Is Operant Conditioning Beneficial for the Learning Process?

Topic: Pedagogy
Words: 633 Pages: 2

Operant conditioning is the type of learning process that is based on associative thinking. This type of children’s upbringing and learning is ushered in at schools and kindergartens in order to make them accomplish repetitive actions that are encouraged by positive reinforcement or reprimanded by punishments. In this associative study, the behavioral pattern is modified or fixed by means of “appetitive” stimuli or “noxious” ones to modify children’s behavior via increasing or decreasing it.

Operant conditioning might resort to a child at the age of 5-8 in order to get them to clean up their rooms in the frame of household chore accomplishment. A small child who has just started to develop his cognitive aptitudes through varied external manipulations and incentives might notice that his parents scale up their actions to teach him to live in cleanliness. Maintaining the cleanliness in his room requires a set of routine and repetitive activities that he rejects to complete. The parents, realizing that cleanliness and tidiness are issues of crucial importance in their child’s upbringing, steer the associative learning process towards a series of significant undertakings. The implementation of the operant conditioning frame is the best solution to get the child to clean up his room without any reservations.

Evidently, it is highly challenging to explain to the child the importance of keeping his room in order. For this very reason, the approach of associative thinking might come in handy, where parents try to highlight the strength of their behavioral patterns by setting the role model. It is necessary to integrate operant conditioning where parents must use positive reinforcements to get the child to do something if he does not have the complex realization of the root reasons for this activity. The positive reinforcement based on the usage of “appetitive” stimuli might encourage the child to repeat this action on a regular basis till he reaches the moment of complete consideration of the importance of cleanliness. The parent’s goal is to increase the behavior of room cleaning up as a household-chore necessity.

The parents use primary reinforcers in this behavioral frame using diverse incentives and stimuli, be it candies or additional entertainment. Being encouraged, the child might understand that it is profitable to do the cleaning, as this process might pay him off, giving him a lot of positive bonuses. So as not to pamper the child by giving him regular stimulation and promotion, the parents have to devise a particular schedule (be it one time in two weeks) of positive reinforcements and announce to their child why he is praised. In case the parents do not use consecutive and strategic action in this approach, the force of reinforcements might fade away at the first stages of associative learning. It implies that if the reinforcers are nixed, the experiment of operant conditioning will fail.

As mentioned above, the parents resort to the positive reinforcement method of operant conditions in their kid’s upbringing process. The application of this method is proved empirically as incentivized children show staggering success in the refinement of associative thinking (Tobore, 2021). There is another method of this approach called intermittent learning. Parents might make some pauses between reinforcements and punishments to observe their child’s behavior without any external manipulations or stimulations (Sahoo, 2021). This approach can also be applied to this case to monitor the way the child’s behavioral patterns are modified.

It goes without saying that operant conditioning might pay off for people who implement this approach while learning their children. Sometimes it is highly challenging to explain to kids the essence and significant importance of some actions due to children’s early age and inability to mull over notions in a reasonable way. To create the strength of the modified behavior, individuals use diverse stimuli to motivate or re-teach their children.


Sahoo, P. P., Kanellopoulos, A., & Vamvoudakis, K. G. (2021). Intermittent learning through operant conditioning for cyber-physical systems. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems, 5(6), 1-11. Web.

Tobore, T. O. (2021). On the theory of mental representation block. a novel perspective on learning and behavior. Communicative & Integrative Biology, 14(1), 41-50. Web.

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