One of the easiest ways to learn something new, then it involves operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is one of the most common ways we learn something because when something happens, whether it’s good or bad, your mind is remembering the action. For example, if you ever burned your hand on the stove as a kid, you learned very quickly that if the stove was hot, that meant that you shouldn’t touch it. That is a prime example of operant conditioning. While it is good, it is not perfect, but it’s quite easy to learn very quickly that it has its positives and negatives.
Operant Conditioning Advantages
When it comes to advantages, you have to consider the fact that it’s the easiest natural way to learn something. It’s one of the best ways to train animals, also. Animals, especially dogs or pigs, tend to learn based on reward or punishment. When you reward an animal for doing something, you’re conditioning it to associate a given action with something positive.
If you hit the dog, you’re using operant conditioning to tell it something negative that it did. By using both of these principles, you’ll be able to successfully integrate the use of operant conditioning to do something positive. Now if you’re still having issues on the other end of the spectrum, it’s also entirely possible that you’re simple not cut out to use operant conditioning, but that’s something you’ll have to do on both ends to ensure that it’s actually positive.
Operant Conditioning Negatives
While it’s very effective, you have to understand that there are a lot of issues with operant conditioning. Many of these are issues that are very hard to trace outside of your given vicinity as well. If you’re having a lot of issues, you’ll have to keep in mind that operant conditioning, although easy, is often too simple to teach very complex concepts. Therefore, if you’re really trying to communicate a really complex or in-depth thing to someone else, you’ll have to be prepared to encounter a lot of issues.
If the same problem were to happen when trying to a concept to an animal or someone else, you’d have to recognize that the operant conditioning is also to blame. Unlike a lot of other methods of instruction, it’s definitely one of the best, but you’ll have to know how it works to use it effectively from top to bottom.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.