Operant conditioning / instrumental learning is a mechanism by which behaviors can be strengthened or weakened over time. This information handout describes the principles of operant conditioning / instrumental learning and how it applies to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
DescriptionOperant 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.
InstructionsThis 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.