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Operant conditioning is a psychological process used to modify behavior. This psychological process has significant implications for combat training. Operant conditioning is based on the simple principle that behavior is determined by its consequences. This principle is illustrated by famous experiments where lab rats quickly learned that by pressing a lever they would be rewarded with a piece of cheese. Operant conditioning is important for military training because it can increase the likelihood that a soldier will use lethal force. It is widely accepted that following World War II operant conditioning became a key component of military training.

The key concepts in operant conditioning are stimulus, response, and reinforcement. Operant conditioning is the planned effort to make changes in behavior by reinforcing behavior based on ...

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