Login

Operant Conditioning

Operant conditioning is a simple description of operant conditioning / instrumental learning and why it is important in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Client difficulties are sometimes the result of positively or negatively reinforced responses, and may respond to a process whereby different reinforcement schedules are used to shape them. Some forms of therapy are more explicit in their deliberate shaping of client behavior.

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training
  • Skinner, B. F. (1938). The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis. New York: Appleton-Century.
  • Skinner, B. F. (1948). Superstition in the pigeon. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 168-172.
  • Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. Simon and Schuster



Operant Conditioning