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Operant Conditioning in Psychology

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 10:03 AM
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Psyc 100

Wednesday 9-10


An Example of Operant Conditioning

As a student at USC, one can assume that I’ve always taken schoolwork seriously and may even infer that I partake a considerable degree of enjoyment from it, which is by all means an accurate assumption.   However, in my early childhood I was often characterized as unruly, uncooperative and impulsive in nature.   At that age I had been more interested in social endeavors more so than anything relating to studying or doing schoolwork.   It was always a negative issue when I brought it up in a conversation, and that assumption was reinforced through subsequent agreement amongst my peers.   Coupled with negative criticism from my teachers of the purported “attitude” I had in regards to school and my elders, the environment in which I was situated made me all the more indifferent towards academics in general.   Instead of studying after school, I would spend most of my time watching TV at home or playing with friends before walking home.   At that point in my life my father and mother had been pursuing their careers in bio-medical engineering and audiology respectively, so I did not receive as much encouragement or parental monitoring as many of my friends did: In fact my dad would often leave home for weeks at a time to make presentations in other countries about the advancements in biomedical engineering concerning his specialized field and my mom would come back from work in the early evening.   The only immediate source of encouragement came from my grandparents who were living with us at the time.   Yet because they could only speak Spanish and knew so little about schools in general, they were unable to really help me out with any problems that I would have.  

One day my parents, after reviewing my report card with another assortment of “unsatisfactory” grades, decided to take two steps to try and encourage me to get...


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