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By Tara Chand and Ravi Prakash

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Behaviour Dominated by Aversion Stimulation Although the type of threatened displeasure or pain has been changed in the past fifty years, behaviour in the lower grades is still dominated by aversive stimulation—a child is trying to escape or keep away from something. , as far as the child was concerned, he did these things to avoid or escape punishment. Today a school child behaves the way he does primarily to escape the threat of a series of minor distasteful events—the teacher's displeasure, criticism or ridicule by his classmates, a poor showing in competition, low marks, or a trip to the principal's office.

Operant behaviour is that behaviour which operates upon the environment to generate consequences. Notice that in this process not the person or the environment but it—behaviour—behaves; behaviour is a phenomenon of nature. Just as wind blows, behaviour behaves. Although Skinner acknowledges two kinds of learning— operant and reflexive—he places far greater emphasis upon operant learning, which is under the control of its consequences. He sees most human behaviour and consequently nearly all human conditioning or learning as operant.

Whenever something reinforces a particular form of behaviour, the chances are better that behaviour will be repeated. The task of psychologists is to gain more understanding of conditions under which reinforcement works best. To the many "natural" reinforcers of behaviour a host of artificial reinforcers may be added. "Any list of values is a list of reinforcers— conditioned or otherwise. " 71 HOW HAS SKINNER USED ANIMALS TO STUDY OPERANT REINFORCEMENT? In general, experimental psychologists have not related their laws and theories to instances of learning in real life.

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