What does instrumental conditioning mean?

Definitions for instrumental conditioning
in·stru·men·tal con·di·tion·ing

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. instrumental conditioningnoun

    operant conditioning that pairs a response with a reinforcement in discrete trials; reinforcement occurs only after the response is given


  1. instrumental conditioning

    Operant conditioning, also called instrumental conditioning, is a learning process where behaviors are modified through the association of stimuli with reinforcement or punishment. In it, operants—behaviors that affect one's environment—are conditioned to occur or not occur depending on the environmental consequences of the behavior. Operant conditioning originated in the work of Edward Thorndike, whose law of effect theorised that behaviors arise as a result of whether their consequences are satisfying or discomforting. In the 20th century, operant conditioning was studied by behaviorist psychologists, who believed that much, if not all, of mind and behaviour can be explained as a result of envirionmental conditioning. Reinforcements are environmental stimuli that increase behaviors, whereas punishments are stimuli that decrease behaviors. Both kinds of stimuli can be further categorised into positive and negative stimuli, which respectively involve the addition or removal of environmental stimuli. Operant conditioning differs from classical conditioning, which is a process where stimuli are paired with biologically significant events to produce involuntary and reflexive behaviors. In contrast, operant conditioning is voluntary and depends on the consequences of a behavior. The study of animal learning in the 20th century was dominated by the analysis of these two sorts of learning, and they are still at the core of behavior analysis. They have also been applied to the study of social psychology, helping to clarify certain phenomena such as the false consensus effect.


  1. instrumental conditioning

    Instrumental conditioning, also known as operant conditioning, is a type of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences, such as rewards or punishments. This type of conditioning involves the use of stimuli to influence behavior and enables an individual or an animal to make associations between certain behaviors and outcomes. This concept was developed by B.F. Skinner, stating that the frequency of a behavior can be increased by reinforcement or decreased by punishment.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of instrumental conditioning in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of instrumental conditioning in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2


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"instrumental conditioning." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/instrumental+conditioning>.

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    a white Southerner who supported Reconstruction policies after the American Civil War (usually for self-interest)
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