Operant learning is a type of learning in which behavior is modified by its consequences, either being reinforced or punished. This means that the likelihood of a particular behavior being repeated depends on whether it leads to favorable outcomes (reinforcement) or unfavorable outcomes (punishment).
In operant learning, an individual’s behavior is shaped and strengthened by consequences such as rewards or punishments. The consequences can be either positive, where a desirable outcome is added, or negative, where an unpleasant outcome is removed.
An example of positive reinforcement would be giving a child a candy for doing well in school. The child’s good behavior is being reinforced because they receive a desirable outcome (the candy) as a result of their actions. An example of negative reinforcement would be turning off an alarm clock when you wake up, which stops the unpleasant sound.
Classical and operant learning are two main types of learning, and both play a role in shaping behavior. Operant learning is often used in psychology, education, and animal training, as it provides a way to modify behavior by controlling the consequences of actions.