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Skinner Box

designed the operant chamber, which has a bar that an animal presses to release a reward, with a device that records responses; proved rewarded behavior is likely to recur


any event that strengthens the behavior it follows

positive reinforcement

increasing behaviors by presenting positive stimuli, such as food; strengthens the response

negative reinforcement

increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli; when removed after a response, it strengthens the response

primary reinforcer

an innately reinforcing stimulus, such as one that satisfies a biological need

secondary reinforcer

conditioned reinforcer; a stimulus that gains its reinforcing power through its association with a primary reinforcer

fixed-ratio schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified number of responses

variable-ratio schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response after an unpredictable umber of responses

fixed-interval schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response only after a specified time has elapsed

variable-interval schedule

a reinforcement schedule that reinforces a response at unpredictable time intervals


any consequence that decreases the frequency of a preceding behavior

positive punishment

adds something unpleasant

negative punishment

takes away something pleasant


reinforcers guide behavior toward closer and closer approximations of desired behavior

observational learning

learn by observing others


process of observing and imitating a specific behavior


similar to Pavlov; conscious/unconscious didn't matter in learning

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