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I have always struggled with keeping respondent and operant behaviors straight. Thanks to the flashcards, videos, and studies, I think it is beginning to stick. I work with individuals with exceptional needs and have to correct behavior several times a day. I have an individual who struggles with hand washing. I have implementedpraise when he washes his hands without a verbal or physical prompt. He thrives on being praised. If I forget to praise him or am not in his immediate eyesight he will come tell me he has washed his hands. I consider this an operantbehavior because the gentleman is responding to the reward of the praise.
A respondent behavior I am currently experiencing is with my 5 month old. He is very curious about mommy’sface, especiallymy eyes. He is constantly trying to poke me in my eye. My respondentbehavior is to jerk backward and close my eye. I am naturally making the attempt to protect myself. This behavior is respondent because it occurs naturally.
A respondent behavior is defined as a behavior that isprotecting the body against harmful stimuli, regulating the internal balance and economy of the organism, and promoting reproduction.
An operant behavior defined as a behavior that produces a consequence.
I believe that operant conditioning can be useful in ABA therapy because it is a type of learning in which a behavior is strengthened, meaning it will occur more frequently. If we are trying to increase a behavior, such as hand washing, cleaning, or putting a seatbelt on, then operant conditioning is a useful tool.