What is Operant Conditioning?

Operant conditioning has been around for nearly 100 years and became more popular because of psychologist B.F. Skinner.

What is Operant Conditioning?

Remember when we were younger and our parents would give us more screen time if we finished all our homework on time? Remember when our teachers would give us stickers and praises when we aced our tests or answered something correctly? Remember when you did something wrong and you were put in time out? All of these are examples of operant conditioning! Operant conditioning, also known as instrumental conditioning, is a method of learning that employs rewards and punishments for behavior.

Operant conditioning has been around for nearly 100 years and became more popular because of psychologist B.F. Skinner. When we look back at our school days, we will see that rewards or punishments were made for our behaviors. This is a form of operant conditioning where there is an association between behavior and consequences. Rewards are meant to praise us and let us know that we are doing something right and should continue this behavior. Punishments are to let us know that we are doing something wrong and should reflect our behaviors to change that.

When we were younger, our parents would reward us when we finished our homework with screen time, conditioning us to finish our homework again in the future in order to use the TV or computer.

The Lively Habits app’s goal is to help users change unhealthy behaviors and build healthy behaviors and habits through operant conditioning. Many of you may use the app to track daily activities and points are rewarded for them (10 points for good behavior, 5 points for decent behavior, and 0 points for bad behavior). Having this point system helps reinforce desired behaviors and eliminate undesirable behaviors.

Research has shown that it is better to use positive consequences than negative consequences when it comes to improving behavior. For that reason, the Lively Habits app encourages users to reach 100 points, gaining 10 points for each healthy habit. The daily routine of tracking activities can help users see what they need to improve on so that positive behavior changes can happen with time.

Chronic diseases – such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, and heart disease – are leading causes of death and disability. The Liu Foundation offers philanthropic GoLively app and video series promoting evidence-based lifestyle habits to prevent chronic diseases. GoLively integrated Harvard, Stanford, and CDC’s Public Health findings into an easy-to-use behavior conditioning app and series of lifestyle motivation videos to prevent chronic diseases.

GoLively app and videos cover physical, mental, social, financial, and medical health aspects with 10 healthy lifestyle habits. GoLively enables corporate social responsibility to lower the annual $4 trillion spent on preventable chronic diseases in the United States. Healthy habits can lead to improved employee health, saving healthcare cost, increasing productivity, and morale. Download the Lively Habits app to help you keep track of your 10 healthy lifestyle habits. Go Lively!

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