Numerous scholars from the time of Thorndike till presently have tried to explain learning and behavior among individuals and animals. Instrumental conditioning is probably the most researched and renowned technique used to modify behavior. …
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Attempts to identify the role of Pavlovian mechanisms in instrumental learning stimulated studies relevant to the associative structure of instrumental conditioning. Lidwell, Holden, and Buttler (2010) define instrumental conditioning as the technique employed to modify behavior by reinforcing desired behaviors and ignoring or punishing undesired behaviours. Instrumental conditioning technique involves increasing or decreasing a behavior by associating the behavior with a positive or negative condition. Instrumental conditioning is commonly applied to animal training, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Selected Situation Thorndike (1901) asserts that instrumental conditioning relies on the law of effect. The knowledge of instrumental conditioning has influenced educational performances. Children of all ages display behavior. Parents and teacher are behavior changers. Completing homework by in time by children is a good example of a situation that best explains instrumental conditioning. In reference to Domjan and Grau (2009), presentation of a particular response follows instrumental conditioning behaviors. In this case, a child may complete his or her homework in time to earn rewards from her parent or teacher. The reward motivates the child to work harder to complete the homework in time. On the other hand, because the child is aware that failure to complete the task allocated in time will lead to punishment, he or she will attempt to complete it in time. In essence, the reward to attain from the parent and the teacher is a positive condition that leads to completion of homework in time whereas the punishment is a negative condition that leads to diminution of failure to complete homework in time. Positive and negative reinforcement Thorndike (1901), in his law of effect denotes that reinforcement is a primary element in instrumental conditioning. Reinforcement is anything that triggers the desired response. Occurrence of performance of a behavior initiates reinforcements. When there is a clear and predictive relationship between the frequency of a behavior and an outcome, behavior will be paced to do just what is required to receive reinforcement. Positive and negative reinforcements are basic instrumental conditioning techniques that induce a desired response or behavior. Positive reinforcement increases the probability of a behavior by associating the behavior with a positive condition. Needless to say, positive reinforcements are favourable events presented after the behavior. For instance, a promise for a vacation or promises for a reward, such as a bike to the child after completion of
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