Concepts of Operant Learning
DOI link for Concepts of Operant Learning
Concepts of Operant Learning book
The greatest proportion of the behavior of the mentally retarded which comes under the scrutiny of education and rehabilitation personnel is of this operant class. Optimal learning will occur generally in those situations where all of the factors are maximized, that is, short time delay, high preference reinforcer, high magnitude reinforcer, high state of deprivation. The principle of reinforcement states that a behavior, for example, beginning to work when requested to do so, being polite to peers, will be strengthened or maintained by the presentation of certain stimulus consequences called positive reinforcers, for example, a smile, money, praise, or approval. Observation of rehabilitation personnel interacting with the retarded client reveals that much inappropriate behavior is inadvertently reinforced by the staff member who is attempting to establish and maintain a positive emotional relationship with the client. The utilization of this relationship greatly enhances the effective environmental design capabilities of the rehabilitation personnel.