Unconditioned Response (20 Examples + Test Prep)

person sneezing

You’re about to learn about a key element that plays a vital role in how we act and react without even thinking about it — the unconditioned response. This fundamental, reflexive response is part of what makes you uniquely human, influencing your daily life in more ways than you might realize. An unconditioned response is … Read more

Unconditioned Stimulus (25 Examples + Test Prep)

person shivering from the cold

Imagine you’re walking through a garden and the sudden scent of blooming flowers hits you; it’s an experience that requires no learning to appreciate. That’s the power of an unconditioned stimulus: it naturally, automatically triggers a response without any prior learning. Unconditioned stimulus is a term used in classical conditioning to describe an event that … Read more

Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment (Explained)

The Bobo Doll Experiment was a study by Albert Bandura to investigate if social behaviors can be learned by observing others in the action. According to behaviorists, learning occurs only when a behavior results in rewards or punishment. However, Bandura didn’t believe the framework of rewards and punishments adequately explained many aspects of everyday human behavior. … Read more

Differential Reinforcement (Definition + Examples)

How do you get a child to stop performing a negative behavior? Maybe your child is kicking, running, eating too fast, or doing something else they aren’t supposed to do. Punishment isn’t working – in fact, it’s causing adverse effects that you would prefer to eliminate. What if you could use reinforcement to reduce bad … Read more

Variable Interval Reinforcement Schedule (Examples)

It’s always nice to be recognized for good work, even if that recognition or reward happens randomly. Some people appreciate receiving praise or rewards only randomly. Accountability in the form of surprise check-ins keeps many people on their toes, always working to the best of their ability.  This isn’t the only way to encourage good … Read more

Fixed Interval Reinforcement Schedule (Examples)

Interested in how to change your behavior? You can use fixed interval reinforcement! I’m going to explain what fixed interval reinforcement is, how it can be used to increase the likelihood of specific behaviors, and when it works best. If you are trying to learn a new habit, or just want your child to do … Read more

Variable Ratio Reinforcement Schedule (Examples)

Gambling can be fun, but it can also be addicting. Let’s say you win $10 the first time you hit the slots. The next time, you lose a dollar. The next time, you lose another dollar. Despite these losses, the hope of another win lingers in your mind, compelling you to believe that another win … Read more

Fixed Ratio Reinforcement Schedule (Examples)

On some farms, workers are paid a certain amount of dollars for every basket they fill with fruit, vegetables, or flowers. If a farmworker fills one basket, they receive $20. If they fill ten baskets, that number jumps to $200. Every day, they leave with some money – but that amount depends on how much … Read more

Schedules of Reinforcement (Examples)

Psychologists have identified that reinforcement, or a system designed to increase the likelihood of behavior, may run on different schedules. By understanding these schedules, we can better understand how reinforcement works in everyday life and how you can train yourself, train your dog, or even train a child to complete specific behaviors. What Are Schedules … Read more

Negative Reinforcement (Definition + Examples)

At first glance, “negative reinforcement” might sound uncomfortable or contradictory. Is there such a thing as negative reinforcement or positive punishment?  In the world of behaviorism, yes. Both of those terms exist. You might be surprised to learn that negative reinforcement actually encourages a behavior to happen again!  What is Negative Reinforcement? Negative Reinforcement is … Read more