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Confused about the use of the term "operant conditioning"??

October 14th, 2007, 10:11 PM
I often hear or read about trainers/people speak of using "operant conditioning" as a specific means of conditioning behavior/training. It seems as if the term is most often used by many if not most trainers/behavorists as a way of indicating that only reward based,reinforcement,or methods such as clickers/markers are used and that corrections/punishment are seldom or never used in condition behavior.. Can anyone clarify or explain this term and how you understand the use of this term in dog training? Thanks in advance for any opinion or suggestions on this confusing issue. (for me anyways):shrug:


October 14th, 2007, 10:35 PM
Hmmm... BF Skinner if my memory serves correctly....?

It's behaviour and consequence. The consequence can be good (as in you get something good or something bad is taken away or stopped) , the consequence can be bad (something bad happens or is given or something good is taken away) or the consequence can be completely neutral (nothing happens following a behaviour).

But you're right it does figure highly in training language. I think mostly because it is seen as a natural course as opposed to classical/ Pavlovian conditioning.