operant conditioning

noun

Definition of operant conditioning

: conditioning in which the desired behavior or increasingly closer approximations to it are followed by a rewarding or reinforcing stimulus — compare classical conditioning

Examples of operant conditioning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bears and monkeys can be taught to dance at circuses, but Patel said such displays do not qualify as true dancing because they are based on operant conditioning. Author: Jason Bittel, Anchorage Daily News, "Snowball the cockatoo taught himself 14 dance moves, scientists say," 9 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operant conditioning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of operant conditioning

1941, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of operant conditioning was in 1941

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Cite this Entry

“Operant conditioning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/operant%20conditioning. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for operant conditioning

operant conditioning

noun

Medical Definition of operant conditioning

: conditioning in which the desired behavior or increasingly closer approximations to it are followed by a rewarding or reinforcing stimulus — compare classical conditioning

More from Merriam-Webster on operant conditioning

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about operant conditioning

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