"While much of the contribution to the field of operant conditioning was made by researchers like Thorndike and Watson, it was Burrhus Frederic Skinner who is credited for his theory of operant conditioning. An American psychologist of the 1950s, he emphasized on the role that ‘consequences’ have to play on the process of learning. He spoke of a response-stimulus connection, (Response → Stimulus) or (R-S), rather than the S-R connection as proposed by Pavlov. The learning took place through instrumental or operant conditioning. Skinner concluded that a living entity, be it animals or human beings, act instrumentally; they would act out certain behavior that would make them feel rewarded and get them what they want; on the other hand, they would avoid those acts of behavior that would be punishing and not get them what they want. Thus, operant or instrumental conditioning occurs when person learns to act out behaviors that are positively reinforced, and avoids those acts of behavior that lead to punishment or yield negative reinforcement. Of the several responses made to a situation (stimulus), those which are followed by satisfaction and reward will be more likely to occur again; and, those which are followed by dissatisfaction and punishment, will be less likely to occur again. The theory of operant or instrumental conditioning highlighted the impact that reinforcement has on learning. Skinner concluded that a living entity, be it animals or human beings, act instrumentally; they learn to act out certain behavior that would make them feel rewarded and would avoid those acts of behavior that would be unrewarding. However, critics have argued that apart from reinforcement, there are other elements that lead to learning, like for example, people also learn by observing others, copying others and modeling. As far as marketing is concerned, the operant conditioning theory contributes to the understanding of consumer behavior. However, there is much more that exists beyond the purview of rewards and reinforcements. People do not always look at rewards or the opportunity costs. They often make rational purchase decisions irrespective of rewards. They also act out of emotional pressures. They are also driven out of social forces; they would want to copy and imitate the behavior of their parents, friends, colleagues, reference group, and buy certain brands or shop from certain stores. This adds weight to the points that critics make that not all learning is reward based. Much is learnt by acquiring knowledge, and by observation and modeling. The role played by cognition and social cognition are dealt with subsequently. Source: http://in.docsity.com/en-docs/Consumer_Needs_and_Involvment_-_Consumer_Behavior_-_Solved_Quiz_"
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