Description of the Strategy

An operant is a behavior that operates (or acts) on the environment to produce reinforcing consequences. The term was first used by B. F. Skinner to describe the relationship between behavior and the environmental events that occur both before and after behavior. Operant conditioning occurs when, in the presence of a discriminative stimulus, a behavior occurs that produces reinforcement. This behavior is more likely to happen again in the future in the presence of the same or similar discriminative stimuli because it worked to produce reinforcement. Skinner observed that while an organism can perform many behaviors at any given time, the “fittest” behaviors are the ones that occur because they are most effective at operating (or producing) reinforcement. These ...

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