In this learning pathway we will explore the origins of operant condition, and the use of reward and punishment to change animals’ behavior. As you make your way through this learning pathway take note that operant conditioning really requires the person or animal to executive a voluntary operation on the environment, or operant response. We will also look at the power of observational learning.



Rajiv Jhangiani provides a brief orientation to this learning pathway on the history of psychology.



By the end of this learning pathway you should be able to:

  • Explain the difference between reinforcement and punishment
  • Distinguish between reinforcement schedules
  • Define observational learning
  • Discuss the steps in the modeling process
  • Explain the prosocial and antisocial effects of observational learning