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By applying his thoughts on adjusting motivation through various stimuli, industries such as business, government, education, prisons, and mental institutions can gain a broader understanding of human behavior.
"In understanding why any organism behaves the way it does, Skinner saw no place for dwelling on a person’s intentions or goals” (Banaji, 2011).
According to the law, the rate of a particular behavior depends both on its own reinforcement rate and on the reinforcement rate of other behaviors.
From this statement, it follows that operants (i.e.
As an example, if the cat would press a bar or pull on a string, a door would open allowing the cat to escape.
Once the cat was outside of the box, it would find some food in close proximity, thereby reinforcing the response (Thorndike, 1911).
In their opinion, it would make the discipline of Psychology more "scientific" and on par with the core sciences.
These researchers turned to exploring only the behaviors that could be observed and measured, and away from the mysterious workings of the mind (Funder, 2010).
The table below is derived from the table created by Huitt & Hummel (1997): back to top Reinforcement theory provides two methods of increasing desirable behaviors.
For him, it was outward behavior and its environment that mattered.
His most important contribution to psychological science was the concept of reinforcement, formalized in his principles of operant conditioning.
Thorndike also noticed that with more training, the cats managed to gain access to food in increasingly less time.
The figure below exhibits the puzzle box, in which a graph "demonstrates the general decreasing trend of the cat's response times with each successive trial".