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PSY101

Extinction
Home
BF Skinner's Bio
Who is BF Skinner?
Timeline
BF Skinner's Research
What is Operant Conditioning?
Principles of Operant Conditioning
Reinforcement
Reinforcement Schedule
Punishment
Shaping
Extinction
Generalization and Discrimination
Applications of Operant Conditioning
Acknowledgements

 

Extinction

 

As in classical conditioning, responses learned in operant conditioning are not always permanent. In operant conditioning, extinction is the elimination of a learned behavior by discontinuing the reinforcer of that behavior. If a rat has learned to press a lever because it receives food for doing so, its lever-pressing will decrease and eventually disappear if food is no longer delivered. With people, withholding the reinforcer may eliminate some unwanted behaviors. For instance, parents often reinforce temper tantrums in young children by giving them attention. If parents simply ignore the child’s tantrums rather than reward them with attention, the number of tantrums should gradually decrease.

 

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