds good to me. So I'll write "gas." A gas gift card is being presented in an effort to increase the tendency that the safe driving behavior will occur again. And negative reinforcement means you're going to take something away in order to increase the tendency that the safe behavior will occur again. So one really common example is when you get your car, before you put your seat belt on-- here's a seat belt-- sometimes you'll hear a loud buzzing sound. It's very annoying. That buzzer just keeps going until you perform the behavior of putting on your seat belt. And performing the behavior of putting on your seat belt takes away the sound of the buzzer. So that taking away of the sound of the buzzer is the negative of negative reinforcement. And it's negative reinforcement because you're taking something away-- that's the buzzing sound-- in an effort to increase the behavior that safe driving will occur again. Punishment, on the other hand, means it will decrease the tendency that a behavior will occur again. So if we're going to use the example of safe driving, we want to punish behaviors that are unsafe. So positive punishment means something's being added in an effort to decrease the tendency that a behavior will occur again. So let's think of at a bit unsafe behavior in terms of driving. One of those examples could be speeding. And what happens when you speed? Sometimes when you get caught speeding, you'll receive a speeding ticket. So if you're caught speeding, a police officer will present a ticket to you. So something's been added here, being the ticket, in an effort to decrease the tendency that that unsafe behavior will occur again. So that's why people get speeding tickets. On the other hand, negative punishment mean something is being taken away in an effort to decrease the chance that a behavior will occur again. So if you want a decrease in unsafe driving by taking something away, one extreme example is sometimes when people consistently break the law and they show that they're not safe drivers, courts will take their license away. And by taking away their license, they're decreasing the chances that they can perform more unsafe driving. So these are the four types of consequences. You have positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment. And one last thing I want to illustrate here is that all of these have a reciprocal relationship. All of these consequences influence and shape the behavior. And that's what makes operant conditioning unique. It's this relationship, this reciprocal relationship between behavior and consequences and how these behaviors are all influenced by their consequences. And these consequences will influence the behavior. So these are different types of reinforcement and punishment.