8.4 Operant Example #1 – Common Function

Another way to say this is that an operant is a class of responses defined by a common function, not necessarily by a common form. This pigeon’s pecks, for example, don’t all look exactly the same. Some pecks are higher or lower than others. They do not all have the exact same form. But the pecks on the red circle often have the same effect in this context. That is, the pecks all have the same function (producing food). So even though they don’t look exactly alike, they can be considered part of the same operant class.

A pigeon is standing in a square box for RFT0704.

GIVEN CONTEXT: experimental chamber, food deprivation

CLASS OF RESPONSES: pecking red circle

SAME EFFECT: receive food

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