Skinner's Theory of Operant Conditioning as seen Through Positive Behavior Support


Purpose of this Site

The purpose of this site is to provide support for a growing trend in schools across the country. Programs of Positive Behavior Support have received increasing attention and have begun to become more widespread in recent years. Such programs are based on theories of reinforcement and the idea that problem behaviors are more effectively eliminated when the proper behaviors are taught and reinforced, rather than by using more punishing practices of suspensions and expulsions that have been used in the past. This site provides a brief overview of B.F. Skinner, the psychologist who is credited with the theory of operant conditioning. The theory of operant conditioning is then expanded upon so that we can better understand how punishment and reinforcement work. Examples and pros and cons of both punishment and reinforcement are given. Finally, a discussion of Positive Behavior Support is presented and an argument made that Positive Behavior Support Programs are more beneficial in the amelioration of problem behaviors than previously used methods of punishment have been. Hopefully, with an increasing knowledge of the most successful ways to deal with problem behaviors, classrooms can become even more conducive to learning and remove any added distractions that problem behaviors may contribute.

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Skinner       Operant Conditioning       Reinforcement and Punishment      Positive Behavior Support     References