Saturday, March 8, 2014

8 Forms of Operant Conditioning Found on The Social Work Exam

We all remember B.F. Skinner who discovered operant conditioning. He believed that behaviors were influenced by what happens after a response not before. The following are 8 forms of operant conditioning: 

1) Consequences- the result of a behavior are the consequences and depending on what these consequences are will increase or decrease the likelihood of repeat behavior

2)Shaping- is a way to reinforce or guide a behavior by the use of approximations

3)Positive Reinforcement- described in picture above, give a dog a bone (reward) for good behavior and it will reinforce it

4)Negative Reinforcement –  take away kindness and attention which will reinforce behavior by taking away averse thing 

 5)Positive Punishment – By adding something bad it will reinforce behavior by adding a penalty 

6)Negative Punishment
– Take away something good which will reinforce the behavior 

7)Primary Reinforcer – These are basic satisfying stimuli that don't have to be learned like access to food and water

8)Secondary Reinforcer –These are learned stimuli that have been reinforced through experience such as money or grades 

More info on Skinner found here


  1. I just started reading your blog last week. I'm scheduled to sit for the LCSW exam in 2 weeks- Yikes! This blog has been very helpful. Thank you!

    1. I'm so glad you find it helpful:) Good luck on your exam!

    2. I agree. Thank you so much for this blog, Christin. I only found it yesterday and my exam is tomorrow but it has been truly very helpful. Now I just have to go and pass!

  2. I'm scheduled to sit for my LGSW exam in Maryland on Friday, May 9, 2014! Trying to absorb as much information as possible and eliminate anxiety. I'm praying that I pass!

  3. Good Luck! I'm sure you'll do fine as it sounds like you're really trying to do all you can to prepare:) I'll send positive thoughts to you on Friday.

  4. Thank you so so much for this amazing blog!! exrr helpful

  5. Thank you so so much for this amazing blog!! extremely helpful