(Solved) What Is The Purpose Of The Skinner Box?

Operant conditioning chambers are small environments designed to contain an animal subject 🙌 They are generally structured to block external light and sound in order to prevent distracting stimuli from interfering with experiments 🙈 The box ensures behaviourss are conditioned appropriately and rewards are timed correctly. The purpose of the Skinner box is to analyze animal behaviourr by detecting when an animal has performed a desired behaviourr and then administering a reward, thus determining how long it takes the animal to learn to perform the behaviourr. If the goal of the box is to teach a rat to press a lever, for example, pressing the lever might cause food to fall out of a chute. The rat will likely only push the lever accidentally at first, but eventually it will learn food appears when it does so. Then the rat will begin to perform the behaviourr independently. [1]
The idea was simple. Order effects, one of the oldest and most robust effects ever discovered in the psychological sciences, can exert a powerful influence over attitudes, beliefs, and behaviourss through the strategic arrangement and presentation of information. This means that you can influence someone’s wine selection, their preference for one type of medical treatment over another, and which candidate they select on a ballot based on the order in which you present them. In the digital world, controlling the presentation of information becomes even easier. By arranging information, web-based platforms can influence which hotel you book, the music you rate, and, on Facebook, the emotional language you use. [2]
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In behavioral studies, researchers study the relationship between environmental events and measures of a target behaviourr, termed a respondent (in classical conditioning) or free operant (in operant conditioning). In the 1930s, as B. F. Skinner was developing the laws of operant conditioning, he constructed an apparatus, technically called an operant chamber but popularly known as a “Skinner box,” that deprives an animal of all external stimuli other than those under the control of the experimenter (Skinner 1935). Generally, a Skinner box is soundproof and light-resistant, and usually contains a bar or lever to be pressed by the animal to either gain a reward or avoid a painful stimulus. An operant chamber allows the researcher to experimentally manipulate environmental stimuli and measure their impact on operant behaviourr. Additionally, the use of the chamber allows data on the animal’s responses to be monitored and collected electromechanically twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, thus eliminating the need for an external observer to record behaviourr. (last edited 2 weeks ago by Damiana Hammer from Rotterdam, Netherlands) [3]
The principle of the Skinner Box as it was originally developed was to analyze the response of an organism operating in its environment when it encounters a reinforcer. Skinner used animals in his experiments to formulate or flesh out theory applicable to people. A few examples of his work in this respect include schedules of reinforcement, behaviourr modification and shaping. The Skinner Box itself is light- and sound-proof and features at least one primary reinforcer and one operandum. The box has to be big enough to comfortably allow room for motion for lab animals; sometimes, the floors of these boxes feature an electrified net to administer electric shock to the animals. One of Skinner’s first experiments in operant conditioning involved rats that were most frequently pre-conditioned to understand the nature of a food pellet, and primed to form an association between receiving the pellets and the activation of a pedal within the box. Skinner observed that once the had rats become conditioned to activating the pedal to receive food pellets, their rate of activation would drop when they were not specifically seeking food. However, when Skinner altered the mechanism such that the release of the pellets occurred only intermittently upon the activation of the pedal, the rate of activation increased. Skinner theorized that in the inconsistent reward was, in fact, a greater motivator for action because the reward, while still desired, was not guaranteed with each repetition of the action. (revised by Kimberly V. From Jiangmen, China on June 18, 2021) [4]

Article References

  1. https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/skinner-box
  2. https://behavioralscientist.org/21st-century-skinner-box/
  3. https://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/ecology-and-environmentalism/environmental-studies/skinner-box
  4. https://blog.customboxesnow.com/the-skinner-box/
Mae Chow

Written by Mae Chow

Passionate about writing and studying Chinese, I blog about anything from fashion to food. And of course, study chinese! I'm a passionate blogger and life enthusiast who loves to share my thoughts, views and opinions with the world. I share things that are close to my heart as well as topics from all over the world.

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