How Reinforcement and Punishment Modify Behavior Operant conditioning, also known as instrumental conditioning, is a method of learning normally attributed to B.F. Skinner, where the consequences of a response determine the probability of it being repeated. Through operant conditioning behavior which is reinforced (rewarded) will likely be repeated, and behavior which is punished will occur less frequently. By the 1920s, John B. Watson had left academic psychology, and other behaviorists were becoming influential, proposing new forms of learning other than classical conditioning. Skinner's views were slightly less extreme than those of Watson (1913). The work of Skinner was rooted in a view that classical conditioning was far too simplistic to be a complete explanation of complex human behavior. BF Skinner: Operant Conditioning Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s (1898) law of effect. Positive Reinforcement Negative Reinforcement
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